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Outdoors In Winter


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We struggle much more with outdoor provision in Winter than at other times - I'm sure we're not the only ones! There's the problem of heat loss which was discussed recently on another thread. We struggle more, I think, with windy weather which can actually make our outdoor area quite dangerous: it's unnerving to see mats going past the window at shoulder height!

 

We have quite a decent - sized outdoor area. Half is grassed, and much of the climbing apparatus is on here. The rungs on the climbing frame get slippery in wet weather. The rest is tarmacced. We have a shed and 2 playhouses - one wooden, one more like a cube to hide in. There is a canopy under which some activities can take place. As someone esle mentioned on another earlier thread, though, resources seem to suffer much more at this time of year and if we're not careful it's easy to slip into just offering vehicle play & football. So I'd really appreciate all your ideas to keep things going in an English winter that isn't as 'stereotypical' as it used to be - how many opportunities to play with snow do you get each year? Is it worth starting a thread?

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I feel the same. It's really hard to think of things that are practical in this type of weather. You cannot really put chairs out/table as the children will get soaked, much of the eqiupment cannot be used. It's okay if you plan a 10 minute actvitiy but if your planning to have continuous provision in the rain it really hard. Your observation sheets get ruined as well!!!! I think it would be a good idea to start a practical outdoor activity bank. I'll start it off...

 

Chalking in the rain

Splashing

Catching raindrops

Colour mixing in the puddles!

Wet sand

Mud pies

 

My mind has gone blank will add more later#

 

Vicki

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Hi, this is a great idea because we find this area hard too in winter. In my last nursery we had different boxes for different kind of days eg windy day a windmill, small kites, bubbles. Wet day brollies, wellies raincoats. Outdoor ring games eg here we go around the mullberry bush on a cold and frosty morning. Stilts and tenpin bolling (undercover) Dolld and prams. Magnifying glasses to look for spiders.

HOPE THESE HELP 0258 x

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YES!!!!! a topic on this would be fantastic as I feel it's an area that I'm not good at. We had wheeled vehicles out today in the playground bit - my observation sheet splattered with rain (suppose at least it shows it was done at the time!) and a group of children ended up watching a puddle and noticed the rain splashing and making 'o' shapes - bless them. By the end of the afternoon most of the children had fallen into mud/puddles and went home suitably muddy/dirty/wet - it did come down harder just before home time so we didn;t have time to change into PE kits and stick wet stuff on radiators - wonder what parents will say tomorrow :o

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Things i like to do in winter are;

Making mud pies

Firing water pistols at numbers dotted around the playground

Making a tent for a teddy - provide a variety of materials and children have to decide which would do the best job.

Rolling tyres down a slope into a tuff spot filled with water

Drawing pictures using paint/pens and then seeing ehat happens when we put the picture in a puddle

Rolling balls and cars down guttering

Hammering tent pegs intot he soft soggy grass - near halloween i also get my children hammering golf tees into pumpkins.

throwing balls into paint and puddles, also againt the wall to see the big paint splash.

 

will add more if if I think of them

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Just a quick one, but throwing a camoflage net or similar thing like a blanket over the climbing frame rungs could make it a 'den' -even better if you could find some tarpaulin which would make it dry inside - decorate the inside with old cd's dangling down and use torches inside - sensory room outdoors!

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have you tried the Featherstone Little Books - Outdoor in all weathers for ideas. here are some more-

 

Den building with fabric, sticks, string, big cardboard boxes etc. Use old net curtains to make ice castles, igloos etc.

 

Develop interest boxes with a few simple props to build on the children's interests and imagination eg journey box with maps, rucksacks, binoculars, if its very cold include flasks and blankets and have a pretend picnic or better still have real hot chocoloate outdoors. You can combine this with your bikes - off on a journey. Trains, buses boats with bags tickets, money, purses - you can easily set this up with a few chairs or blocks to sit on.

 

Explore and investigate the changing seasons with mirrors, magnifyers, binoculars etc. Theres's nothing as much fun as splashing in apuddle in your wellies or transporting a bucket of snow around why not bring it indoors and see what happens to it. Don't forget to wrap up warm yourself and have fun!

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Rain pics using powdered paints

Fish (less smelly outdoors)

Maypole dancing (indoors and out)

weaving (indoors and out - I used the book case and strips of materials, but fencing could be used too)

Shredded paper (indoors or out) What happens when it gets soggy with rain?

Just feeling the wind.

Jumping in leaves

Picking up puddles, take a puddle home in a jar labelled 'my puddle' - provide various utensils to enable problem solving how to get puddle into jar. (spoons, sponges, paper cones, buckets, bottle caps etc etc)

 

Wrap up warm and have fun :o

 

Peggy

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Fab photos Peggy - can i ask - the maypole thing the children are walking round holding - did you buy or make ? Looks like a good calm 'lets all cooperate' activity . Thanx

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Some great ideas already, folks - keep 'em coming!

 

BTW do you find there are children [as well as staff!] who avoid going outside, especially when it's cold? How do you deal with this? And what about when parents say they'd rather the child didn't go out [maybe have a cold, are asthmatic etc]; part of the answer is to question whether they should have come if they are that unwell, but sometimes that doesn't fit too comfortably with being partners with parents and acknowledging them as experts on their own children.

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Fab photos Peggy - can i ask - the maypole thing the children are walking round holding - did you buy or make ? Looks like a good calm 'lets all cooperate' activity . Thanx

 

 

The 'strands' were from a multi coloured plastic door curtain bought from a pound shop. The 'pole' on the floor is a cutlery holder, the ones that the cutlery hooks on and the top section spins round.

 

Peggy

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Some great ideas already, folks - keep 'em coming!

 

BTW do you find there are children [as well as staff!] who avoid going outside, especially when it's cold? How do you deal with this? And what about when parents say they'd rather the child didn't go out [maybe have a cold, are asthmatic etc]; part of the answer is to question whether they should have come if they are that unwell, but sometimes that doesn't fit too comfortably with being partners with parents and acknowledging them as experts on their own children.

 

 

What is that saying, "it's not the weather that stops childen from going out, it's the lack of clothing?"

 

When we did freeflow, some children chose not to go outside, all we could do was encourage them outdoors with activities they liked, and also provide staffing for in/out choices. Parents, maybe ask them about their childhood memories of having fun outdoors to help them see what their child might be missing. I would just reassure them that if the child looked poorly I would give them a ring, I would 'look after' them and if they appeared too cold (ie: shivering, blue lips) I'd encourage them indoors. A child with a cold feels the same whether indoors or out, colds are from viruses, not weather (which are more easily spread indoors than outdoors). Fresh air clears the sinuses.

 

I'm rambling now...

 

I just tried to be assertive but reassuring when faced with 'wrap them in cotton wool' parents.

 

Mind you, I made it clear on registration that I took the children out for a walk EVERY day, come rain or shine so could they ensure the children had appropriatte clothing. We were based in a scout hall, small windows, not much natural light and flourescent lighting, so a daily walk, I felt was necessary for many reasons.

 

Staff, it's part of their job description. :o

 

Peggy

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

we are in a church hall and have a large wonderful garden that needs setting up daily

we also have free flow

we use a nother door to go out of in winter so to keep main hall heated

my staff rota is done so that it is not the same person seeting up and clearing each day but staff also have to go out depending on ratio's

there are also days when staff are not rota'd to go out unless children numbers dictate

I allso have staff who would prefer to keep hair straight and heels not mudded but

they bring wellies warm coats and out they go because they know that a. it is nursery job description b. it is what the children need and c once your out there fun can be had!!!!!!!!!!!!

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