Outdoor play
Nurturing childrens biophilia
The mud centre
Under threes outdoors
Playing in the gutters
Natures Playground

Outdoor play

Having a real wooden play kitchen in your outdoor area supports children’s growing imagination and communication skills and provides incredible creative play opportunities. But can we expect a natural material like wood to survive the daily onslaught of mud and water which are essential...
One challenge we face is that some of the questions children ask are linked to unobservable phenomena such as death, decay and disappearance. It is these aspects of connection to the natural world that are often the least well-defined, but they can be the ones that fascinate children.
Collaboration, creativity, imagination, inventiveness, problem-solving, coordination, physical strength – when children are given the space and time to freely play outdoors, truly the whole child is able to grow.
Regardless of SEN, many children find paying attention a key challenge. A number of proactive strategies can help, such as allowing the use of sensory-rich resources to provide feedback; providing quiet spaces to sit in calmly and take time out; minimising other distractions; and using attractive...
Did you ride bicycles around the block and play Hide-and-Seek outside with friends until you were called inside for dinner? These experiences helped us develop our senses and taught us to self-regulate our actions, preparing us ultimately for the more formal education of school.
So often we when we think of learning we think of paper and pencil. Or maybe we think of watching an educational program or listening to an engaging speaker. It’s important as parents and caregivers to know that movement, and especially movement in free play, is a major contributor to brain growth.
The value of the quality of interaction, alongside meaningful contexts for learning, is one which has to be shared with parents and carers. We need to consider the family learning opportunities for that extended shared understanding of how young children learn about maths so that they, in turn,...
Resonating with the work of early years pioneers such as Rousseau and Froebel – as well as Montessori – there has been a recent resurgence of interest in the UK in the potential of the outdoor environment for supporting children's learning.
Not all children attend will-equipped nurseries with exciting and challenging outdoor areas. But all early years settings should be providing outside play opportunities regardless of their facilities.
Scientists have now confirmed something that children have always instinctively known; playing in mud is a joyful experience. Recent research has shown that dirt contains microscopic bacteria that stimulates the immune system and increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, an endorphin that...

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