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Planning For Outdoor Play...help!


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:oxD:(:(:( Sorry folks! It's me AGAIN! (big sigh).

The planning is well under way, but.... I would like some ideas for the type of activities and planning I could be doing outside. The head has had an enclosed area built for rec over summer. It has nothing in it..I have 1 bike and 1 scooter....and no budget....and I have no TA so the activities will have to be supervised by myself..........I need ideas please.....I have got a sand and water tray inside...could these go outside? Suggestions please as I do not want the outdoor area to be wasted!

:wacko: :rolleyes: xD


Dougal x

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Sand and water trays can certainly go outside, and anything else!!

We often take lots of equipment outside, we do have a v. large outdoor area!!

We are lucky enough to have a digging area, bird table, log pile for minibeasts, pinecones etc in large container, planting area etc.


Some of the things we take out -


Our caretaker has put chalk boards on our fences, also used to clip large rolls of paper to for painting, using markers etc. buckets of water with decorating brushes, playground chalks.


We have a box with clipboards, notebooks mark-makers etc.


We often put the rucksack by to door so that the chn. can go exploring. We discuss what we might need for an exploration first - binoculars, camera, sun-hat and sun-cream or woolly hat and gloves, I spy bird books, notebooks, drinks etc.

This often leads to map drawing, drawing what they find etc.


A treasure chest containing role play resources - changed when needed.


Construction toys, cars etc. on old PE mats.


A box of books.


A science box with magnifiers, collecting jars, minibeast books, paper and pencils etc.


Maths games e.g. playing football and recording goals by moving airflow balls across a string.

Coke bottles filled with coloured water - sometimes numbered 1-10, scoresheets for skittles etc.

Five speckled frogs and a log - frogs jump into builder's tray with water/blue paper depending upon weather - laminated numeral cards (sometimes dotted).

Large sponge dice and large bricks to build towers -and knock down again!!


Car wash.

Garden centre.


Drive thru Macdonalds.

Numberplate making.


Basically whatever you do inside you can so outside - but ususally on a bigger scale!


Have fun, we do!!

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I'm not sure where but if you look through previous discussions you will find more great ideas and links as well to other web sites. One of them has masses of ideas for outdoor numeracy activities. Problem is, I've forgotten which site! Can anyone help?

I have printed it off but there is no record of the website in it! One of the LEA's I think???????

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Guest Sycamore

:o Hi

Lots of good ideas already posted, and I won't repeat.

There is fab book called Little Book Of Outdoor Play by Sally Featherstone (she is amazing!) and there are great ideas in there that don't cost a penny!. The book is only £6.50 too. www.featherstone.uk.com. If you like them there are hundreds of these little books.

I take out alot of my inside things but the trikes and bikes remain the favourite (I have to limit them to certain days!), I also have boxes full of hats, shoes, brushes, and I put a box out to spark role play ideas. Buy cheap 'cat litter' trays (deeper sides) from pound shop and fill with sand, cous cous, shaving foam, sawdust, etc and use for small world.

I am getting a cover for my outside soon, which will make this tempremental weather easier to deal with.

Good luck

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:D Thanks all, there are some brill ideas there... I was just at a loss but I feel ok now.....WOW! A cover for your outside play area...... my face is turning green with envy!

Think I will have to invest in some cat litter trays though...thats a really good idea...then the children can take the playmobile figures out too. I like the idea of role play out there too. I think with only two pieces of outdoor equipment there could be fights, so I think I will try the bottle filling idea too for skittles.

If you have any more ideas please feel free to contribute :D:D:D:D:D:D !

And welcome sycamore! :)

Dougal x

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First of all - welcome Sycamore. :) Nice to see you getting stuck in! There have been lots of 'outdoor play' topics started at various times. If you perform a 'Forum search' you'll be able to find them. If you can't be bothered then you can find a few




and here


and here


and finally here!


Enjoy!! :D


In the meantime, if anyone has anymore good ideas.................... :o:D

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HI & welcome Sycamore!

Outdoor provision is the one area where I always come unstuck! Mine was shared with rest of the school at treditional playtime which made things quite difficult.The indoor equipement is often heavy to get outside and because of weather difficulties we tried to limit carrying. I had no grass, no digging areas and somehow other plans never materialised. I sent staff on courses to motivate and delegate but even then it was difficult.

However, the bikes and scooters were always firm favourites as were balls and I tried introducing ring games which went down quite well. As do the water mark making activities.

It is an area though where children seem to like to do their own thing, ie concentration levels drop in guided/ focused activites and staff seem to like to wind down and have a natter. Where did I go wrong?


I think the numeracy resourses are at Leicestershires website.

They are excellent.

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I would strongly recommend dividing the outside area up into 'zones'. You do not want children riding bikes etc. around children who are reading books and engaging in quiet activities. Following on from the crate idea nip down to a local tyre shop and see if they have any old ones they do not want. These are great for zoning the areas and the children can also use them for balancing on / rolling etc.

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