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Having gained a much better grasp of what does (or doesn't) take place with the different age groups in the nursery, I have 2 questions:

 

1. What activities do you do to promote gross motor skills in the under 2's?

 

The staff in the baby room seem to be doing next to nothing to promote this area. They have

children of very different stages, from not yet able to sit up, to being able to run around. Do

you have any simple or inspiring ideas?

We are getting some sport's instructors in to demonstrate activities to do with the 2 to 5s.

What direction can I give to the staff who work with the under 2's?

 

2. How often do you take your babies outside - whether this be in the garden or out on walks?

Do you have a policy or statement that says how often you aim to take them out?

9 times out of 10 the babies are not taken out of their room - which I cannot believe.

When you take them out in the garden, what sorts of activities do you do with them - bearing in

mind their differing ages and stages?

 

Thanks Loads.

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Unfortunately, we didn't have a garden in the baby unit I worked in, so the babies could only be taken out weather/staff permitting on 'nature walks' or on visitis to the local park, pushed in buggies. We used to take balls (large and small) for kicking, throwing, rolling, catching and handling, all as activities to develop gross motor skills, as well as activity mats/gyms that fold down easily for the very small children to explore kicking and waving movements.

 

In another nursery I worked in, we had a separate area for the babies and they went out as often as the older children. We were very fortunate as the baby area was covered. We had bright colourful wind socks and wind chimes, mirrors, we played with water out there, had rocking toys and small climbing apparatus for the older under 2's.

 

As for activities, I would be concentrating more on the child/adult interaction and the equipment that is on offer for the children to explore, as there are not really any planned activities you could do with them. The video in the birth to three matters pack shows a practitioner with a child who is attempting to crawl. The interaction is seen as the key point in developing this skill. The video has many examples you could use, so it's worth having another look!

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Hi,

 

I would endorse what Clare has said, it's all about interaction, support and encouragement at this stage, but I would certainly expect to see the babies going outside as often as the older children once it's warm enough. A covered area is, as Clare says, a bonus, but a gazebo is fine for this. mats on the floor with all the ordinary equipment and you're away ('Inside out', remember ! :o )

 

Sue

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Unfortunately, we didn't have a garden in the baby unit I worked in, so the babies could only be taken out weather/staff permitting

 

 

but I would certainly expect to see the babies going outside as often as the older children once it's warm enough.Sue

 

Please don't take either of these personally, but I have been to a 'good practice' conference organised by our Visiting Support Teachers today and we were fortunate enough to have Helen Bromley (she often writes in Nursery World) as the keynote speaker and her main message was

"There is no such thing as bad weather - there is just inappropriate clothing!"

 

I've worked in 'fairweather' nurseries and there is nothing more frustrating, being an outdoor chick myself! Today's conference was inspiring and I'll post the poems 'only snow' and 'cobweb morning' when I get to work tomorrow, maybe not on this topic, but it gives two perspectives of playing out in different weather conditions.

 

To give my thoughts on the original question - babies should be allowed out all the time and if there is a door or patio doors leading out to a baby garden/area then free access could, in theory, be provided as with older children.

 

As Sue said, the inside can be replicated outside, so there should be no stopping you, although I totally understand all the fears and staffing implications etc that come with working in a baby unit (been there in a London nursery with no garden, so it was walks to the park with triple buggies!)

 

RB x

Edited by Running Bunny
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Hi there, RB!

 

Take all you say on board - by 'warm enough', however, I meant warm enough for all children , as I wouldn't take any child out in some of the weather we've had in some winters recently!!

 

Great to see a fellow 'outdoors advocate' !!!

 

Sue :D

 

PS - yes, we do take them out in snow, just not in icy blasts etc!!!

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Sue,

 

I thought that would be the case - sometimes, the meaning never comes across right in type!

 

Unfortunately, there are providers out there (I met some yesterday!) that still put on their planning that outdoor play is 'weather dependent' or that the staff won't go out in the cold.... who are we here for - the staff or the children?

 

Hmmm.....

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