Early Years – The Outdoor Environment

Using the outdoors to consolidate early years learning Sue Durant and Sheila Sage are Early Years advisors who are passionate believers in using the outdoor environment as an integrated part of the classroom.

In this programme, a reception class uses two different outdoor activities. One is a directed activity about a journey to Bear Island and the other is an exploratory activity linked to using real materials to construct a shelter for teddies.

In the directed activity, the children clamber through tunnels, over mountains and across holes and ice fields constructed for them. The programme shows how this kind of activity develops their balance and confidence and shows awareness of space, of themselves and others.

In the exploratory play, the children use hammers, sticks, rope, chain and a camouflage net to imagine and then realise a shelter.

Sue and Sheila talk about the health and safety issues, the need to communicate with parents and guardians and the benefits of using the outdoor environment to play and learn.

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