The Importance of Outdoor Play
As a setting in a busy urban area - we recognise the importance of outdoor play.
Outdoor learning complements indoor learning and is equally important. Play and learning that flow seamlessly between indoors and outdoors enable children to make the most of the resources and materials available to them and develop their ideas without unnecessary interruption. Outdoor learning encompasses all that children do, see, hear or feel in their outdoor space.
This includes the experiences that practitioners create and plan for, the spontaneous activities that children initiate, and the naturally occurring cyclical opportunities linked to the seasons, weather and nature. Children attending Fireflies Nursery benefit from immediate access to large outdoor play area. Large space is covered in soft safety mats which ensure all children can explore safely and trips and falls won't hurt.
Why is Outdoor Play Important?
Outdoor learning in early years settings is important because it:
- Supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles
- Offers children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement
- Promotes a sense of confidence and well-being
- Provides opportunities for developing harmonious relationships with others, through negotiation, taking turns and cooperation
- Supports those children who learn best through activity or movement
- Provides safe and supervised opportunities for children to experience new challenges, assess risk and develop the skills to manage difficult situations
- Supports children’s developing creativity and problem-solving skills
- Provides rich opportunities for imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness
- Gives children contact with the natural world and offers them unique experiences, such as direct contact with the weather and seasons.
We believe that learning can take place in any area therefore, just like indoors, we have many areas for learning outside too. Table top activities allow for some quiet time. A shaded area with wooden logs is a great space for groups and, of course, there is plenty of space for running and riding bikes!
Through the mud kitchen and sand pit, children learn to explore different media and how it can be used in variety of ways! Our children make the best mud pies!
In addition, we opened a brand-new baby garden at the start of 2019! This space is great for our babies to explore freely, and best of all has grass so they can develop their sensory skills! Many babies go their first year without having a feel of grass therefore our sensory baby garden is all about nature around us. We are also developing a 'Secret Garden' for the Investigators!
Outdoor Learning offers opportunities for children to:
- Be excited, energetic, adventurous, noisy, messy
- Talk, listen, interact, make friends
- Imagine, dream, invent, fantasise
- Create, invent, construct, deconstruct
- Investigate, explore, discover, experiment with their own ideas and theories
- Make sounds and music, express ideas and feelings
- Find patterns, make marks, explore different media and materials
- Investigate concepts and ideas; be active, run, climb, pedal, jump, throw, dig, grow, nurture, cultivate; hide, relax, find calm, and reflect
- Gives children responsibility, be independent, collaborate with others