At Banana Moon Day Nursery Edgbaston, we provide children in our care access to the outdoor environment in all weathers as it provides children with great experience and knowledge of the outdoor world around them. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Understanding The World: The World states settings are to make use of the outdoor environment to give children the opportunity to investigate the natural world.
We encourage parents to provide the nursery with outdoor essentials for their child which are listed below:
- Sun hat.
- sun cream.
- Shorts and vests.
- Hoodies and jackets.
- Hat, scarves, and gloves.
Primary school teacher Kathryn Solly who has researched and studied the importance of outdoor play for children believes suitable clothing is to be provided for all children so that no child is excluded during outdoor play.
The benefits of outdoor play on children’s health:
- Enhanced immunity.
- Enhanced Vitamin D levels and bone density.
- Development of concentration and attention.
- Positive mental well-being.
- Improved coordination and movement.
- Development of skills that are of no use indoors.
- Development of problem-solving and reasoning skills.
- Positive peer relationships through social interaction.
- Develop care and understanding of the natural world.
- Take part in learning opportunities such as gardening, harvesting, gravity/speed, life/death.
The staff at Banana Moon encourages parents/carers to support outdoor play in all weathers as it is essential for children’s social, emotional, and individual well-being.
Research linked to outdoor play shows children accessing the outdoor environment regularly enhances their cognitive/positive development within all areas of learning.
The outdoor environment allows children to explore the natural world with all their senses. Within the outdoor environment, children play and explore by being noisy and loud, creating peer grouped/individual games which involve larger movements around space, developing social interaction, using their creativity and imagination, health and well-being, explore sensory play through a messy form. Outdoor experiences encourage children to be more independent and care for the environment when exploring, experimenting, and discovering endless possibilities.
At Banana Moon we provide a range of outdoor activities that enhances the children’s learning both indoors and outdoors ranging from:
- Painting with water or paint.
- Observing and tasting snow.
- Mark making in frost.
- Splashes in leaf and water puddles.
- Observing individual shadows.
- Sunbathing/resting under a tree.
- Mud kitchens.
- Treasure hunting.
- Hunting for mini beasts.
- Relay race games.
- Collecting items.
- Roleplay i.e., traffic lights.
- Gardening and harvesting.
- A themed story i.e., the Gruffalo, We are going on a bear hunt.
- Climbing equipment.
- Slides, hula hoops, and bikes.
- Making nests and dens.
- Sensory exploration.
- Puddle, leaf, and mud jumping/painting.
- Musical instruments with junk modeling.
- Linking activities to festivals and cultures such as Holi and the Easter bunny.
- Changing the environment both indoors and outdoors relating to seasons.
The practitioner’s role.
For outdoor play to be stimulating and effective in children’s learning, the practitioners provide children with new and engaging experiences throughout their time at Banana Moon.
The EYFS states practitioners have a big role in providing these experiences. EYFS (2012) Understanding The World: The World – practitioners use the local area to explore both natural and built environments. This is effective at Banana Moon as we are able to support it.
and scaffold the children’s learning and development. Practitioners are enthusiastic, engaged, and have the knowledge and practice of what the importance of the outdoor environment entails.
Children’s needs within the outdoor environment are met through the practitioner's effective planning, observing, and tracking children’s needs and interests to enable children to meet the criteria. An example of this is encouraging a competent child to practice using a bicycle independently.
Parents and carers.
To enable children to stimulate their learning outdoors both within Banana Moon and the child’s home environment the practitioners have built positive and effective communication with parents. We provide this through workshops, parent consultations, daily verbal feedback, and resources available for parents. Parents understanding the importance of the outdoors will enable their child to thrive within their health and well-being and how it will be a major positive contribution within the later stages of their child’s life.