WE'VE NOT CLOSED OUR CLASSROOM BUT OPENED IT UP!
WHY IS OUTSIDE LEARNING SO IMPORTANT?
The great outdoors provides an exciting, real, rich stimulus for creative thinking and learning with natural resources. This gives opportunities for challenge, enquiry, critical thinking and reflection!
Outside, children become more aware of the real world around them which helps to develop their knowledge and understanding. They can experience how the seasons change and they see the effects that the weather has on the plant life. They understand the need for food and water that birds and squirrels in the garden need.
There is less noise and more space outside, which can enable a deeper level of learning to take place. This can help to reduce children’s stressors and anxieties and help to build resilience and self-confidence.
There is more opportunities for risky play. Through risky play, in a safe environment children learn how to manage feelings such as fear, hesitation, anxiety, mastery and excitement. This helps to develop their self-regulation skills and builds confidence in completing a challenging task.
Children can help themselves freely to the open-ended resources and construct without any restrictions on space. They can build tents and dens where they are encouraged to work together and help each other.
The outside space is expansive which means children have space to run feely, move and express themselves without restriction. It is so important that children have the opportunities to move through these developmental stages. For example, gross motor skills such as riding a bike or climbing up a ladder are important stages in the development of writing skills.
Being in the fresh air is a healthier environment physically and mentally. Children absorb more healthy vitamins such as vitamin D which supports their developing immune system. There are far less toxins and chemicals in the air outside. Being outside also encourages the production of melatonin which helps regulate sleep.
SO, WHAT OUTSIDE LEARNING DO WE DO?
BABIES & TODDLERS
We encourage lots of free flow play from indoors to the outside environment so your child can make choices about where they would like to play and follow their own interests. Different learning activities are set up each day in all spaces of our Nursery.
The children spend lots of time in the garden where they investigate and explore the natural world around them. They love finding baby snails and digging for wiggly worms. They also help to look after our vegetable plot and our giant African snails.
We have some quiet rooms too, for any babies and toddlers who need a more calmer environment or just some space to rest, play and have a story.
Both groups have access to challenging climbing equipment, balancing beams and a range of bikes which stretch different muscles. We also have a mud kitchen, sensory hut and a huge outdoor sand pit.
When the pandemic started we felt the safest place for our older children was to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible and in most weathers. We developed an outside classroom in our playground and brought the indoors, outside.
The 3 and 4 year olds have access to all the usual stimulating activities which promote learning and helps them to prepare for school, the only difference is - that it's in a much richer and calmer environment - outside.
FOREST SCHOOL - NEW FOR 2024
Rachel is currently doing her forest school training which will be completed in 2024 - watch this space!
WHAT IF IT RAINS
We put our hoods up! The children love putting on their welly's and splashing in the puddles. The wet weather transforms their play - they use different scoops, containers and sea life figures to investigate the rain water. We also have shelter in our outside under cover areas.
Check out our recommended kit list which can be found here.
MINDFULNESS & REFLECTION
After tea, the pre-schoolers reflect on their day and talk about the experiences they have had. The children take it in turns to cuddle Saffie the dragon and talk about the feelings and emotions they have felt. This is a great opportunity to discuss how to overcome any big feelings and how to problem solve conflicts such as sharing and turn taking.
We also incorporate mindfulness at the end of our yoga sessions. This gives children time to check in with their own body and think about how they are feeling.
STILL HAVE SOME MORE QUESTIONS?
Please feel free to get in touch or book in a visit