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Hello...your thoughts please. We want to update outside area. If you had a wish list (space no object) what would you do out there. At present we have a bare Tarmac playground, trees, climbing area and lots of grass. All ideas welcome please.

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Hello Ireland

Well if money was not a problem... a mound or hill for them to roll things down and explore, a mud pie kitchen, vegetable bed in large tractor tires, potatoes in smaller car tyres so they can be stacked up, Cane wigwams to grow runner beans up, a den made from willows, a canvas sail to use as a sheltered shaded area, a music tree hung with old cds to add sparkle, and metal, wooden objects that can be strung up to act as wind chimes or to play as musical instruments, a textured walk, with stones, chippings, and scented herbs that can be stood on and crushed and added as ingredients to magic potions, interesting panels for them to hide behind, thread things through, a small channel of water to run across the part of the grassed area to create a moving water feature, they can access, bird house with camera in it, tap for easy access for water and an electrical socket to allow you to have music outside ... and a weather vane

That would just about cover it!

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Forgot- fruit canes that are not spikey we were still harvesting ours a few weeks ago, and a decent apple and pear tree, great for harvesting!

 

:1b

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If money is no object I love the natural climbing equipment that look like a fallen tree, or if like us money is an issue we chatted up a local tree surgeon and we have a large fallen tree.

 

A water supply

 

Money is an issue for us so we have tree slices, guttering, tyres and crates the kids love them and so many opportunities to create and solve problems

 

We have shelving resourced with investigation equipment, magnifiers, binoculars, bug boxes, small containers for collecting etc

 

One of the best things we have is an old metal box on bricks that the children create a picture in using natural objects - sort of outdoor art gallery.

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Thank you for your responses...all valuable and wonderful ideas. I especially like the natural playgrounds. If anybody else wants to add all ideas welcome. My other question is: do you have zones in your outdoor area, and how to create small enclosed spaces

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we created zones but not enclosed just areas so we we're able to keep track of resources and provision.

 

as the outdoor area is a unique classroom it i important to make the most of it by including the things that differ from an indoor classroom. We include lots of physical apsects to our outdoors as chn need to be physical in order to build and strengthen their muscles. we had tree slices with all the phonemes on - some double and a large wooden phoneme frame so the children could lift and build words. the same with numbers to 20 on - these also doubled as counting plates. a large digging patch and of course a mud kitchen!! there is so much you can do with an outdoor space and i hope yo enjoy developing it!!! :)

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One of the best things we have is an old metal box on bricks that the children create a picture in using natural objects - sort of outdoor art gallery.

i'd love to know more about this..... i can't quite picture what you mean....... :huh:

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Depends what you mean by zones!

In my experience it is really helpful to separate your space into smaller areas \ bays \ zones although I would steer clear of saying "This is the Maths zone, this is the PSED zone! etc..."

Instead think of the types of experiences you want the children to have. I read a useful book "Learning Outdoors" by Helen Bilton which talks about learning bays in the sense of having different sorts of experiences and areas where these may take place. The book is at work but from memory she mentions trying to make spaces where the children can access or engage in the following: digging, growing, nature \ exploration, construction, writing, role play, sand, water, physical play inc running, jumping climbing etc..., plus lots more I have probably forgotten.

For me the best part of having lots of smaller areas is that children naturally disperse into these smaller spaces and providing you have plenty to engage them in said smaller spaces they are purposeful and busy. A good thing in itself but also it makes it easier for anyone visiting \ monitoring \ inspecting to clearly see children engaged. In a big open space there is a greater chance that they will be drawn towards herd mentality chasing and screaming games and while you can say that they are developing their spatial awareness and general PD it is harder for you to talk through "a wide range of learning opportunities"

Just my thoughts,

Mel

x

PS Not saying that children shouldn't have opportunities to run and chase but it is a problem if this is all that the space lends itself to!

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I've read the same book as Mel and have sort of zoned the areas but with a view to go with the nature of outdoors i.e. children sometimes naturally want to move around more and transport things! Our zoning allows us to store resources in certain places so children know where to find them and put them away. Some areas are definate areas e.g. growing, wild area, digging, wheeled vehicle, sand and water, as these cannot be moved! However although roleplay is often based around the playhouse it often develops to includea much larger area and this is the case for mark-making, construction equipment etc as often the move away from their designated area as play develops.

I have asked this in another thread but am going to ask here as well just in case anyone can help - does anyone know of any other good outdoor books which might help me to further develop our outdoor area in terms of enhancements or non-permanent provision?

Thanks, just lacking a bit of inspiration as most of the things I come up with cost money! Don't think the weather is helping my inspiration at the mo!

Thanks,

Sorry to hijack the thread.

Green Hippo x

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I love having everyone's thoughts, it is very helpful and encouraging me to think carefully. I would love to keep this thread going to find out what more of you wonderful creative people out there are thinking about outdoors.

 

This forum is a lifesaver....especially to bounce ideas!

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It would be great if people could post pictures of their outdoor areas, we are currently about to totally try and revamp our newly acquired outdoor space. We are looking for ideas and inspiration to put forward to our parents and committee. It would be inspirational to see some images!!!

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