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December Blog 2021: Outdoors in the Early Years.

December 29, 2021

 

December Blog

 

Wishing you all a belated Happy Christmas and peaceful and relaxing festive holiday.

I wish you a fun filled and trouble free 2022.

Let’s think about next term:

Now is a good time to think about the way forward for the Spring term.

PLAY, PLAY, PLAY.

Play is essential for well-being. It gives children time to reflect and think for themselves and use their imagination.

Outdoors

Children need long periods of play outside. The covid crisis has made children fresh air adverse. We should encourage children to spend prolonged periods outside, with access to nature.

We must be clear about the learning that takes place in the outdoor space. It is important to articulate exactly what is planned. It enables the development and progression of skills, competencies and learning behaviours.

How do we deliver the curriculum outdoors?

The outdoor area should provide a range of experiences to help children access different parts of the curriculum. It provides gross motor opportunities that cannot take place indoors. What is the point replicating the indoors outdoors?

Think bigger scale, vigorous, noisy, and boisterous play. Think natural and messy.

The question to be asked is this… How can I use the nature of the space to provide additional and unique experiences?

Where is the curriculum in this? Large scale construction is using gross motor and spatial awareness. Exploring mud provokes language development and scientific enquiry.

The cold, wet and damp weather is going nowhere yet. So, dress up warmly with coats, waterproofs and boots.

The transitional area:

A transition area is very useful, where the children can dress and undress. This will help with independence. You will be surprised how quickly the children will learn to dress and undress. However, they need to be taught properly in the first place.

Places to hang wet clothes and boots are essential.

Resources

Please remember when buying resources, they must be robust to withstand all weathers and be hard wearing. The size and scale of these resources should be challenging for children.

There are so many weather possibilities for outdoor learning. Windy, icy, and frosty days too. Be prepared, organize your resources so you are ready to go.

Make the environment challenging, with opportunities for sensory experiences.

 

Remember quality interactions are key both inside and outside.