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

Outdoor play

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...
We expect three-year-olds to behave like elementary-aged children, then wonder why we see “behaviors” in them. Sometimes I wish we could go back to the days when children didn’t start school until age five, and then only in the mornings.
The more I think about ways to support children in growing into productive, happy, and kind individuals, the more I realize that time outdoors may be the missing ingredient. Spending unstructured time in nature opens a world of wonder and awe.
During the last 24 years in childcare, I have been through training and consistently applied the theory that it’s not bad weather but bad clothing that prevents outdoor play. But after spending years training my staff to think the same way, I’ve concluded that it’s often the equipment that lets...

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