A few weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting Derwent Stepping Stones Nursery in Derby. The staff and directors had realised that their outdoor play provision was in need of attention and decided to do something about it. One of the challenges facing settings which make this decision is knowing where to begin. Derwent Stepping Stones had been very creative around their use of images to engage and inform staff and parents.
Based upon the advice of a local early years consultant, Kate Young, the staff began to collect images of ideas about what children liked to do outside and how different zones may begin to look. Developing a vision is really helpful here.
- Imagine how your outdoor space would look and feel if it was the best it could possible be?
- What would children and staff be doing, feeling and saying?
Through pictures and words everyone can begin to visualise what they like. Staff had also been to visit Alfreton nursery with a strong tradition of outdoor practice to help inspire and motivate.