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Busy Outdoor Area


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This isn't exactly a problem but I wondered what others did if they find the same thing in their setting. We've just introduced proper free-flow outdoor for everybody (at last - thank goodness) whereas before we said 8 children at a time. I plan for one adult always to be outside and one to be inside (me and my TA take turns each day). The thing is that almost everyone is outside!! I think its great when I'm out there, but I feel a bit odd when I'm inside with a tiny number of children and my TA's got everybody else! I'm beginning to wonder if my indoor environment planning isn't interesting enough :o

Any thoughts?

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I found it depended on the weather sometimes- children loved being outside in OK weather but hated being outside when it was really hot or cold. I also found that after a couple of weeks they'd had enough of spending lots of time outside and that it was pretty even inside and out.

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Hi - I take it you are a reception teacher - I do not know what you can do - I am sure your inside is great, just kids prefer to be outside - we are a pre-school with more staff, so we can follow the childrens lead, if more children go outside, then staff follow them and bring any pre-planned activity for inside outside. Sounds like kids are having fun - Dot :o

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I think you are to be congratulated on your success in getting so many children outside.I'm sure they will come inside eventually :o

 

any tips on creating a stimulating outdoor space for reception?

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I have exactly the same issue myself! today all but 5 of our 29 children where outside. I have decided to capitalise on this and take activities to them - i.e set up outside rather than inside if the same activity can be done in either place. Many of our children live in flats and need to experience and enjoy space.

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We found our free flow outdoor play worked really well last term, but as the colder weather draws in it is not practical to keep the door leading to outside open all the time. I also had concerns when children could freely move inside and out as to how quickly we could reach the fire assembly point in the school playground in case of fire or drills. Also keeping track of who had had snack, making sure that children returned to the correct base room, at the moment we have gone back to specific groups going outside they are given the choice, if they would rather stay inside until later that’s ok as it enables other children to go out, we have a lovely outdoor area, I would be really interested in any tips to enable free flow as I want to use it to its full potential . Also how do you manage Health and Safety?

Julie

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we bought one of those butchers curtains to put up so even in the winter we can leave the door open. xD

Ooooo good idea. :( We were discussing this yesterday. A particularly cold day yesterday as the wind whistled through the preschool. It is okay if you are outside running around with the children but if you are sat inside at an activity it is very chilly. :o

 

Is it one of those heavy plastic refrigeration curtain things?

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I agree with Mozart's comment about taking the activities outside to the children. Yes, this won't be practical with some activities but lots can and should transfer!

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sorry

 

not logged on for a while i was wondering if anybody is wiling to share thier outdoor play policy we need to create one and i need a few ideas

 

thanks in advance

 

saki

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Hi Emmajess.

Free flow is probably trickiest in the two person setting, as you say when one of you is out, one of you may end up with all the children, but if you are both out or in, then it isnt free flow. One thing we used to do was have a limit on the number of children outside at any one time, we used the high vis jackets hung up at the door, no jacket no space outside. I saw it as no different from saying 4 children at the sand or 2 children at the computer.

 

As the others have said, you will also find that the novelty will wear off and the children will tend to even themselves out, some will prefer to stay indoors if it gets noisy or boisterous outside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hiya, am new to the forum and this topic really caught my eye. We are a Unit and have problems with the very confident R children taking over somewhat outside. Any suggestions?

Also, our outside area is an almighty wind trap and we do not have much sheltered area (well, not as much as I would like!). Does anyone know of any funding or a way to generate funds for this type of thing?

We really do try our best out there but a whiff of wind and whoof off goes anything (including buggies last year!!) that is not held down...painting can be a nightmare, the sand flies away and the children become less focussed on the learning taking place and want to simply run around chasing the runaway items (great for physical development and excitement but not for my leader who wants every minute of the day to have fully engaged learning linked to ELGs...not the wind...taking place!!

We find that the children love to be out there but we often have to bring them in due to health and safety!!

 

Any suggestions of funding greatly appreciated.http://1.2.3.9/bmi/www.foundation-stage.info/forums/style_images/fsf2.2.2de/folder_post_icons/icon1.gif

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We are having complaints from parents about the room leading to our garden being too cold. Cant win can we!Not to sure what to do?

We've also lost two parents recently due to "Free flow"` not structured enough!

 

Anyone else had this problem any ideas to educate the parents!!!

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Welcome to the Forum, ellen101!

 

Gosh - sounds as if you do have a wind problem! :o I'll be interested to see what solutions others come up with! Can't really help with your confident reception children either, I'm afraid!

 

Maz

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It's just the nature of early years. Children of this age love being outdoors. You are doing nothing wrong. I also imagine that the novelty of it (as you say you have just set it up) will also be contributing to why they are all outside.

 

It happens to me a lot. Today I looked around and counted 14 in and 16 out and I was amazed. Most days like everyone else 25 out and 5 in.

 

Go with flow....

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We are having complaints from parents about the room leading to our garden being too cold. Cant win can we!Not to sure what to do?

We've also lost two parents recently due to "Free flow"` not structured enough!

 

Anyone else had this problem any ideas to educate the parents!!!

 

This is astounding!! Some parents just don't understand childhood do they??!! :o

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This isn't exactly a problem but I wondered what others did if they find the same thing in their setting. We've just introduced proper free-flow outdoor for everybody (at last - thank goodness) whereas before we said 8 children at a time. I plan for one adult always to be outside and one to be inside (me and my TA take turns each day). The thing is that almost everyone is outside!! I think its great when I'm out there, but I feel a bit odd when I'm inside with a tiny number of children and my TA's got everybody else! I'm beginning to wonder if my indoor environment planning isn't interesting enough :o

Any thoughts?

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Hi, We are in our second term of free-flow constant outdoor play. The children love it - the staff are developing a love for it! If everyone is outside then - so are all the staff but if there are a few nervous ones a member of staff stays between the door way and the garden path so she can see both areas and support the member of staff outside.

In the summer - we very seldomly used the inside area - we even had lunch and snack time outside! Just popping indoors to use the bathroom.

We have developed a rota so that we know who is going to be outside and who is inside or the older members of staff were creating reasons not to go out! :o

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's a very common problem it seems, which is why the need for emphasis on the Outdoor area. When plnning, we try to make sure that activities we plan for inside are reflected in a bigger way outside - so if anyone came into visit.inspection etc. we have clearly identified the activities outside in our planning so that it can be seen how they relflect the inside activities, so that no matter where the children choose to play they are meeting the same objectives. Eg., large paint brushes outside (sometimes with paint and large sheets of paper, sometime with buckets of water for large mark making) to reflect painting with small paint brushes inside; small boxes for junk modelling inside, large boxes outside; book area inside, play tents with blankets and books in, outside.

We've also been very lucky to have some money spent on resources, and have just had a wooden play house erected outside, so we can set up role play areas outside - this half-term we had a travel agents set up inside, and made our house outside into an 'Ice-cream parlour' with delivery bikes!!! We've also just had a large sand pit put into our outdoor area - relflecting small sand tray inside. We thought it would be good for children to know the feeling of sand on their feet, as many of them have never been to the beach - it was surprising how many of them didn't like the feel of the sand on their toes and were reluctant to step in. So, we got some cheap Wellies, so that children can wear these in the sand pit. As children choose wellies, we draw their attention to the numbers on their shoes and see if we can find some wellies with the same numbers, not to mention left and right feet - we have selection of wellies of varying sizes, and when there are no wellies left there is no more room in sand pit. This created a fuss at the beginning of term, but now the novelty has worn off for some children - it's those ever racing bikes they are still desperate for!!! Although, we've had some boys digging for treasure and we're amazed when they found a conker!!!

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