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Ideas For Outdoors Please


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We are a packaway setting - renting a hall from a church. All equipment and resources have to be stored away every day as others use the hall. I was given permission to use some of the outside area for Pre-school children only. I used Capital Grant money to have a soft surface laid with bow topped fencing and gates around. I am not allowed to have any equipment set into the ground as it was thought it might encourage "vandals" to "loiter". Neither am I allowed to have any permanent fixtures on the walls or fencing.

 

Well, this isn't really a problem as we have always had to work hard to get everything out and packed away on time. My question is - has anyone got any ideas as to what we can put outside - bearing in mind limited space indoors to store. What storage space we have already is very full.

I bought a paint easel that hooks onto a chain link fence and an outdoor blackboard. The blackboard, like other things I have ordered to go on the walls will hang on hooks in the walls and be taken inside at the end of the day. Even a sand tray that is left outside is out of the question........

We have a tree that is hung with wind chimes, twirlers, bird feeders, etc and a small area which will be used as a nature area. This is only about 10ft x 4ft but is more than we had before !!!! I thought that if I found a really large old log and put it in the "nature area" it would encourage mini beasts and we can go bug hunting.

We have a fair amount of equipment but i would like something different as things may begin to get a bit "samey".

 

We have

a foam hopscotch

hoops. bean bags. balls, etc

scogym and balance beams

guttering and towers

tuff spots and stands

buggies (not really a good area for bikes as there is a very slight slope - and not enough room for whizzing around)

 

There is the usual, parachute, material for den making, tables for outside graphics, mats, etc. I know that we can bring out construction from indoors and books to look at but some of these things are practical when the weather is poor as we have no shelter.

 

After re-reading this post it sounds as though we have a fair amount of equipment but we are always getting the same things out .....I would like something wonderful that doesn't take up a lot of room!!!!!!! Any ideas please?

 

 

Sue J

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You sound identical to us lol

 

Were in a very similar position. We have drilled holes into metal tins and old jugs and pans, hung string round them and hooked them over fence. Given children metal and wooden spoons to make music :D

 

Also laminated cellopane and the children love to change the colours of things with those.

 

Were currently making weather boxes too to extend the learning depending on weather. I do have lists of what to include too if you would like them

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Hi Sue

 

have you thought about some communication spaces outside maybe a pop up tent or just some biggish bits of material so that they can be draped over fence (or chairs etc) and blankets/cushions for quiet times and dens. You could get some slate and use chalks for mark making or maybe big buckets and different size brushes for car wash or something like that. We are a pack away setting and these are some of the ideas we use.

 

you can get collapsable storage to so you store it flat but then you pull out when you want to use it and put resources you already have stored in them maybe some sorting or something like that.

 

you could freeze things in ice and then take that outside for chidlren to explore we filled up gloves once with water and flowers etc and froze those!

 

hang washin line from one side to the next and hang off pots pans etc and make a band or drumming outside

 

any good?

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You could get a washing basket, attach hooks so it can be hung from the fence at a height where the children can just reach inside. Use this like a basketball hoop. Also have a whiteboard and pen available for the children to record their scores

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You sound very similar to us, except we can't have a fixed fence (we have to set out metal barriers each day).

 

Is there any way they could let you have a shed? I guess you have tried this already? One great buy for us has been a professional quality marquee which we got with some capital grant money. This gives us shelter in both rain and sun and is very easy to erect (30 secs with 2 staff members). It packs away into a wheeled case so not too hard to store.

 

If they won't let you have a shed, how about a bench with storage? We have had 2 planter/benches built where we can store things like tarpaulins which have great outdoor value.

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Thanks for your replies, I will definitely try them.

 

SuzieC8, I am not allowed to have any outside storage at all everything must go inside. We were like you until a week or so ago. We had to unroll orange barrier fencing and bang stakes into the ground to hook it on. It was very tedious and no one liked doing it. It is so nice to just decide to go out now - with our new bow topped fencing - all happy, safe and secure :o Thanks to the Capital Grant funding.

 

Sue J

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We too were lucky enough to get funding to have a small outside area made into a play area. We have a shed there too to pack away which makes it easier. We have a playhouse a boat bikes/scooters easel, sports bags, sand pit, works bench, aqua play system, planting area, bird feeder(new addition - just waiting for the birds to find it!) and laminates all around, the children have also make natural hanging mobiles and stick photo frames to frame their work. We sometimes clip big rolls of paper to the fence and the children paint and draw. :o

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You sound very similar to us, except we can't have a fixed fence (we have to set out metal barriers each day).

 

Is there any way they could let you have a shed? I guess you have tried this already? One great buy for us has been a professional quality marquee which we got with some capital grant money. This gives us shelter in both rain and sun and is very easy to erect (30 secs with 2 staff members). It packs away into a wheeled case so not too hard to store.

 

If they won't let you have a shed, how about a bench with storage? We have had 2 planter/benches built where we can store things like tarpaulins which have great outdoor value.

 

Suzie - I'm interested in your marquee..particulary the bit that says it's easy and quick to put up :o

where did you get it from and more importantly how much?

 

Outside play is always such a huge issue for us too....no digging allowed....no sand pit to be left outside......no planters allowed... no benches... no climbing frame....no logs to be left to encourage minibeasts...no chalking on the floor - basically it's a 'place for everything and everything in it's place' ie the shed, as far as our landlords are concerned. I do feel very envious of the settings who seem to get dirty - when we aren't in the hall you wouldn't know that a playgroup even ran from there.

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