Outdoor play

A child playing with blocks and pinecones

More than just a theory

Toys and tinsel cluttered the shelves and lay strewn on the floor. Four-year-old Mia and three-year-old Roger were at odds with each other, grabbing and arguing.  Suddenly a collection of shells, forgotten since our last trip to the sea, found its way into Mia’s hands. Peace reigned as she and Roger began to decorate a chair with the shells and when they ran out of shells, they used pinecones—after all who ‘owns’ the things of nature?

Nature offers a wide assortment of loose parts that are captivatingly simple and empowering. Although educators have always known the great play value in natural materials, current research now validates the tremendous learning potential they offer. Read the article.

Outlast sleigh

Blocks are Teachers

Blocks are teachers, not just toys. Block play offers a vast range of experiences, enriching every area of the curriculum and supporting child development. For over 100 years educators have been  promoting the use of blocks in early childhood classrooms as a powerful learning tool. Because modular blocks are so versatile, they offer endless opportunities for a child’s imagination to soar while discovering basic math and science principles, practicing problem-solving techniques and social skills, and building a solid foundation for future education.

Enjoy St Nick's sleigh built by these children with our new Outlast blocks.

Happy Christmas from us all at Community Playthings!

Leaf rubbing with Community Playthings Outlast tables

Why wait until summer?

Picnics are fun, but that's just the beginning of what you can do with an outdoor table. Nature study groups, science experiments and messy craft projects all need a sturdy work surface. Instead of considering tables and benches as static outdoor furniture, try imagining their possibilities as loose parts or props for creative and role play... whatever the weather.

What could that look like? Watch this.

 
children playing in the mud

Put the pencil down
and go outside

All children need nature. Pedagogical pioneers have proven it time and again. Observe a young baby in his pram under a tree; he loves to watch the leaves waving in the wind. Watch any toddler collect pebbles, sticks or pinecones. Children with special needs are no exception.
 
In her article, Kathryn Solly explains how much children benefit from being outdoors. "The emotional nurturing ‘aah’ and ‘ugh’ experiences may not all be pleasant but link better to indoor learning being based upon concrete experience, which later become the children’s own narrative stories."
 
Read the article and consider signing up for Kathryn Solly's two-day training course for EY leaders/managers in November.
Outlast ramps

What happens when you add ramps?

"To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.”
– Sir Isaac Newton

Rollercoasters, slides, water chutes, why are they so fun? Perhaps humans are programmed to experiment with gravity. There are Isaac Newtons in every nursery, waiting to discover (and be discovered).

Add Outlast ramps to your block set and see what happens.


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