Post image for In the beginning… starting from scratch to develop your outdoor space

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.

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Post image for An Interactive Palette Play Station

Palettes are “in” in the world of outdoor play. And Stramash outdoor nurseries are up there in terms of the creative constructions which are appearing in nurseries across the world. Last year at Fort William this amazing play station was developed. In the words of Cameron Sprague, Team Leader, “It’s all very simple,  but the variety of levels,  open-ended areas,  suitability to loose parts lead to real world learning and social opportunities.[..read more..]


Outdoor Nurseries, Forest and Nature Kindergartens in Scotland

13 February 2017
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A list of Scottish pre-school establishments

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Developing your School Grounds – Useful Books

13 February 2017
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Developing your school grounds or outdoor space is one of the most satisfying ways of increasing the amount of learning and play happening outdoors. To kickstart the process, it is a good idea to seek professional advice and do some reading on the subject. This blog post is all about the books which can help […]

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Give your old tarp a mathematical makeover

21 January 2017
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Best resource of 2016

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Pokémon Go – 7 Game-changing Approaches to Learning Outside

15 January 2017
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Developing a love of local wildlife

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A Recycled Xmas Tree

8 January 2017
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New life to the old tree

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A Christmas Light Walk

1 December 2016
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The magic of Christmas begins

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The Soapwort Experiment

27 October 2016
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Natural soap – a “handy” thing!

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St Andrew’s Day – 10 Outdoor Celebrations

22 October 2016
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Celebrate Scotland’s National Day – Outside!

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The Loose Parts Play Toolkit

19 October 2016
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It’s published! Download for free!

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Masking Tape Shape Explorations

15 October 2016
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An arty approach to investigating shape

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Book Review: Vitamin N

10 October 2016
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Dip in, dip out, lots of practical suggestions

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Outdoor Weaving Inspiration

8 September 2016
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Lots of ideas – enjoy!

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Forming Letters Outdoors

30 August 2016
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How to make handwriting fun

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Frew Park Arena Playground, Brisbane – Urban Awesomeness!

24 August 2016
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No loose parts but high affordance design makes up for this!

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10 Ideas for Exploring Clouds

7 August 2016
Cloud Making

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion. This is the place to go now.”

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Messy Maths is on its way!

6 August 2016
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My next book

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10 Outdoor Tips for Starting Teaching

1 August 2016
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What you need when starting out-side

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Loose Parts Play Guide – Can You Assist?

27 July 2016
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Quotes, advice & comments needed

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Wooden Cable Drums – Developing Physical and Literacy Skills Outside

29 June 2016
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One repurposed resource which withstands a lot of wear and tear is the cable reel or drum that is used to store electrical wires. They are very flexible pieces of outdoor “furniture” which are worth seeking out in your local area. With sanding and painting, they can end up looking rather smart. Certainly a quick […]

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An Urban Mapping Art Project

25 June 2016
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Beach ball art work

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DIY Structures in a Swedish Outdoor Nursery

22 June 2016
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What would you build for a children’s nursery outside?

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Milk Crates

14 June 2016
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Many “crate” ideas (boom-tish)!

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Empty Classroom Day – Get motivated to get outside

11 June 2016
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Friday 17th June 2016

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Outdoor Learning & Play News

7 June 2016
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Check out the monthly round up!

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Shells – 10 ideas

4 June 2016
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To find a seashell is to discover a world of imagination

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Well Dressing in Derbyshire – A Nature Art Custom

1 June 2016
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A village custom and a perfect outdoor art idea

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Rainbow Potions

23 May 2016
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Experiments never fail

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A Naturalised Outdoor Space for Babies

16 May 2016
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A lovely example from Australia.

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10 Maths Challenges that use Cones

12 May 2016
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What would you do with a cone?

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Dandelion Play – 10 Ideas

8 May 2016
Dandelions

Recipes, games, challenges galore!

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15 Minibeast Outdoor Maths Challenges

5 May 2016
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Lots of beastly ideas for different ages

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Stick Insect Symmetry

1 May 2016
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Maths-made insects based on word play.

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8 Easy Minibeast Habitats Young Children Can Make

28 April 2016
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Giving little creatures a home!

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We’re Going on a Bug Hunt – Minibeast Magic

23 April 2016
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Top tips for bug hunting

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