View Full Version : Outside learning

09-04-2015, 06:44 AM
Following on from Sarah's post re inspectors focusing on outside learning Ive been wondering for a while how to do the 7 areas of learning outside. So many inspection reports I read say that outside spaces aren't being used all year round for learning but how does everyone do this? And what about print outside, is there a good way of doing this that doesn't wreck your garden?!

09-04-2015, 06:53 AM
I am in the middle of doing an outside play audit - checking what I have outside for the 7 areas of learning.

I know already that physical and understanding the world are strong - and so is art and design. I have lots of ideas for improving literacy (reading) and I need to work on writing.

It's a constant process of thinking what you have and what you might add to enhance learning... :D

09-04-2015, 07:22 AM
Print in the garden - some of my storage boxes are labelled. They get moved to the shed each day so I don't see them when I am not working.
I have laminated some bits, hole punched and threaded string through them. I hang them around the garden - fence posts, low tree branches etc.
Sticks in the ground with labels of what we are growing or could look for/have seen. Again I can take these out if I feel the need,

You could chalk things, such as parking lots or hop scotch if you have a patio. Some people hate chalk on patios though.
Sometimes we have books outside linked to the outdoors or a child's current interest.
I have an easel for chalking, whiteboard drawing or painting.
We have clipboards outside. Sometimes I will model mark making on there.
This week DD has a big roll of paper out there and we have drawn roads on it, labelled a farm, woods, pond etc. She will play with it with small world figures.
In the sand I occasionally stick labels onto drinking straws and stick them in the sand, or I will provide a sheet with instructions/a play prompt next to it. For example, I put out an A3 sheet of paper with "Can you find twelve pieces of treasure in the sand?" and then the numbers 1-12 in a line. The children had to dig up 12 gold coins that I had hidden in there.

Once you start to think about it you will see opportunities for print everywhere. There is no permanent print in my garden.

It would be worth trying to get yourself on an outdoor learning course.

09-04-2015, 07:51 AM
I have just bought some Usborne nature cards with flowers on. They are lovely cards with pictures, diagrams and notes on. My plan is to hole punch one corner and join them with a ring to make a book of the flowers we have in the garden they can take outside. They also do wildlife ones which are on my wish list. I always have chalk available for writing/ drawing on the patio/ wall. We have just done seed planting so have written labels (cut up plastic milk bottle) for our seeds. I plan to make some wooden plant labels and paint them with blackboard paint to be used with pots as an outside play resource. I also have a children's gardening book which we look at before we do any gardening, reinforcing that information is written. when its dry(ish) I put a box of books outside with a rug or in a play tent so children can access them as they would do inside.

lollipop kid
09-04-2015, 10:46 AM
I have a little playhouse in the garden (a plastic one). I clipped a piece of rubberised cloth over the roof to keep it rain and weather-proof. (And so far, it has even stayed on in very high winds!)

Inside this, I've put down soft rubber mats as a floor to make it cosy (the jigsaw type ones that fit together). Then I've put in a couple of small wooden benches and a tiny play cooker & washing machine and a lidded box of tea/cooking things and old socks for the washing machine.

Finally, I had a mad idea to fit a very narrow, pot lid holder (from Ikea) onto one wall near the door to act as a book rack. The children love selecting books in the setting and taking their chosen ones out to the playhouse and putting them into the book rack, then sitting on the benches to read them. This gives me print in the garden in a way that I know the children actually interact with.

A bit like the ones below (I can't find one on the Ikea website). The screws protruded through to the outside, but I fastened a couple of screw covers from an old blackboard on to these (I'm sure bolts would work as well) and that solved the problem. It's been going strong for a couple of years, now.

Metaltex Kiwi Saucepan Lid Holder: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metaltex-Kiwi-Saucepan-Lid-Holder/dp/B000VJEEL6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428576161&sr=8-1&keywords=cabinet+door+lid+rack)