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After Easter I start a new job as an EYFS leader. The development area for the setting is outdoor provision. Both classes have free flow access to the outdoors which is fantastic.

 

I am currently trying to get ideas together as to how to utilise the space in the best way. I am wondering if any one has any outdoor planning I could look at or if anyone has any advice on getting the most out of the outdoors? We will have some money to spend in September but not before then and I am keen to start creating a vision over the summer term when the weather is good.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Em

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Outdoors is fantastic or that the children have access to the outdoors? Without knowing what your space already offers it is hard to suggest planning ideas. Maybe you need to 'live in your space' for a while (Is your new job in a new setting or an existing one?)

I would suggest taking time to observe the children and see how they use it and what interests them (of course this will change in September with the new intake). Lots of things to consider such as space, resources and access in cold, wet weather.

 

For me though a key consideration is that the outdoors is a unique learning space and although it is tempting to feel that things that are available inside should be brought out- and to smother the area in laminated number lines and shape cards etc, the resources and provision should be tailored made to enhance the children's understanding of the natural and physical world around them.

Are there spaces to explore, to notices changes in living things, to build, places to retreat to, areas for investigation and play?

Check out Jan White's website

 

http://janwhitenaturalplay.wordpress.com/

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Thanks for the quick role! and thanks for the congratulations! It is a new setting and the access if fantastic, the outdoor space itself is reosurced with a climbing frame and a rabbit hutch! That is about it at the moment so the space is really a blank canvas. I completely agree with what your saying:

 

'the outdoors is a unique learning space and although it is tempting to feel that things that are available inside should be brought out- and to smother the area in laminated number lines and shape cards etc, the resources and provision should be tailored made to enhance the children's understanding of the natural and physical world around them.'

 

This is what I am interested in seeing really - how different settings plan this in their continuous provision currently we have a daily plan which has the adult focused and continuous provision on one sheet for indoors, I am interested to see the outdoor planning formats - whether this be weekly or daily.

 

Never worked in a school with free flow access so I am keen to use it to its potential :)

 

Thanks, Em

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Hi Em

we are very fortunate to have very well resourced outdoor environment (in well resource I mean things that I have blagged and scrounged) to extend children's creativity, imagination and physical skills. We have a focus activity once a week which all groups in our nursery take part in and the rest of the time the children decide what they want to do with the available resources and space. Having that focus helps us to help the children extend their knowledge of the outdoor environment. We tend to plan this focus as the seasons change so in winter we could be looking at building habitats for hibernation to making bird feeders. Of course everything at the moment is new life so we have been looking closely at the frogs and tadpoles in the pond and planting seeds in the allotment. So our planning is very much led by the seasons as well as what the children decide to get up to once they have accessed the focus activity.

When I was in Reception we tended to ensure that we tried to develop some learning experiences for outdoors and we highlighted these in green in the planning to show that this was to be an outdoor activity. Hope that helps

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I have attached my environment plan but it is soooo simple i am a bit embarassed...this links in to the childrens individual next step planning which is an adaptation of abc's recent blog on planning (which is basically a list of the children where they are now and what i want them to do next and what we are going to offer to encourage it) Abc's planning is more suitable for schools i have done an adaptation of it for pre-school environment plan-medium term.docx

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am watching these posts with interest! I have recently started a new role also as EYFS leader with 3 reception classes and 2 nursery classes. The outdoor space is amazing with lots of resources, but it is utter chaos at the minute with every piece of equipment out. I am looking at how to organise this properly by putting away some resources and rotating them and making 'areas' outside as well as under the canopy. Any timetables or organisation tips would be greatly appreciated!

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I have attached my environment plan but it is soooo simple i am a bit embarassed...this links in to the childrens individual next step planning which is an adaptation of abc's recent blog on planning (which is basically a list of the children where they are now and what i want them to do next and what we are going to offer to encourage it) Abc's planning is more suitable for schools i have done an adaptation of it for pre-school environment plan-medium term.docx

Dear finleysmaid where do I find this planning on the abc site. Can find the site but not sure which planning you are referring to. Ta.

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I have a lovely outside area - if we could use it more often!!!!! What I'm trying to say is if you don't already have one invest in a shelter of some sort where children can access the outside area whatever the weather - ( the reason I don't have one is I'm in a village school and the villagers have opposed one!!!). Also if you can have a look at a fantastic resource made by the early years practitioners in northern Ireland. If you google neeb learning outdoors in the early years you will get a PDF file - its over 100 pages long but well worth a read.

Nicky

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Thank-you all for your lovely ideas and sharing your planning. We have highlighted as a team that we need more purposeful activities outside and your planning has really helped :) lvoe this forum :wub:

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Hi, we are lucky to have a large outdoor space with a free flow system in place also. We try to use as much recycled material in the garden as possibble. Here are a few ideas,

 

sawn off Tree trunks planted in a circle, perfect for reading group stories on, climbing, jumping from one another.

 

Variety of sized tyres these can be used for climing in/through rolling, seating, printing with paint the list is endless and we got them for free from our local garage who was more than happy to give us them as they have to pay to have them taken away!!

 

Hoover piping, brilliant for encouraging language and fab for imaginiative play eg fire hoses, petrol hoses etc. again also free from local electrical store.

 

We planted lots of willow we have made small fences and dens.

 

We used a wooden frame from a toddler swing and hung large bamboo tubes from it along with a washing line with a variety of kitchen utencils. Great music area.

 

We have an allotment area for children to plant, grow, prepare and eventually eat out own vegetables.

 

Digging area very messy but enjoyable,

 

We have a shed which we adapt to the childrens interests, eg firestation, dinosaur cave, beach hut. it really is invaluable. At the side of this have a solid square piece of wood with a broom shank screwed in with a plastic ball attached to the top. Curtains on the side of the shed, this is the childrens stage where they spend hours creating and performing to us!

 

Hope a few of these ideas help, I will try and get some pictures added on tomorrow.

 

We are a small private nursery with a very low budget and it is amazing what you can achieve by simply making good links with local businesses. one mans trash is anothers treasure.

 

Enjoy :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Definately invest in outdoor clothing - its the best thing we have ever purchased for the outdoor environment. Quite expensive but they go out whatever the weather!! We play in the mud, splash in puddles, dance in the rain, get sprayed by the hose pipe whilst pretending we're on a pirate ship (when there's not a ban of course!). We have a waterproof adult set too so there no reason not to join in all the fun (and learning!).

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Here is mine if this helps. we have a seperate one for inside but use some of the same ideas but on a larger scale.

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Also was reading one of the above posts and we too have lots of recycled materials in a large construction area ch use them all the time and make create models plus extend them. we have, crates, carpet, lenghts of material, wheely bin wheeels, large cogs, tyres etc

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