The outdoor play environment has an integral role to play in a child’s learning across the pivotal early childhood years. An outside space that is well designed allows for enriching, stimulating and challenging play experiences that meet children’s ongoing developmental needs. Early Childhood Playgrounds provides a step-by-step guide to planning, designing and creating an outdoor learning environment for young children.
Written by an experienced practitioner that has consulted on over 2000 early childhood settings and schools internationally, this book considers all aspects of the outdoor learning environment and provides practical support on:
- planning procedures and ideas for designs;
- a wide variety of play within a playground through the inclusion of quiet, open and active play areas;
- stimulating and challenging play;
- a natural environment that will provide interest and sustainability;
- spaces for toddlers and babies;
- playground needs for children with additional needs.
This book will be fascinating reading for those studying early childhood and practitioners looking into the ways and means of setting up, improving or expanding their outdoor play facilities. It is also geared towards other disciplines, making it an essential guide for architects and planning professionals wanting to gain a greater understanding of play and the vital role it takes in meeting children’s needs and development.
Table of Contents
1. Why children need outside play 2. The need for planning 3. General planning considerations 4. Open area 5. Quiet area 6. Active area 7. Equipment 8. Fixtures 9. Special playgrounds
Prue Walsh is an early childhood graduate whose work has concentrated on creating effective and stimulating early childhood play environments. This work covers site assessment and the design of buildings and playgrounds in early childhood centres. Prue has also been involved in the development of public policy documents, most significantly the Best Practice Guidelines in Early Childhood Physical Environments.
"Amazingly, the author consulted over 2000 early childhood settings and schools internationally to gain information [...] It's engrossing reading for everyone concerned with Early Years teaching, but it also reflects the needs of others who will work to set up the areas, including architects and planning professionals wanting to gain a greater understanding of play and the vital role it takes in meeting children’s needs and development. A practical and valuable book." - Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch
"Prue Walsh has consulted on over 2,000 settings and schools globally, working to create effective and stimulating early childhood play environments, including being involved in policy guidance in Australia for early childhood physical environments So you know that you are going to get some food for thought with an author of such experience." - Neil Henty, EYE
"Those thinking of improving their early years settings' outdoor provision will find Prue Walsh's insights into planning outside learning environments invaluable." - Teach Early Years