Friday, 10 April 2015

Outdoor Play Party - enhancing a play space.

 I recently had time to reflect on how our playground had evolved over the past 9 years and whilst it is true we have added lots of new 'stuff' to the space, none of it has cost any money. The initial outlay of costs had happened before we moved into the new school - with the safety surface, tarmac, grass and fixed equipment. Then for the past 9 years as we have added to the space it has been donations of logs or tree stumps, bark chips or grass cuttings. We are all in 'finder' mode all the time, so when one assistant visited her mother who was gathering up all the leaves and beechnuts in her garden, she knew these would be perfect to add to our forest area.
The Bottle Babies enhance play in so many ways & are essentially free, especially if you can persuade parents to gather them up for you & then you just fill me with things you have lying around anyway - old pen lids, straws, sequins or glitter etc.
The mud kitchen which is our biggest fixed asset added in the last year was kindly built for us by a friend and a very willing parent who provided all the materials. As I said in the last Outdoor Play Party, this element has created a whole new layer to the play outdoors, as the children enjoy cooking and preparing so many meals for us and each other on a daily basis.
In third term we introduce the big compost bins as another resource for the children to incorporate into their play.
The biggest message I would like to get across to all those who are developing their outdoor space is to try and create as much as you can for as little as possible. We all know the term 'loose parts' now and it is these movable pieces that provide the best resources to enhance play. If they haven't cost a lot of money then you will be less inclined to worry about the children moving them around or incorporating them into various play scenarios.
From the last link up my favourite post was from Cuddles & Muddles on the simple joy of running. There is nothing as joyous for young children as having the freedom to just run up or down even the slightest incline.
"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!"


6 comments:

  1. Love these ideas. You're right that simple and inexpensive is best. We have all experienced the kids who can use their imagination to play with a cardboard box far longer than any store-bought toy. Sand boxes, stumps, sticks, and anything available to build inspire games in ways that grown-ups can't even imagine! Thank for the post!

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    1. Thanks for popping over to the link up & leaving a comment. I think we tend to forget how children have the best imaginations & need very little to prompt great play.

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  2. The compost bins look like great fun! As much as you can for as little as possible is a great motto!
    ~Lee

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    1. Hi Lee, thanks I think it is the perfect motto for accepting changeable weather!

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  3. Thanks for featuring my running post :) Love the items in your preschool play areas, they all look very inviting. And what a great idea to use compost bins - my little girl loves anything she can climb in and explore!

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  4. What an awesome play space! That is our philosophy too at the moment, get as much as we can for free and it seems to be working a treat. It must be magical watching all the different ways your children choose to play x

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