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Just a quick question, if you're a pre-school who can't offer free flow, what is the minimum amount of time you spend outside and would you mind sharing you're routine please? We go out everyday but our outdoor area is shared so we have to set up and pack away each day (and same for indoors), so sometimes we only manage 20 - 30 mins outdoors and we've been told we should aim for a minimum of an hour.

Thanks

Karrie

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I think I was on a training somewhere and was told that if you can't do 'proper' free flow (as we can't in our setting) then an hour would be considered good practice, but 40 minutes was the minimum in order for children to get a good outdoor experience.

 

I'd be interested to know if any children who have access to free flow provision spend as much as 40 minutes outside at a stretch, or whether they do literally free flow between indoors and outside? My point is that although you can't do free flow, your children might be getting more of an outdoor experience than some children who can free flow but choose to spend most of their time indoors.

 

Gosh - it sounds like there's a research project there! :o

 

Maz

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in my previous job before we started freeflow we used to be out for approx 45 mins. I think an hour would be good if its quality play that the children are accessing - not just riding round and round on trikes :oxD:(

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Ah, another local pre-school do actually have an outdoor space, but insist on using the school playground for sit and ride toys. I don't think I have ever seen them in their own area apart from home time - when someone described it as a holding pen - lovely!

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I'd be interested to know if any children who have access to free flow provision spend as much as 40 minutes outside at a stretch, or whether they do literally free flow between indoors and outside? My point is that although you can't do free flow, your children might be getting more of an outdoor experience than some children who can free flow but choose to spend most of their time indoors.

 

Gosh - it sounds like there's a research project there! :o

 

Maz

 

Thanks for that Maz, I've filed this one away for future use.

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We do have free flow and I'd say that 40 minutes would be a good time to aim for. A very small number of children will stay outside for the whole session but we do get a lull after about 50 minutes when lots of the children end up back inside if they have all or almost all chosen to go out first thing.

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Hi there, we have sliding doors which can be fixed open to enable free flow play. its absolutely brilliant i love it, several children like to spend the majority of their day outdoors, some are half in and half out and a select few prefer to stay indoors. i always find having an adult initiated activity indoors and out at the same time works brilliantly! :o

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several children like to spend the majority of their day outdoors, some are half in and half out and a select few prefer to stay indoors. i always find having an adult initiated activity indoors and out at the same time works brilliantly!

 

We are the same 'hanban' but don't have the lovely sliding doorrs they sound great :o

 

We have been developing our outside area as part of a Kent Buddy Project our children's behaviour and learning is great when outdoors.

Staff often shout i'm outside with excitement as we are a pack away in a large hall with 30 children each session outside can be much easier on the ears. They too love adult initiated activities outside. We find sometimes all children go out and we only come in for the loo. We do go out in all weathers but are suitably dressed so are the children.

 

Last Friday when our patio area flooded

post-20748-1276934611_thumb.jpg

post-20748-1276934732_thumb.jpg

Edited by Bigsue
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I'd be interested to know if any children who have access to free flow provision spend as much as 40 minutes outside at a stretch, or whether they do literally free flow between indoors and outside? My point is that although you can't do free flow, your children might be getting more of an outdoor experience than some children who can free flow but choose to spend most of their time indoors.

 

Gosh - it sounds like there's a research project there! :o

 

Maz

 

It would be interesting to know across a range of settings, our nursery free flows for a minimum of one hour and some days up three, most children free flow in and out, they stay out for longer in the warmer drier weather, this time of year they only go in to access resources that don't go out, like the indoor role play area. I think more would stay out at other times of year if they were better prepared/we could afford wet/cold weather clothing.

We have some dedicated outdoor lovers who stay out all the time what ever the weather, definite forest school candidates.

Fay

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Fantastic pix - I bet they were absolutely drenched! have you got drying facilities?

 

 

OH NO drying facilities we are a village hall 'pack away' indoor and out :lol:I wish we did have, all awterproofs were taken home to dry ready for Monday

 

The waterproofs are used a lot and are FAB so keep them fairly dry, we use lots of towels to dry them off, the wellies are all ours, and loads of spare socks and trousers (as parents forget these xD )

It wasn't cold but when it is a cuddle helps warm up or we get the music on and dance our chillies out.

 

Our children know now that if its wet they have to have waterproofs and wellies on, (when hot weather its hats on ) they have become very independent at getting themselves dressed and undressed. Ofsted commented on this too. Excellent brownie points from them :o

 

Sue

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Those really are fab photos Sue! Access to our outdoor area has to be planned with military precision, through a seperate hall, double doors and three seperate gates, (all of which had to be changed as the children could off easily opened and/or climbed over them). We are one out all out and have enough hats, fleeces, dippy duck suits and wellies for the 26 children we have each session; that also cuts into our time as the younger ones need help, especially with the dippy duck suits. Then there's the constant stream of children needing the toilet, so one member of staff is always accompanying children back and forth to the toilets.

Still, I'm sure we'll get there in the end!

Karrie

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We are one out all out and have enough hats, fleeces, dippy duck suits and wellies for the 26 children we have each session; that also cuts into our time as the younger ones need help, especially with the dippy duck suits.

 

I assume you start getting them ready well before your designated slot for outside? Do you have to set up the area when you get there or is it set up before hand when you set up the indoor area? You certainly seem to have a long way to go to get to the outdoor area by the sound of it. Think I'd be worn out by the time I got there!

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