by: lillybelle - 23-05-08 11:38
I wonder if anyone will help?? I am doing my dissertation about practitioners views on outdoor play. What I would like is some wider opinions on why people do NOT do outdoor play. What are the top three reasons? Is it the weather, safety, parents?? All of these are given as reasons in my setting, but how typical is this??
RE: Outdoor play - 24-05-08 08:06
No area to play in was my hurdle. Rented a church hall with a car park open to the road and nothing else.
The main reasons I've observed are staff who see a cloud or think its cold. Thye are the ones who decide.
RE: Outdoor play - 24-05-08 22:30
If there is a will there is a way. From my experience its more often the particular member of staff using weather as an excuse. In my present setting we are out regardless of the weather. The 2 year olds love it as much when its pouring and the are getting soaked and mucky in puddles as playing in the sand pit on a sunny day.
Have to say that most settings I have been in Scotland have their own outdoor clothes for the children which makes a big difference. My present setting have a washing machine as well so if a child's clothes do get wet through the Nursery's snow suits then they can get washed a dried by home time. Going outside can be very time consuming as getting them dressed for wet weather, or sun cream on for sunny weather all takes time.
RE: Outdoor play - 25-05-08 12:48
The top three reasons would be:
2) Not seeing/understanding the importance and value of outdoor play
3) Out of comfort zone - More enthusiasm and energy is usually needed when outside. There is larger equipment and there are children climbing, running, balancing, jumping, ect.. If you're not up for that then you probably want to stay inside.!
I love outdoor play myself. There is so much you can learn and explore just by getting out of the classroom..! Hope this has helped..
"There is no such thing as inapropriate weather, just inapropriate clothing"
RE: Outdoor play - 27-05-08 13:47
Thanks a lot for the responses so far. I love outdoor play too - but get a bit fed up with excuses, so its nice to hear there are enthusiastic people out there (here??). Has anyone done any training especially about outdoor play?
RE: Outdoor play - 27-05-08 13:57
Hi Lillybelle - I have had some excellent training for Outdoor Play and great ideas for using numbers and parachute play and plants - from a particular training we have a green house and have divided our garden space into areas - messy area for sand and water and boxes for outdoor paint brushes, clip boards etc. A Role play area with dressing up boxes again in containers and a Car washing box. As a Manager, I agree that it is mainly staff comfort zones and the attitude that it is too much work, but I have drilled into my team that the garden is just another room without a roof - don't get me wrong I still do have a struggle with some individuals but to combat this I have made my Deputy Manager Garden Officer - it is her job to make sure the development of the garden is constant and that staff who need the odd push gets this! Garden Play is highly important for all areas of learning not just for children but for staff.
RE: RE: Outdoor play - 21-08-08 17:55
I would love to see photos to inspire me !
RE: Outdoor play - 28-05-08 21:41
In our setting we have been encourage to have 'free flow' play where the child can choose to be inside or outside, unfortunaltey this causes problems, especially when there are few staff on duty. Therefore we spend quite a long period of time outside, all of us together, but that sometimes reduces the time the children can spend in one area and this can lead to frustration because they want to stick with one activity.
Our outdoor play happens, but as was said before there is usuallly one staff member who is reluctant bacause it is too cold, hot or it causes a lot of extra work with having to get changed etc. Personally I hate applying sun cream, but we still have to do it.
RE: Outdoor play - 08-06-08 15:32
I work in a pre-school setting in a village hall. We have a fairly secure car park which we use for outdoor play. We have always used the outside area but now do so all session for free flow play and in all weathers.
We have lots of barriers to overcome as our landlord dosen`t let us keep anything outside and it is literaly just a concerete car park. However as long as the children are outside and we haul out water, compost,buckets and spades etc etc the learing is fantastic. I can honestly say it has revolutionised our setting and would urge anyone to access the outside as much as possiable.
Some of our best sessions are on rainy days. The concentration and learning provided by a puddle is amazing. For todays children being outside,expereincing the seasons and weather is very inportant as it is not something many do.
RE: Outdoor play - 13-08-08 10:43
How did your dissertation go on free flow play? I am undertaking the same thing, but having great difficulty in finding research papers on free flow play. What and where did you find your info from? I would really appreciate your help - or anyones for that matter.
I have Henlen Biltons Outdoor play in the Early Years, and items from Learnign through landscapes - but can not find relevant research papers - can you help?
RE: Outdoor play - 19-08-08 23:47
The dissertation was about outdoor play rather than free flow play, but I just trawled through the internet and found references to books and research papers. The Helen Bilton book was very useful, as were some papers and researc h by Tim Waller. There is also some work going on about Forest schools in Suffolk (and elsewhere, I daresay). I too was a bit handicapped by the lack of currrent research. I have now finished, and in fact got quite a poor mark due to not relating reading to research! If I was doing it again I might have focussed on a specific aspect - such as gender - there is lots of research about how boys learn in the outdoor environments. Still I got through the degree OK & I hope you do to. Thanks everyone who contributed.
RE: Outdoor play - 22-08-08 17:33
Thanks, just finished mine too - I think you are right, next time I think I would do mine on risk taking - so much research is out there on this subjet.
What I did find interesting though through my research was that practitioners attitudes stopped outdoor play access for children. Some worried about the tiniest of steps for children to go down, bumps trips or falls et., Some practitoners still believe that the outdoors is still not a viable source for learning. But this is mainly due to practitioners not providing good resources, activities such as areas to dig, get muddy and explore. Granted some pre-schools and nursery settings do not have access to outdoors. But those that did in my research rarely used it effectiely due to their own personal hang ups - weather!!
Not sure what mark I will get - but fingers crossed it wont come back!!
Thand for your help.
RE: Outdoor play - 22-08-08 17:34
oops - looking back at my spelling I would be amzed if I passed!!
RE: Outdoor play - 26-08-08 21:48
I fully believe in the outdoors being a classroom without a roof however the excuses often given in my nursery are:
1. Inadequate space
2. Too hot or too wet!
3. Can't be bothered to take resources outside
The children do spend a lot of time outside however sometimes i'd say too much considering no one is prepared to bring any indoor resources outside, the outdoor resources are limited, the water tray is too high for even the 3year olds and the sand tray very rarely uncovered. The garden is often seen as the easy option as there's no cleaning to be done afterwards! And the children become bored which is understandable as after two hours on the bikes and playing with a few plastic blocks...
RE: Outdoor play - 30-08-08 11:31
I think I am finding this attitude and practice generally throughout the majority of nurseries and pre-schools. As a childminder obviously the children I care for can readily access the indoors/outdoors when they wish to extend their interests and learning which really brings their development on through all 6 areas of learning.
But whilst working in many nurseries and pre-schools, and within the capacity of an assessor, I am truly shocked by the attitude and laziness of the practitioners. Granted, some are not able to access easily the outdoor space, for some it is not an option, although now within the EYFS practitioners must ensure children receive some time outdoors.
But for many, I am saddened that they do not give the children activities (building on their interests) outdoors to enhance learning. The practice I observe day in and day out is the use of just bikes and trikes. - Practitioners view this as a break for them as well, rarely does interaction take place between practitioner and child, except for a telling off for running, bad behaviour (because of boredom) or someone has hurt themselves.
I pray that when Ofsted visit settings they ask to see evidence of outdoor provision, preferably photographic, rather than seeing the usual bikes and trikes. -
RE: Outdoor play - 30-08-08 20:23
Absoulutely, the girls just take chairs outside, sit on them and have a chat, and as you say, tell a few children off, and give others some cuddles.
This is an increible shame as boundries to learning can often be crossed outside, if good resources are provided. In a good quality setting I have seen so many examples of this such as boys who never visit the writing/drawing table, making maps for their outdoor pirate role play, and a child who's attention span is short, spend a full 30mins concentrating on a large outdoor puzzle.
RE: Outdoor play - 31-08-08 09:53
RE: Outdoor play - 31-08-08 10:00
I agree with you 100% I wish practitioners would really look into their outdoor provision. It is quite easy to do by undertaking an audit. Good templates can be found via Learning through landscapes resources and also Helen Bilton and Marjorie Ouvrey have produced some good books containing valuable information. Their audit templates relate to the 6 areas of learning and how indoor learning goals can be extended and reflected for outdoor play.
Lets keep fingers crossed that the EYFS will encourage good practice for those settings who let themselves down in this area. After all it is for the benefit of the children and they are our future!
RE: Outdoor play - 02-09-08 20:11
Just wondering what peoples views were on access to outdoor play regardless of weather. We have a beautiful outdoor area catering for all areas of development, however when it rains non stop as it did this morning the children, who love to be outside got very wet and some were cold. We do have a selection of wellies and raincoats.
The manager feels the children should be out whatever unless the weather is particularly bad, but for the staff coping with cold wet children we feel differently. My opinion is allow the children out but monitor how wet or cold they are and bring them in, if only for a short period and allow them out again. We have a period when outdoor play is compulsary and those already wet are made to stay out until it is time for them all to come in.
I am all for free access to outdoor play as is the new EYFS but feel we might be taking it a bit too far. I know some parents complain about their child going out when its wet. I'm beginning to think it should be left up to the parent and if they want their child out when its pouring with rain then they should provide the appropriate clothing.
I am intersested how other settings deal with this.
RE: Outdoor play - 03-09-08 17:45
There is such a lovely quote:-
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing and ill equipped staff"
From vast experience the more time children spend playing outside the more they become imune to the cold! - Also suitable clothing provided by the parents and setting will avoid children getting cold. As for the time factor it is a good viable learning experience, children are able to put on own shoes, coats, hats scarves etc., with practice lessening the time staff have to spend helping them. They will also be far more prepared for infant schools, aiding the staff there. It also promotes a child's self esteem and well-being.
I have visited lots of settings that have an open door practice, and it works wonders. It is usually the staff who complain of the cold and can not be bothered to work outside!
Most of these settings ask for spare wellies and kagouls and waterproof trousers - they also undertake activiies outdoors much of the time encompassing the 6 eareas of learning.
Parents need to be informed of the benefits of outdoor play and this can only be undertaken by photographic evidence, research materials presented to them during parent evenings. This does not need to be heavy stuff.
Obviously if a child is wet through you would bring the child in, but they should not be out without appropriate clothing in the first place.
I too am interested in seeing how other settings deal with this.
RE: Outdoor play - 07-09-08 16:13
by: kaz (the first one!)
We have never had outdoor play until now. We are in a rented scout hall and although we have a lovely park nearby it wasn't always accessible in bad weather. However, a grant from my county council and fundraising has meant we have put a steel 1m fence around the car park and we are using this as our outdoor area with ride-on toys, sand etc. We don't have issues with staff no wanting to go out (I rota them so they only do 45 minutes a time) and parents have been told we HAVE to offer outside as part of the EYFS so no complaints from them. I have supplied all staff with coats and we now have a box of donated wellies for the children - no more excuses!!
RE: Outdoor play - 08-09-08 16:29
At my setting we have worked together alongside the parents and asked them to provide their child with wellies and waterproofs which can be left at nursery, which is practical for us as we have a large room with plenty of storage space (which i know i am very lucky to have!) Some parents have raised their concerns of why they dont want their child playing out in some weathers, which we have taken into account but have also explained why the children need outdoor play and told them the beneifits their child will get from taking part in fun learning experiences, I think it is just a balance of working together and taking into account everyone's opinions but ensuring the childrens education comes first !
RE: Outdoor play - 09-09-08 10:09
Its really nice to hear that your setting keeps wellies etc., nearby and that you work with the parents. I think that is half our battle is to inform the parents of the benefits that their child will receive in terms of their development, whilst learning through play experiences. Most parents view play in doors or outdoors as just that, play. They do not seem to understand that when good facilities, activities and resources are provided, particularly outdoors encompassing the 6 areas of learning, they learn - boys particularly are found to benefit from outdoor play.
Hopefully if we all keep sharing good practice more people will have the confidence to try providing outdoor learning to its fullest potential.
RE: Outdoor play - 10-10-08 09:48
Intresting information. I'm writing my dissertation at the moment on outdoor play. My titile is Learning in an outdoor play environment: Its contribution to Early Years. I'm in the stage of reading different literatures and writing my literature review.
I will be grateful if anyone can help me or guide me along.
Questions about architecture of nurseries in Scotland - 09-11-08 18:35
Hello, my name is Emma Bronès. I'm a french student in architecture and I have some problems to find informations for my work. Can someone help me to have informations about nurseries in scotland ? I need to find photos and the names of the architects of the nurseries. They are the main informations I need.
Please, if someone can help me.... sent me a message on : firstname.lastname@example.org. It's really important !!!!!!
Thank you very much !!
RE: Outdoor play - 18-10-09 15:06
by: claire taylor
I was just wonderinf if any body knows where i can get some research on 'parents views and beliefs on outdoor play'. (early years 0-5 yrs)
RE: Outdoor play - 21-10-09 09:00
you will have to do a questionnaire for parents - approach nurseries - go on parent forums
RE: Outdoor play - 25-09-12 22:59
hi i am doing my dissertation on practitioner views for outdoor play. was wondering if you could give me some ideas. i would really appreciate it
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