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Outdoor Play Policy


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Hi, I've been asked to come up with a outdoor play policy for my setting. Can I ask if anyone has one which I can view. I'm really struggling with this and can't get into the flow.


Sunshine :o

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  • 3 months later...

Hi there


I am also looking for an outdoor play policy and need some help to get started! Can you point me in the right direction.



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Is this any use as a starting point?


Play Policy


The Preschool understands that play is something that a child best enjoys. A child’s play has a purpose and can be a step towards the learning and understanding of valuable skills. It can help the child fit into the world physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially, and grow to be a healthy and competent individual.


The Preschool will endeavour to provide children with a stimulating environment, where playing and learning go hand in hand. A varied selection of activities will be provided throughout the session, using both indoor and outdoor activities.

Consideration will be taken to ensure that provision is made for children with special needs and abilities.


Outdoor Play

 We believe that all children have the right to experience and enjoy the essential and special nature of being outdoors.

 Young children thrive and their minds and bodies develop best when they have access to stimulating outdoor environments for learning through play and real experiences.

 Knowledgeable and enthusiastic adults are crucial to unlocking the potential of outdoors.

 Play is the most important activity for young children outside.

 Outdoor play can, and must, offer young children experiences that have a lot of meaning to them and are led by the child.

 Young children need all the adults around them to understand why outdoor play provision is essential to them, and adults who are committed and able to make its potential available to them.

 The outdoor space and curriculum must harness the special nature of the outdoors, to offer children what the indoors cannot. This should be the focus for outdoor provision, complimenting and extending provision indoors.

 Outdoors should be a dynamic, flexible and versatile place where children can choose, create, change and be in charge of their play environment.

 Young children must have a rich outdoor environment full of irresistible stimuli, contexts for play, exploration and talk, plenty of real experiences and contact with the natural world and with the community.

 Where possible, young children should be able to play outside, when they want to and develop their ideas for play over time.

 Young children need challenge and risk within a framework of security and safety. The outdoor environment lends itself to offering challenge, helping children learn how to be safe and to be aware of others.

 Outdoor provision must support inclusion and meet the needs of individuals, offering a diverse range of play-based experiences. Young children should participate in decisions and actions affecting their outdoor play.

 It is the role of adults to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable risks and remove any hazards.


Staff accompanying children outdoors should take the walkie-talkies so that they can stay in touch with any staff who come indoors to take children to the toilet.


Because wear and tear is greater outside, there is a systematic maintenance programme and daily check of equipment.


By observing children carefully and knowing them well we will be able to recognise those who need greater challenge and those who need support. Children should be assisted to learn how to assess risk.


Children have many opportunities to be outside in the fresh air. Staff are keen to support children in the outdoor area and use the Birth to Three Matters Framework and the Foundation Stage guidance to identify and plan for children’s learning. Children are able to be either active or enjoy a quiet moment outdoors. Staff have a positive view of the outdoor area and ensure that the area is used in all weathers. This helps children to appreciate different seasons and stimulates their sensory awareness. Outings are planned so that children can gain an appreciation of their local and wider community.


Links to Legislation and Guidance

Children Act 1989 and 2004, Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNICEF) 1989, Race Relations Act 1976, Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Sex Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986 and Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999, Human Rights Act 2000, Birth to Three Matters, Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage


Links to Every Child Matters:

Helping Children to be Healthy, Protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them to stay safe, Helping children to achieve well and enjoy what they do, Helping children to make a positive contribution, Organisation


Links to National Standard: 3, Care, learning and play


Review Summer 2009

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