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Help needed.

 

Up until recently we have had no access to outside play but have now managed to find some at the side of the setting that we have secured and made safe for the children. Unfortunately we cannot have free flow or have all the children out there at once (registered for 26) as the area is too small.

 

Does anyone have this situation and if so how do you timetable everything in (session is 2 1/2 hours + lunch club)? Worried that the child initiated element of having a long free play session at present will be disrupted by having to interupt play for 'outside play time'.

Edited by denisse
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I had this many years ago at a previous settings.We had coloured bands hanging on hooks near the door for the number of children we felt safe allowed out.We could then run a more free flow session and the children were very good at policing themselves.It was reception so we rotated the starting group outside to ensure each child got a chance to go out.

 

We also used this system last year for 'golden time' reward ribbons for inside play with popular activities (difficult class for behaviour :o )

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we are lucky in that our area can stay set up and is secure so this can make a difference on what you can supply. we used to have boxes/ bags with the stuff in before this to carry outside with us.

 

We set up outside area with as much as we can to reflect inside , ours is a small area so we have a corner set aside with picnic bench for drawing or other ideas we may have, when warm enough a picnic rug and a small box of books, and chalk etc etc , we do have a raised bed which they use to play in.. mud!! We have a small house set up with a few items in it as well. Duplo or other items come and go as the children request or we feel the need, we also have a couple of bikes and bouncy horses, and climbing frame, hoops are always outside as well that is where the children use them most..water tray and water play in most weathers seems to happen!! they are fascinated by the bits that they find floating in there (we are sheltered by a tree and hawthorn hedge.)

 

we then divide the group into 2 and take them out for set time, swapping over mid morning or sooner of it is cold/wet / uninviting/ etc. At swap over time they can have snack and a story, but a story is often read outside . This way they can have a free play if not free flow outside for about an hour and similar inside.

 

if we find weather not suitable for such long periods they just enjoy going out for a while usually near the end of the session, when half have story /half outside and then swap again.

 

This way if a child really does not want to stay out for any length of time then we are able to let them go inside again, not that it has ever happened in 5 years of doing this!!

 

we have 4 staff so two stay with each group and swap with them,

 

Lunch club is usually inside but in good weather we sit outside in the garden.

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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We've recently retimetabled our session to fit more outdoor play in. We start with a quick circle time with everyone, then have key group time. After that children can choose to go outside or stay in - we can't manage chopping and changing, its one or the other once the choice is made. We are all together again for snack time and then choose story or outside. We have rearranged the room so that there is space for a physical activity all morning instead of stopping the free flow at snacktime to make space.

 

Al

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we have an outdoor area that isn't free flow but we wanted to make it as accessable as possible, how we have overcome this is by having one member of staff outdoors all session and another member of staff on float duty so will bring children in and out as well as lots more!! we work on a walkie talkie system so the member of staff outside isn't totally isolated when it comes to the children wanting to go in or the toliet(again in a different part of the building!) or if an accident should happen. our area isn't large enough for all the children to be out together in one session but they have learnt to have a play outside then tell us when they want to go back inside. we rotate staff outside as fairly as possible!!

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Hi - we only have a small courtyard area - though as mentioned in previous posts, we have one member of staff always outside, and a second member of staff free to come out if our ratio's need it. We have the door open all the time, and find that we never have a situation where they all choose to come out, some are at the snack bar, some are painting, playing with water, creating etc However, some mornigns the second person iis going in and out following where the childen are going.

 

Best wishes Dot :o

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Hi, I work in a private nursery within a school. We have a 1hr 45 min activity session at the beginning of each session. We cannot do free flow but during this session we do have use of the FS playground. So ... from nothing, this is what we have developed: - one adult-initiated activity is based outside each week - with other activities provided

- one practitioner invites ch to go out 'Two hands...who would like to come out with me?'

- she takes a walkie talkie and a first aid bumbag

- we keep a record of who goes out so we can try to encourage others who are more reticent.

 

One fine days - like today - we all go out - taking activities from the room outside - for at least an hour. We also have an outdoor play session at the end of each session.

 

We started this last Autumn - and have taken groups out in rain and snow. I have become passionate about outdoor education as a result!

 

Glad to share more if that's useful.

 

Nic9

 

PS very useful to visit a setting that is doing lots of outdoor stuff, too, I found.

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