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Horrible Outdoor Area


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I have recently moved schools and have inherited a small and dire outside space. It is under resourced, very small and very unispiring! I have tried my best to make it look lovely, spending my own money and using every spare minute I have but it is still lacking! The children either don't want to play outside or spend the time racing around as there is nothing to do. I have tried engaging them in games, building with the wooden blocks, hide and seek but I'm struggling!


I have been to visit local schools that have amazing outside spaces but we simply do not have the funds for the lovely ideas Ive seen! Does anyone have any cheap on a budget ideas to wow up my outside space? Anything that has worked well? We are a pack away reception setting too as our space is a throughfare for parents to pick up/drop off other children in other year groups. This also makes it very difficult for us to set up in the morning! I just feel completely lost with where to start as it really is an awful space at the moment!


Please can somebody help??


Thank you!

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http://www.sunhatsandwellieboots.com/2011/...ction-area.html Would you be able to do anything like this in the link,cheap enough, you might be able to buy a piece of fencing or a wooden gate to put in the area to attach these things to.


Have you a blackboard out there, or a wall you could use blackboard paint on for chalking etc. We are a packaway pre-school, but have no storage facilities outside so if it can go in the boot of my car we're ok. We have pieces of drainpipe, whole and cutaway sections for rolling balls/cars etc.down or along, We have a mudpie kitchen a couple of wooden boxes with an assortment of cooking utensils, I bring in a bag of topsoil and the children make their mudpies and decorate them with leaves and flowers they find in the garden. We go on bear hunts, we play what's the time Mr.Wolf, or please Mr. Crocodile, they have a bubble machine, we also have a bowl with washing up liquid and water in to make big bubbles of their own, they paint with large paint brushes and water, they have water spray bottles, musical instruments, you might be able to make a musical instrument mobile to hang up for them to play, we took a tree down in my garden and my husband cut the trunk up into round discs, the children use them for stepping stones, writing on, number ordering.

Edited by Panders
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Hi there,


Im totally with you on all of this, sounds exactly the same as us apart from last year our small area got extended to a big one so kids now have more space to charge around and not really do anthing. It is so frustrating so I set the mission to do something about it. Its only small steps but im getting there. Firstly I contacted


http://www.bcep.org.uk/programmes_ape (site address)


here are some details....


Aim: To enable children to explore their own potential and that of recycled materials and the environment, through adventurous play with recycled items of various shapes, sizes and materials.

We play with scrap materials which have been reclaimed from the local environment (streets, skips, tips and businesses) and are put together in play packs.

We offer 3 services which are all free of charge to settings with children aged 0-18 in the Bradford district.


They were so good and they have loaned us scrap resourse for the last 2 years they have done 2 big sessions with our children in the hall to show them how to use the resources. (its stuff like wheely bin wheels, crates, pieces of carpet, large tubes)

Last year it was free and this year they asked for donations but we only gave them a little bit of money for the sessiona and the long term loan of resources as we havnt got much money.

(also not sure what area ur from and dont know whether its just a local thing- but you could always contacted them and plead for help!)


Second thing ive just found a book online for early years funding (type it in google) download the booklet its packed with places that fund early years, U will have to write a convincing letter to them but im sure with what u have said you will get something, im in the process of writing to them.


And finally send a letter out asking parents for any rolls of material,old curtians, large tubes, carpet etc. Our out door area is all based around this stuff at the min as we have no money and no real storage....very annoying. I got guttering from a builder, crates from the bread man, crates from the milk man etc. (lots of large scale building and rolplay is done outside now)


Hope this helps


Fingers crossed for us both



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Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful advice!


It is really lovely to hear other ideas and to realise that I'm not the only struggling!


I just really want to do the best for the children and at the moment I feel my outside space is not how it should be. I feel I am failing in this area not through lack of trying though! Ive spent so much of my own money and already get into work early and finsh late. Those ideas have given me some great starting points! Thank you so much :o

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Second thing ive just found a book online for early years funding (type it in google) download the booklet its packed with places that fund early years, U will have to write a convincing letter to them but im sure with what u have said you will get something, im in the process of writing to them.





Hi thank you so much for going out of your way to reply and provide so much detail!


What did you type into google in order to find the early years funding booklet?


Thanks for your help

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