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Outdoor Play Space


Guest toddleo
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Guest toddleo

Following a visit from our PLA rep and our new QIP/Qualified teacher, we are trying to get our heads around the notion that everychild needs access to outdoor play for at least 20 minutes at each session, this forming part of the EYFS.

 

This is a real problem for us as we have no outdoor space at all, we are in a village on a busy road, in a church hall.

 

What do you people do? are any of you in a similar position as us? we are worried about ratios, and would be only happy going out with 1 adult to 2 children, there is no way we could do our 30 children at every session. They range form 2 and a half to nursery age...

 

Any thoughts, or similar experiences?

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Hi Tiddleo,

we have the same problem, I was going to do a post about it, you beat us to it.

We have us of a small piece of grass, but not when the grass is wet!! We put up temporary fencing around it but still have to watch for excapees. It is going to be difficult for us to do outdoor play every session, I do think small settings that are not in there own building with dedicated outdoor are going to struggle with this one.

At the moment with have a large room that is our "outdoors" inside, where the children have a climbing frame, bikes and can run around, but it won't be enough for the EYFS and the daily outdoor experiance.

 

Sal

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Guest toddleo

as you say salsa, it is gonna big a big issue, I think there is going to have to be an element of flexibility, doing an outing for everyone en-masse, is one thing, we could cope with that, but everyday, and for every child !!! HELP

 

I am sure there will be more feedback from other users on this subject, we are not alone!

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I take my children out every day for a walk around our area, to the beach, to the shops, to the park. I use a 1-5 ratio, the older childre holding hands in pairs and the adults holding hands with the youngest. The children learn about 'safe' walking, the joys of the walk ensure 'good' behaviour, the children want to be with the group and not run off.

There are walking ropes that some settings use, which helps with ratio's.

 

The idea is daunting and will need careful planning as any 'new' activity and children get excited, don't listen etc, but once it is a regular 'habit' and the newness novelty wears off, you will be surprised how sensible children can be.

 

 

In other European countries the children are outdoors for most of the day, climbing trees, cooking on beach fires, and a colleague recently told me about a visit to Norway where the children aged 3-5 yrs went fishing, caught fish and used knives ( real pen knife type ones) to cut the fish ready for cooking.

 

I remember when I was 4 yrs old my twin brother and my sisters aged 5 & 6 yrs all used to go out after breakfast and get home in time for tea, rowming the local common, park, etc. We became 'street aware' through 'practice' and looking out for each other. Sadley this is not a common practice now, so the least we can do as practitioners is give our young children a supervised chance to experience even a bit of the 'freedom' we had as children.

I see outings as a learning experience, not only about what they see, hear, smell, touch, talk about, count, observe etc but as a learning experience of how to take risks in safety, how to be 'street aware' how to be 'free' in the fresh air, all weathers, and how to be confident and responsible. Believe me the children CAN DO THIS, if only we would give them the chance.

 

sorry if I sound a bit soap boxey but as you may have gathered this is a passion of mine, I just feel that children lose out on so much if they stay indoors for too much of their young lives.

 

 

Peggy

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Guest toddleo

Far from it Peggy, I rather like a bit of soap-box-ism!! LOL

 

It is good to have another perspective (would like a daily stroll to the beach myself, lucky you! sounds like you are in a super spot.)

 

We are in a village, 90% walk to us any way via the local nursery to drop off siblings, they get a good burst of fresh air then, and I really do not think that 2.5 hours a day having to stay indoors is an issue. Oh I suppose I am being negative, I just hanker after a nice fenced in pay area, with outdoor equipment.....

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Far from it Peggy, I rather like a bit of soap-box-ism!! LOL

 

It is good to have another perspective (would like a daily stroll to the beach myself, lucky you! sounds like you are in a super spot.)

 

We are in a village, 90% walk to us any way via the local nursery to drop off siblings, they get a good burst of fresh air then, and I really do not think that 2.5 hours a day having to stay indoors is an issue. Oh I suppose I am being negative, I just hanker after a nice fenced in pay area, with outdoor equipment.....

 

 

I'm based in a scout hall with a strip of land available for use, yet no fence. I do have a roll of the bright orange building site/ road works plastic fencing which we put up using metal poles hammered in by heavy metal malletts, Get the picture, yes I too would like a permanent fenced area but the scouts won't allow it.

 

I am surrounded by a large field, brook, housing estate, complete with blossom trees, usual features such as post/telephone boxes, house extension building works for children to observe progress, alley way walks, beach, park including basketball pitch, then a bit further shops and garden centres, and school all within walking distance. Yet I scored low for outdoors environment for my ECERS audit because I don't have a permanent fence. To me that just shows how ridiculous some QA criteria can be. :o

 

I am also a 6.5 hr day so do have more time for outdoor pursuits. However, going out for a whole session I don't feel is a waste of time, most aspects of the curriculum can be covered, even on a walk.

 

Peggy

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Doing daily walks does sound good and we do them when we don't hav many children in. We tend to have a high proportion of 2.5 yr olds and only a few 3 yr old (at the moment no 4 yr olds). I'm not sure I have the confidence in the children to take them all out. I know that is more down to me than the children but as we are on a main road I can't take the risk. I'm looking into those walkadile things, but I'm not sure if expences will spread that far.

I would love to have the use of a dedicated all weather outdoor area, it would be fantastic. I can dream. :o

 

Sal

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