Outdoor play experiences have a crucial role in young children’s learning and development and should be a daily part of their lives. Planning and facilitating rich play and learning opportunities outside can, however, be challenging, especially in difficult weather conditions. Outdoor Learning through the Seasons provides detailed guidance on how we can encourage young children to engage with the natural world throughout the year.
Using the four seasons as a framework, the book aims to help all adults to feel confident about taking children outside everyday and developing their awareness of the world around them. It suggests a wide range of experiences and looks at the various ways in which children can interact with the environment to further their learning and development. There are ideas to brighten grey winter days as well as summer sunshine, snow, wind and rain.
- reference to recent research on the significance of outdoor play in early childhood;
- guidance on how to encourage effective learning outdoors
- practical tips to offer high quality provision in layout, design and planting;
- suggestions for planning outdoor experiences in the seven areas of learning in line with with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage;
- advice on working with parents and the role of adults;
- ideas for all seasons, weather conditions and working with the four elements: earth, air, water and fire;
- useful reference lists of further resources including stories, poems and websites;
- an appendix of seasonal recipes.
Including a full colour photo plate section to illustrate good practice, this practical book is essential reading for all those looking to provide rich and stimulating outdoor play provision for children in early years settings on a daily basis.
Table of Contents
1. The Characteristics of Effective Learning; 2. Creating an enabling environment outdoors: design layout and planting; 3. Creating an enabling environment outdoors: Areas of Learning; 4. Working in Partnership with Parents; 5. Spring; 6. Summer; 7. Autumn; 8. Winter; 9. Earth; 10. Air; 11. Water; 12. Fire
Ann Watts is an early years consultant and leads training for early years managers and practitioners on how to develop their outdoor areas and meet the requirements of the EYFS. She is also a facilitator and trainer with Learning through Landscapes. Her previous publications include, Every Nursery Needs a Garden (David Fulton, 2011).