Tag: Outdoor play

Outdoor Classroom Day

Yesterday was Outdoor Classroom Day https://outdoorclassroomday.org.uk/ which is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor play and learning.

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.

Childminding Activities: Feeding the ducks

I mentioned yesterday that conker collecting is possibly my favourite activity to do with the children. In that case, feeding the ducks is a close second! Once again, it’s fun, it gets us out in the fresh air, the children always love it and it’s free! What’s not to love!?

Our favourite spot is our local lake and meadows…

It’s an activity we can enjoy all year round.

Here we are last Winter…

In the Summer…

And now, in the Autumn…

As a childminder of course I am always linking activities to the EYFS and with this simple activity we can cover a great deal –

Areas of Learning Covered: Maths, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Communication & Language, Physical Development and Understanding the world.

Summers last hurrah!

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!

Gardening with kids

Here at Aston Childcare, we have been busy planting and growing. The children all show a great interest in the garden and have loved colouring in their own flower and vegetable garden pictures too. As well as our sunflowers, the children have tried their hands at growing carrots and rhubarb with fantastic results.

Next up, cressheads!

Pooh sticks!

Yesterday, Sunday 3rd June, saw Oxfordshire play host to the ‘World Pooh Sticks Championships’.

As all Winnie the Pooh fans will know, Pooh Sticks is the game of dropping twigs into a stream from the bridge above and seeing whose stick emerges first from the other side.

Here at Aston Childcare we love an impromptu game of pooh sticks! The children’s excitement of watching their floating twig arrive safely at the other side of the bridge never fails to amuse.

It’s a game we probably all remember fondly from our own childhoods. There really is nothing simpler than throwing a stick in the water that the children love so much! No childhood is complete without a game of PoohSticks!



Spring school runs

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!



Mud Kitchen

Mud, mud glorious mud! Welcome to Aston Childcare’s new addition…our mud kitchen! I was toying with the idea of buying one for a while but couldn’t bear to part with £100 or more when I could see how easily one could be created given some old wood and the right tools. I therefore enlisted (bullied!) my partner in to making us one and we are thrilled with the result.

Made from all old wood we had lying around from various house projects this was free to make bar a couple of cheap washing up bowls.

The children have been loving playing with it and I have already witnessed so many ways that it is helping and enhancing their learning and I can also see many ideas for future learning.

In just a short space of time I have watched them talking, listening, describing and discussing what they are doing (Communication and  Language), filling up, carrying and using watering cans, containers and kitchen utensils (Physical Development), measuring water and other materials (Maths), developing relationships with one another through playing games and role play (Personal, Social and Emotional Development), exploring the properties and textures of moss, mud, sticks and leaves and experiencing and discussing nature (Understanding The World) and using their imagination (Expressive Arts and Design). I now plan to provide a blackboard for mark making and early literacy opportunities too.

In addition I have also witnessed many Characteristics of Effective Learning too including:

  • Playing and exploring: Finding out and exploring
  • Active learning: Being involved and concentrating
  • Creating and thinking critically: Having their own ideas

I have loved watching them be creative, role play, collaborate and communicate with one another and completely happy and contented whilst immersed in play.

As part of my continuous provision I plan to provide further opportunities to extend and develop their learning in every area over time.