Q – “Hi I’m in my 2nd year of an early years degree. I’m at a new placement which is child initiated and do lots of play outside. Could anyone help with ideas to enhance an area outside and activities?”
A – Here are two different approaches you may like to take when enhancing the outdoors one involves lots of man made indoor resources the other is based more around natural resources.
A – Our children love the mud kitchen We have a plastic cooker , tea set , spoons , pans ect it’s brill. Mud kitchens offer endless possibilities and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. Some top tips here on creating your own mud kitchen.
A – Simple sensory area, paint tyres and plant with the children a plant that promotes one of the 5 senses, also brightens up the garden.
A – Do some planting, talk about plant life cycles, notice seasonal changes. Mini beast hunt & build a bug hotel.
A – Bugs hotel, kids love the creepy crawlies.
A – Mud kitchen is great or make a sensory garden have a gazebo and some fairy lights with wind chimes twirling kites all colours a water fountain plant some nice plants lavender, mint act ect have nice comfy seating.
A – I love the idea of a sensory garden full of wind chimes, solar lights, herbs and natural textures!
A – I love the magic involved in a fairy garden! Here is a great article to support you in making your very own.
A – For Maths, we play spot the shape where we find as many shapes as possible within the environment. Circle tyres, triangle trees, rectangle slide, star shape leaves etc. We also create obstacle courses made of tyres planks of wood and crates to help them work on balance, gross motor skills and confidence in movement. You can also make up games such as being a Pirate on a Boat, to encourage their imagination play. There’s SO many things you can do outside, love it! Good luck!
A – We have big building bricks,a little “growing garden” were the children plant green beans and strawberries ect..we have got lots of crates,tyres and long plastic tubing for them to build with and an outside book area.
A – When we developed our outdoor area I asked the children, got some great responses. Used an intermediary (hedgehog), sent cameras home and printed off pictures. One child wanted a mud pit, his Dad helped us to make it and it is the most used resource in the garden.
A – We had a natural garden. Logs so the children could do story telling, water pulleys, sand pit, stones and wood chip.
We did add things to the environment if the children wanted too. Paper pads, pens, dressing up, paint, chalk, music.
A – For a really simple activity, small buckets of water each and paintbrushes like grown ups and a wooden fence to paint. In my experience kids love to pretend to paint the fence like mum or dad… add a bit of food colouring to jazz it up.
A – Offer more resources, depending on what you can find or what is available but not out. I once just added some boards and crate boxes, the children spent weeks creating obstacle courses for each other.
A – Use gutters and drain pipes for rolling balls cars etc and pouring water Have them at different levels and angles.
A – Bark rubbing, ring games, “what the time Mr wolf?”
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