We have been working to create a space that is an extension of the indoor environment that offers rich and meaningful learning opportunities for the children.
The story so far...
We have created a story corner/cosy corner in the garden where the children can go to to access stories and literacy based resources.
We have created a literacy resources box to store games, books etc. This means all staff will be aware of where to find resources to set out for the children/change from time to time. The children are now familiar with where these resources are kept and are making great use of the story stones, books and story bags, re-enacting their favourite scenes and creating their own stories.
We have placed environmental print and familiar nursery rhymes around the garden for children to explore, promoting them to recite them and creating conversations about what their favourite rhymes are. I have already seen the benefits of environmental print in the garden e.g in the construction area where real signs were placed the children were curious often asking what certain things/words mean, this is helping them develop their vocabulary as they are learning new words like caution, danger etc.
We developed expressive art outdoors with access to more arts and crafts outdoors (now have an art resources box) children have recently been making great use of large Perspex board, marking and writing names and letters on the board, developing those important fine motor skills using a range of tools and paintbrushes of different sizes.
Planning various activities that promote early literacy. During bird watching week the children were learning the names of various different birds and drawing pictures of them the children then went on a hunt for them marking them off on a list and made bird feeders to attract more. The children have also been using magnifying glasses to look for insects and we have been learning about the different species of insects.
We have developed a multi purpose area that is used for musical instruments outdoors, the children have been playing the instruments outside and singing some of their favourite nursery rhymes they have been displayed some even making up their own songs. This is sometimes used as a den and a quiet space.
The children have showed an interest in developing the mud kitchen. We moved the kitchen into an area that the children felt that they would have access to mud. We added numeracy and literacy opportunities to the area including number lines, measuring jugs, scales, recipe cards, and chalk boards. The children have also been developing maths and science skills by measuring and weighting the resources, seeing cause and effect through use of different materials.
Through role play opportunities the children have been building positive relationships with staff and other children. The children have been experiencing messy, creative, sensory and imaginative play as well as the benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air. The children develop their social skills by working together to keep it tidy and make sure resources are put back in the correct place
Outdoors we offer a safe and secure area where our children can seek out challenge and take risks. Children participate in risk assessing daily and staff aim to build confidence by using positive language as they interact with them.
They are experiencing the thrill and excitement of speed on the bikes through play on pedals programme where they learn about bikes, develop balance and control as well as other skills they need as they learn to ride a bike correctly.
After consultation with the children and help from parents we have been den building and new garden tools and wheelbarrows were purchased, which the children have been using to tidy and develop our outdoor area.
Working with children and parents new resources were introduced to develop our construction area. Wheelbarrows, hard hats, vests are being used and children are actively engaged creatively, solving problems, negotiating as they play in this area. Real tools are being introduced and staff will work alongside children as they develop confidence using them safely.
The children have been working together very effectively to help tidy our outdoor area . They have been using the garden tools and wheelbarrows as they clear borders, turn over the soil, and remove any litter. As well as developing muscle strength, coordination and other physical skills they are becoming more aware of the ever changing outdoor environment.
Sports squad physical fitness, to help develop a healthy and active lifestyle.
Growing and planting our fruit and vegetables to develop children’s knowledge of sustainability and where food comes from and what it needs to grow.
Risk benefit play – wood work opportunities for children to develop fine motor, maths and technical skills.
Further physical play opportunities with climbing and problem solving to increase risk awareness, balance and co-ordination.
Free flow access for children to access outdoors all day every day.
Eco schools programme development.