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Resources For Outdoor Play


Lorna
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I am looking for ideas of how people use their outdoor play areas.... inparticular ideas for defining different areas.

 

We have quite a large area ... part concrete slabs and part grass with a pirate ship in the middle.... the problem I'm having at the moment is no matter what we put outside the children use it as an area to run up and down screaming and shouting. :oxD

I want to develop the play out their and know that children do need to let of steam but also want to have set areas outside.

 

So what I relly would like suggestions about is how to section different areas off safely.

Does anyone use removeable fencing or barriers? If so what and where did you get them from.

 

Any ideas would be welcomed. :)

 

Thanks in advance

 

Lorna

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Hi Lorna,

I am also a bit stuck on this one. We have a fairly large play area with climbing frames, up and over wooden structures, a wooden play house and then all the usual bikes scooters prams etc. At the moment the children have a set playtime morning lunch and afternoon, obviously while the weather is still OK we have been getting out more. But more and more talk is on developing the outside areas with all 6 areas of learning and also having it as free choice activity. At the moment we only have 15 children at any one session and two staff so it would be impossible to do this. I would be grateful to hear how others are developing outside play and how they regulate using it. Also what is a well equipped outside play area ?

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Guest Sycamore

I use all the Sally featherstone books for ideas, she has ones for role play , sand and water, outside play and many many more.

 

I have the same problems though....I get the trikes and bikes out and lots of other lovely things and yet all they want to do is ride the bikes round and round and round. I drew roads and other stuff on the floor in chalk yesterday and that was nice but how to entice them to build 3 bears cottages from the large wooden blocks, or to play the giant snakes and ladders, or paint, or use the small world etc etc.....I have started to keep the bikes away for use on certain day only. I have tried to get them to plan, do, review and choose activities indictaing their choices with a peg on a picture. But given any chance they charge around! I do only have 10 reception children until Xmas so the interaction is very weird. if I choose a small group to do anything with me...eg guided reading or sounds games etc the others are a bit lost!

 

So will be eager to see any responses you get.

 

x

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:) I managed to get £8,000.00 from Living Spaces to help create a community garden next to the building that we use for our Pre-school. Then I had to make sure we started using the garden enough! Our recent Ofsted inspector said that it was perfectly alright to leave the doors open and allow the childern free access to the garden. She said to just use common sense and when there were children going outside a member of staff should go out, but that we should not restrict the number of children in any way. So when the childern go out so do we! Almost everything can be done outside. The outside area should be included in your curriculum planning.

There is a fantastic book I have used : 'Outdoor Play in the Early Years, Management and Innovation' second edition by Helen Bilton, David Fulton Publishers. The 'Little Books' series has also one on outdoor play that has some good ideas.

 

I keep being asked by other groups about funding for outside play and the Living Spaces scheme has now fineshed so if anybody knows of any other funding available I could pass info. on.

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Well what a relief to find out that other people have children you zip round and round on bikes! I'm brand new to foundation stage this year and am very much still finding my feet. However, we tried to tap into this bike fixation and set up a garage outside ... complete with car wash (bubbles, warm water, sponges, slightly soggy children). The children had to collect a token in order to visit the car wash (a magnetic letter) from the check out. We also had a machanic's area with tools, telephone and notepad. The children seem to be enjoying themselves and the bikes have never been so clean!

 

I was wondering how others encourage children to stay on one activity for a period of time? I have a couple of boys who run from one actvity to another and find it hard to settle.

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I can relate to this one too! I always tell the children that they are going outside to work - eg if you're on the trim trail you're working at balancing, etc. They are starting to ease up on the running round like mad things, but it takes time! Maybe you could do some zoning with tyres, Lorna? (Always a useful resource for all manner of things, from priting activities to physical development - you can even stack them for growing potatoes!)

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Guest Tracey F

OK so they want to zip around on bikes! well can you foramlize this a little? with mine (reception) last year we made photo type driving licences. we also had lists to sign up for whos turn was next on bikes which worked quite well!! Or develop a garage / carwash situation? with a checklist of 'repairs' such as brakes tyres lights wipers etc,

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I have a reception class and we have a dedicated reception playground (what a luxury!) We have an enclosed play area with defined different areas - there's an area for balls, throwing and general charging about, which is fenced off, but I guess you could use cones or some thing instead to mark out the area. This is helpful as it means the balls aren't flying all around the whole playground! We often have paper and pencils outside and a surprising number of children (and not just the ones you would expect) come and draw or write. We try to offer some activities the same as have been done in the classroom, but not direct the children with what the actually do with the paper.

 

We also have a box of books out for playtime which is use intermittently... but also construction which is well used and is a fairly quiet activity... Again we try to offer ideas similar to those in the classroom but don't direct the activity.

 

Playtime can be tricky, I know, it does seem with some children that whatever you offer they just charge around but they need to let off steam somewhere!

 

Hope this helps

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