Friday, 21 November 2014

Outdoor Play Party. Making a Difference.



I was fortunate to have a fantastic P.G.C.E Early Years student on her teaching practice with us for the past 5 weeks. It was great to have a fresh pair of eyes on our practice & to have someone full of new ideas working with us. Sometimes when you are in the middle of an environment it is very easy to take what you have or do for granted, then someone new comes along & it does make you take stock. 
Lesley from Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School & I chat regularily to reflect on our practice & have often talked about 'being in our bubble', by this we mean that we can get so used to doing what we do in our settings that we can tend to assume everyone is doing the same. For the past 7 years we have been following a similar outdoor play approach; we go outside first thing every day, we allow stick play, going up & down slides, riding bikes in any direction & climbing is actively encouraged. We now just see this as the norm, so it was amazing to watch the initial reaction of the student, she was like a rabbit caught in the headlights, there were just too many 'new' things going on for her to take in! However I have to say, she fully embraced us & our ways, she bought waterproof trousers, boots & a coat. In the past most students have been happy to borrow spares from us but this lady wanted her own 'for next time'. I have no doubt that when she has her own class in the future, she will do her best to introduce some if not all of the many 'firsts' she saw at Windmill!
My favourite post in the last link up was from a lovely new blog to me, Wild Tales Of.....  This fab post is full of practical tips for anyone to try to ensure they can get outside even in the depths of Winter. As Kate points out, living in Seattle if she waits for dry days to just go outside, she is going to spend lots of time indoors!

"Now it’s time for this week’s Outdoor Play Party. We would appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on Pinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back. Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured.(If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured at’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week!"

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8 comments:

  1. I like the one, "there are lots of types of good weather." That is so true and I would not have thought to list it. For instance, I am not a fan of icy weather, but without it there would be no ice. We need it all!

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    1. Exactly! Each type of weather has something useful to offer, even if we as adults struggle ot see it.

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  2. Love this list, Kierna! I'm so glad that the student was able to appreciate the way you do things and you're right - sometimes it's neat to just see things from somebody else's perspective.

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    1. Thanks Linda, it is one of the best cards we have ever been given as it really speaks about how much our good outdoor practice was valued.

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  3. She was a very lucky lady getting to spend her PGCE placement with you and it sounds like she was suitably inspired to get more kids outdoors. Fabulous!

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    1. Thanks Leila, I do like ot think that we have set another teacher off on an outdoor play crusade!

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  4. Well done, passing on a love of outdoor play and the importance of outdoor play to the next generation of teachers. Awesome work.

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    1. Thanks Jen, here's hoping it encourages more outdoor learning.

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