I am still pretty amazed to have vistors to the nursery declare that we are unique or special simply because we go outside every day for at least an hour - I am a bit weary of the question 'But not every day - not in the rain?' - and the shaking of heads when I say yes, every day & some seem to find it hard to believe that we are not forcing the children to be outside. Sometimes when visitors are due at the school they will purposely choose to arrive after 10.30 when they know we will be inside! But if only they would arrive an hour earlier they would see how purposeful & settled the play is outdoors, the children are spread all over the space engaged very different activities - some might be 'cooking' in the mud kitchen, some might be reading in the book corner under the slide, others might be climbing on the logs & stumps, some might be playing on the slide, others eating snack, whilst others will be playing at the various tables under the roof.
As the temperatures dropped in the last few days, the children have begun to look for the gloves & extra coats we have on offer. I try to ask the parents to layer the children up rather than just 1 big heavy coat. Most of the adults wear long sleeved t-shirts under their polo shirts, as well as fleeces under their coats but we are aware that we are moving about just as much as some of the children so they may not need just as many layers but it's better to be too warm than too cold.
After the children were finished pounding golf tees into some pumpkins I put them into the mud kitchen & they have had so much fun playing with them - the seeds have been added to the leaves, bark chips & pine cones as ingredients for all the cooking they do. They have had fun watching them float in the big red top & they have become the key ingredient in pumpkin soup.
We've had 2 fires so far, we cooked some popcorn & then some hot chocolate with mini marshmallows - always a firm favourite & for the next fire we plan to have hot chocolate again. The children have been really good at walking around the outside of the fire circle & loved smelling the smoke from the wood on the fire. It's always amazing to see children who wouldn't normally drink milk taking hot chocolate - everything really does taste better with chocolate!
My favourite post from the last Outdoor Play Party was from Coombemill featuring some of the #countrykids out surfing - the photos in Fiona's posts are always great but the sunsets in this post were outstanding.
"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!"