The blazing sunshine and scorching temperatures this week have certainly marked the arrival of Summer! The children have enjoyed shady, morning, lakeside walks, splashing in our water table, water painting, ice lollies in the garden and fun ice lolly crafts.
We always ensure in high temperatures that we have our sunhats and suncream on. We stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day and ensure that we stay hydrated.
As a childminder with two school runs, multiple children’s nap times to manage and hot lunches and dinners to prepare, getting out comes with its challenges so Outdoor Classroom Day was a great impetus to get us outside.
We were blessed with beautiful skies and sunshine so armed with just waterproofs to protect us from the wet ground we headed out.
We started off by feeding the ducks…
And some beautiful swans swam over to see us…
Then we had a fun game of pooh sticks…
We saw some lovely sheep…
Before taking a nice walk and jumping in some big muddy puddles…
We went back home for a nice hot lunch and a long afternoon nap…
We had a lovely morning chatting and discussing what we could see. We experienced lots of different surfaces underfoot and found that some were slippy like the wooden bridge when wet. We got up close to open water and listened closely to instructions to ensure we stayed safe.
How did you spend Outdoor Classroom Day?
Areas of Learning Covered: Physical Development, Communication & Language, Personal Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World.
What amazing weather we have had this week! We have enjoyed visits to the park, trips to feed the ducks and playtime in the garden all to the backdrop of glorious bright, blue skies. Our sunflowers are now in full bloom, just as we are seeing our first conkers falling and a change in the colour of the leaves, all in time to say goodbye Summer!
Rain, rain, go away! You wouldn’t know it today with the rain hammering down outside but the start of Spring was promising with bright blue skies, birds singing, the village sheep baa-ing, bright yellow daffodils in full bloom and the kids and I spotting our shadows as we enjoyed our walks to and from school…apparently its due to brighten up tomorrow!
We love to get outside and make the best use of our outdoor space. It’s lovely to let the kids roam and run free in a child friendly, risk assessed space . Parents are great and provide me with all-weather clothing so that getting outside, whatever the weather, is never an issue.
Little ones develop their walking, dealing with different surfaces underfoot. The sand and water table and outdoor kitchen are a huge hit with all ages. Our chickens are an endless source of fascination. We have balls, bikes, ride on cars, gardening equipment, hopscotch, play tents, ball pit, paddling pool, easels, blackboards, clipboards, bug boxes to name just some of our resources.
I feel there is an increasing pressure on childminders to join expensive forest school or forest childcare type associations to prove our commitment to the outdoors. However, I firmly believe, that outdoor play can be and should be completely free and just as worthy.
I observe lots of learning in all 7 of the EYFS areas of learning whilst we’re outdoors – Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development and Literacy. I also regularly observe many Characteristics of Effective Learning.
The EYFS states that children must…
3.54. Providers must ensure that their premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises. Providers must comply with requirements of health and safety legislation (including fire safety and hygiene requirements).
3.58. Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure that outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example unsafe weather conditions). Providers must follow their legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 (for example, the provisions on reasonable adjustments).
I am committed to finding ways to further develop outdoor learning opportunities to fully promote children’s learning and play outside.
According to reports we are due a heatwave next week! Children cannot control their body temperature as efficiently as adults during hot weather and so are more susceptible to heat related illnesses. I have a “heatwave plan” in place and will be taking measures to keep children cool and safe during the hot spell.
Here at Early Years and Beyond we are “All weather walkers”. With the unpredictability of the British Weather that can mean raging gales on the school run one day and basking in the sunshine the next! On colder, wetter days we are thankful school is just a 5 minute walk away!