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Outdoor Inspiration And Photos?


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Hi

 

This is the 1st time i have posted a new article on here so not sure if i'm doing this right!

I wonder if anyone can help. I am in the process of moving classrooms (Reception) to a classroom with a fire door directly outdoors. This will enable us to have free flow access. (previously difficult as we are a very old school and very inappropriate for EYFS!)

i am now going to have a large outdoor area which will be fenced securely, large area grassed and some paved. in this area we will also have a tire run (great for physical play) and a small wildlife area with new trees growing.

However i am now finding it difficult to decide what we should do with the area! i have NO money to spend so am going to need to do as much as i can myself.

Here's what i thought;

  • dig out a large sand pit
  • use soil dug out to create a hill
  • a digging/ muddy area
  • willow dome? quiet sitting area? (not sure how tricky this would be to do?)

Any other suggestions?

Or does anyone have any photos i could look at for inspiration?

Thank you in advance!

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borrow some resources from your PE resources so you rotate it regularly - hoops, skipping ropes, bean bags etc.

 

I printed and laminated lots of CVC words and hung them around the outdoor area.

 

Hang old pots and pans up and wooden spoons to create music.

 

I bought plastic guttering and got my caretaker to cut it up into 4 bits then he put it up on the wall, into sloped steps so water can run down them - they LOVE this and it only cost £5!

 

Do you have a fundraisers or PTA that you can ask for a bit of money to buy some stuff?

 

Will keep thinking! x

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thanks! they sound great!

i am going to ask my PTA once i am in the classroom, they're prob a bit fed up of me asking as i'm always on to them!

how is your guttering organised? is it movable for the children to explore with?

thanks for your reply.

xx

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Hi

 

We are a pre-school in a shared hall who free flow to our car park in all weathers all year round - we acess the playground directly from the hall via fire doors which we wedge open.

 

I would recommend to keep it as natural as possiable. I no longer put out bikes (I realise some people will be up in arms at this!),my reasoning being children spend all their time going round and around in circles on them or fighting over them. The play without them is so amazing, they get enough physcal development without them and will learn to ride a bike eventually at home - so on weighting all this up we no longer use them.

 

Bark on the floor is a good resource. If you contact a tree surgeon they should supply this free. Much better than a plastic rubber floor, its a green resource, but best of all free! We have this on the floor in our small woodland which is on our doorstep and I am about to use it in my new setting. Also one of the best things we have is a small mountain of bark, originally delivered to be spread on the floor. Again it`s free and the children love clinbing up it and sliding down on bottoms and bikes, rolling down it etc. We came upon this one by default, It was delivered to be used on the floor but the children have such great fun with it it has stayed as a hill. Also bits of tree trunk which have been chopped down again free and they make great seats, or climbing resources, also great as bugs collect under them for bug hunting.

 

Mark a small area out with wood boundry and allow children to dig in this. Our children love digging, mixing mud and dirt here, we have spades, buckets and diggers. Another free resource we have is a dip in the playground where a puddle forms. Originally it drove us mad, trying to keep the children out of it, then we purchased waterproofs and noe fill it up with buckets on dry days!

 

I could go on and on, outside play is a passion of mine. Keep the resources as natural as possiable, you really don`t need a lot of expensive equipment. Children just need nature, a few resouces and time and space and they will do the rest!

 

Sally

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oooo thanks!

 

again they sound great! i think after having a section of the playground for so long i have lost that spark of inspiration so thanks!

where did you find a tree surgeon? did you just ring up and ask for free stuff?

 

Is there any chance you could show me some photos of your area? either KST or sallyQ?

 

sorry if i sound a bit cheeky, your ideas sound really good!

 

thanks again

 

xxx

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Hi

 

A member of staff saw a tree surgon at work and asked him. He was happy to oblige. Got the idea as the hall we use already has donations from a tree surgeon.

 

"Irrestistable ideas for play based learning," sorry, am being thick - whats this?

 

Would post photos but not sure on ethics of this as all of mine have children in them - sorry. But happy to share - ask any questions if you want any more info.

 

Sally

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ideas for outdoor area can be found here

 

 

also found on teachers TV... but not looked at it.. outdoor learning

 

 

i used to have a lovely site with pictures of outdoor areas , but cannot find it...

 

willow domes are supposed to be very easy to set up and make, just need watering.. just one of several sites telling you how to make one...

 

Inge

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sshhh dont tell anyone but look on irresistible ideas for play based learning....my secret :o

 

What a wonderful website, I love it! Thanks for this link, can't wait to use some of the ideas!

Kathryn

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thanks everyone! all great ideas!

 

another question if anyone can answer...

 

we are digging out a sandpit and going to either use some sort of sleeper to outline or big stone/ boulders. however my issue is a cover? does everyone cover their sandpit or are we safe to leave it open? surely its not that different to digging area?

 

xx

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We have just created a small outdoor area attached to the village hall that we rent. We have a lovely field, woodland and brook outside the gate which we use too so wanted to create and outdoor extension to what we provide in the hall. We have found that the play house is great for role play - so far in the lst few weeks it has been a house, a library and an ice cream parlour!

We too have sections of guttereing which used with blocks and jugs of water has provided lots of mathmatical activites which have been very cooling in this hot weather. We purchased the aqua play system which the children love and have a small gardening area where the children are growing tomatoes, strawberries and sunflowers. Here are a few piccys I took the other morning before the children went out!!

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Edited by bluestar
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With regard to the open or covered sandpit I've heard of two options. One is to put a sheet of tarpaulin down and put sand on it. Leave for a few days and if no cats come then you probably won't have problems with the sandpit. Option two is to build a simple frame and fix chicken wire over it. This is then put over the sandpit when you are not there and the rain can still wash through it but cats, etc can't get on it and it stops it getting completely clogged with leaves although some may get through. It would probably be wise to rake the sand through every so often to keep if circulating unless you have any of those children who are digging to Australia!

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