The formative early years are full of wonder, curiosity and discovery. This special time should be fostered through inspirational learning experiences in dynamic environments.
In this blog, Eden Learning Spaces have looked at five easy (and affordable) way to embed outdoor learning into your daily routine.
A dynamic learning space is varied and flexible. It can be easily transformed to encourage young children to be the owner of their environment, captain of their learning experience; it enables fluid calm and stimulating opportunities for children to grow socially, emotionally and physically.
A simple way to make your space more flexible while encouraging choice, exploration and discovery is to embed outdoor learning into the everyday. Children love to explore, and having the freedom to roam both indoors and outdoors is vital to early development.
Here’s our top tips:
1. Invest in portable resources
Little ones will love resources that they can carry themselves (they don’t have to be expensive!). Choose an array of different colours and prints to empower young children with choice and responsibility; helping them to develop a confident sense of self.
2. Embed it into the everyday
Try to move away from an 'outdoor Fridays' approach, keep it spontaneous so you can make the most of sunny moments. Any activity can be done outdoors with the right tools. Dry wipe floor rolls are a fun way to take drawing and writing outdoors, while developing motor skills.
3. Bring nature indoors
It's a two way process. With the tempermental British weather, it's a good idea to create immersive nature themed indoor areas where littles ones can bring outdoor findings for a closer look. Use water resistant resources to get a ready-made outdoor forest school and an immersive indoor nature zone in one. Perfect for urban areas where space and nature is sparse.
4. Make it safe!
Get in the habit of risk assessing the outdoor space in the morning so that everything is ready. Clear away sharp sticks and tripping hazards, lay out floor mats and soft seating that don't detract from the surroundings.
5. Use song and literature
Make storytime an interactive and active part of the day. Singing 'teddy bears pinic' and acting out 'we're going on a bear hunt' or 'three little pigs' can get the whole group on the move.