International

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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100 Maths Sessions Outside

6 July 2016
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Well done Andrea!

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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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A Naturalised Outdoor Space for Babies

16 May 2016
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A lovely example from Australia.

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Slide Mountain – Where Geology Meets Play

2 April 2016
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A must visit for kids in Madrid

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Another Place in 2016

2 January 2016
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Being uprooted brings its challenges

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A Simple CZ Marina Mural

28 December 2015
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Who says murals have to be complex.

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Bosque de Trepa, Madrid – Not a High Ropes Course!

24 October 2015
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A challenging rope playground!

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Love Locks and School Leaver Locks

7 October 2015
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A leaver’s legacy from a school visit to Paris

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Outdoor Learning from Sweden: Training Day 7th August 2015

24 June 2015
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  THIS DAY IS NOW FULLY BOOKED! Over the years I have been blogging and undertaking consultancy work, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people involved in the Swedish Skogsmulle approach and undergo Skogsmulle training. Back in 2008, when I undertook a Churchill Travelling Fellowship, I spent 2 weeks in Sweden visiting outdoor nurseries […]

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Pallets & Pre-school Outdoor Play

20 May 2015
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My final training session in Australia was at Glendale Early Education Centre. The establishment had just opened after a 2-week closure owning to flooding. As the Chinese proverb states, “Rather light a candle than complain about the darkness,” the staff took the opportunity to further develop their outdoor space based upon discussions with, and the interests of, the […]

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Play – A Hidden Phoenix of Christchurch

9 May 2015
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In April I had the privilege of visiting in New Zealand. Although it was a whistle stop 6 days involving training one day and flying the next, I did pause to catch my breath in Christchurch. I met up with an old friend and children’s citizenship and environment educator, Bronwyn Hayward, who gave me tour of […]

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The Children’s Garden – Morton Aboretum

21 April 2015
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Being able to visit a range of playgrounds and outdoor spaces has been one of the side benefits of working in Australia in recent months. It has also reminded me of a long overdue need to blog about the Children’s Garden at the Morton Aboretum just outside Chicago. The description on the website is apt: […]

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The Lighthouse Slide

17 April 2015
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I love surprises. The Frank Kitts Playground on the waterfront in Wellington gave me a brilliant one. I was walking along, minding my own business, when out of nowhere rose this wonderful play structure.

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Katanning All Ages Playground

13 April 2015
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Just over a year ago, Alec Duncan from Child’s Play Music wrote two fantastic and memorable blog posts about Katanning All Ages Playground. You can read them here and here. I was mesmerised. The structures are unique and quite different from anything else I had ever seen. When I realised that an old school friend […]

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Cafe Culture and Budget Inspirational Ideas

1 April 2015
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Finding inspiration when out and about is particularly exciting. Hidden gems are everywhere. I walked into the Andante Cafe in Sydney and was immediately enchanted by the friendly welcome of the owners, who originate from South Korea. The food was lovely – fresh and lots of build your own options in the sandwich section. Whilst […]

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Halfway There

29 March 2015
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Over 5 weeks have passed and it’s hard to believe that I’m more than halfway through my time working in Australia. I’ve had the privilege of working in Queensland, Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Australia Capital Territory (ACT).

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Design Ideas for Bike, Trike & Scooter Play

2 March 2015
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One of the key zones at the Lake Macquarie Variety Playground is the Circuit Zone where children can bring their small bikes, scooters and other wheeled toys. Children are free to ride around the whole playground yet this zone has sufficient appeal that there were lots of children playing here continuously. Most early years educators know the […]

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The Douglas Fir Tree and the Mice

18 January 2015
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Today I was walking in a local woodland when I came across a magnificent Douglas Fir tree. These trees are not native to the UK but the West Coast of  North America, where they have been known to grow to over 85 metres high. The Douglas Fir, as it is commonly known, is named in honour […]

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From the ‘Hood to the Wood – Brother Yusuf Burgess

10 December 2014
The Star

“Start where they stand”.

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Outdoor Snacks and Drinks

6 December 2014
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‘”Hot soup was a jolly good idea, it’s so very cold this morning but then it’s very early, the sun is only just coming up – look!” They finished their breakfast watching the blue water turn to dancing gold, even the rocks gleamed in the sun.‘ Enid Blyton – The Adventurous Four. With the winter […]

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Enter in Style at Highway Farm

4 November 2014
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Entrances matter. They provide the first indications of what a school or setting is like inside – or beyond the gate. They convey not just a physical message but also a hidden message about what the establishment values. At Highway Farm and Little Explorers Outdoor Pre-School, the entrances fascinated me. Because the place is highly partitioned, […]

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Lithuania – Ideas Gathered from my Visit

4 September 2014
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There is nothing like a visit to a new or different place to refresh and inspire one’s practice. The mundane suddenly becomes far more interesting and the mind begins to tick with new possibilities. For example, outdoor beanbags are quite common in UK nurseries. But I loved the size and robustness of these lakeside bags […]

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The Weather Vanes of Nida

31 August 2014
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Most weather vanes are basic affairs. They are an arrow which points in the direction of the wind and with the compass directions at the bottom. The designs are usually fairly traditional stuff. All-in-all, my excitement levels about weather vanes has never been particularly high. My visit to Nida in Lithuania changed my mind. This pretty […]

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Saules Gojus – The New School Year Starts Outside

26 August 2014
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Saules Gojus is a remarkable school based just outside Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Established in 2004 by Laima Sirutiene, it is a vision of education which recognises the value of humanity and learning from each other. German and English are spoken in addition to Lithuanian. International partnerships are actively sought, developed and celebrated.

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Drying and Managing Wet Clothes

17 October 2013
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Space saving solutions

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10 Ideas for Mud Play

4 June 2013
International Mud Day

29th June is International Mud Day…enjoy the mudfest with these ideas to celebrate mud!

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Natural Elements in Playgrounds

4 April 2013
Out on a limb

This is a guest blog post by Frode Svane, an architect and a pedagog.

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Waldkindergarten – Forest Kindergarten in Germany

9 February 2013
Forest Kindergarten

Today there are more than 1000 Forest Kindergartens in Germany. They enjoy great popularity and their waiting lists are long.

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The Beauty of Bamboo

16 January 2013
Bamboo

Bamboo grows like a weed in Japan but also makes over 2000 products.

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Zen Gardens – A Reflection

9 January 2013
Zen Gardens

When creating a dry-landscape garden, spontaneity and experimentation are part of the process.

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The Potential of a New Year

30 December 2012
The Star

We all bear some responsibility for the state of the planet.

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The Scottish Skogsmulle Sessions

25 August 2012
Scottish Skogsmulle

How do children cope with the “Swedish-ness” of this approach?

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A Swedish Skogsmulle Session

18 August 2012
Swedish Skogsmulle

There are subtle differences between a Forest School session and a Skogsmulle session

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A Forest Kindergarten Session

25 February 2012
Forest Kindergarten

Give children the opportunity to experience a little wilderness.

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A Swedish Förskola

1 February 2012
Forskola

A photo tour of an outdoor nursery in Sweden.

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Child with dogs

19 January 2012
Child with dogs

There is something special about dogs

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Progression in Using Places for Learning and Playing Outdoors

29 December 2011
Sense of Place

When we lose our sense of place, we lose our feelings for place.

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Toulcuv Dvur Nursery in the Czech Republic

22 November 2011
Digging Area

Best described as an urban environmental education centre.

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Inside an Outdoor Pre-school in Sweden

5 November 2011
Mulleborg Cloakroom

It is interesting to see what the indoor space can look like.

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