Outdoor Play

Velcro v. Cable Ties – An Alternative Attachment Theory

27 February 2017
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Va va voom. Va va Velcro!

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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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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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Milk Crates

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

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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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Slide Mountain – Where Geology Meets Play

2 April 2016
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A must visit for kids in Madrid

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What Makes a Brilliant Mud Kitchen?

24 February 2016
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A mud kitchen PhD thesis – no kidding

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Sobel’s Nature Design Principles in Action

25 January 2016
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Time to observe your children at play

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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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The Joy of a Slide

3 June 2015
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Slides really mattered to me as a child. When I visited a playground, testing out the slide was always par for the course. A good slide was sublime. A poor slide affected my perception of the whole play park.

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Rio Tinto Naturescape

30 April 2015
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Whilst in Western Australia I had the privilege of meeting Alec Duncan, of Child’s Play Music. We met in one of Alec’s favourite places: Naturescape in Perth. In the words of the website, “…it is a place for children to connect with nature and learn to appreciate the unique Western Australian environment. It is a place to explore, […]

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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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Sandpits Outside – Challenging Myths and Misconceptions

8 April 2015
Sandpits

Examining some of the issues of sand and sandpits.

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The Macquarie Play Spiral

6 March 2015
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At the Macquarie Lake Variety Playground, there is a performance space which is intriguingly mathematical. From a distance, it just looks like a wavy wall – cute in a wall-ish, playful sort of way. After all, walking along a wall is a popular activity and this wavy-curvy wall is suitably low enough to entice little […]

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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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Macquarie Lake Variety Playground – The Oz Blogfest Begins

27 February 2015
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It is hard to believe that I’ve been in Australia over a week. For those of you who don’t know, I’m spending the next couple of months working and travelling, doing training, talks and workshops on behalf of Inspired EC, an early years consultancy. You can find my programme here and I can take on extra […]

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Alien Invasion

20 February 2015
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This blog post is written by Lesley McLaren who works behind the scenes at Creative STAR. Thanks Lesley! She also took all the photos 🙂 …. I was kindly given these little guys to have an experiment with, and who best to try them out than my son, ‘Little Man’. Being mirrored they can easily […]

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Using Puppets Outdoors 10 Tips and More

22 January 2015
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A few weeks ago, I received an email from the Handmade Theatre Company telling me about their puppet show, Flying the Nest. I popped onto their website and discovered a video trailer for the production which left me inspired. Aside from the humour and costumes, have a look at the range of puppets, props and ideas […]

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Structures and Shelters at Highway Farm

1 January 2015
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One commonly expressed concern about outdoor nurseries lies around the need for shelter and protection from the elements. Highway Farm is on a windy hill and this concern has been mitigated in several ways. First, the children are dressed for being outside. Second, there is a camp fire. Third, there are several large indoor spaces […]

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10+ Ideas for Windy Days

29 November 2014
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Wind is any horizontal movement of air. It’s the result of differences in air pressure. Air likes to move from areas of high pressure to low pressure. This can be demonstrated with a balloon. Inside a blown-up balloon are lots of molecules – many more than outside the balloon so it is an area of […]

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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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Highway Farm and Little Explorers Outdoor Pre-School

29 October 2014
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Do you ever visit a place and the moment you arrive, a tingle of excitement runs down your spine? This happened to me at Highway Farm. Every tree planted, every stake hammered into the ground and every feature created  is part of the never-ending story of how this remarkable setting has grown and evolved over the […]

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The Fairy Garden at Coombe Mill

22 October 2014
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This past week I have been staying in Cornwall at the wonderful Coombe Mill Family Farm as I was on a professional learning stint, visiting various organisations and meeting lots of different people. The Fairy Garden is one of many examples which demonstrate why this place is amazing and not your average holiday accommodation.

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50 Things to do at Coombe Mill Farm Before You are 4 and 3/4

19 October 2014
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When working in Cornwall, I decided to use Coombe Mill Farm as my base. Many of you will already be familiar with the award-winning blog which Fiona writes detailing the activities of her family and what happens on the farm throughout the year.  I really enjoyed my visit and wished my own son was a toddler as […]

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Play Stumps

14 September 2014
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Back in March, I was visiting Meethill School in Peterhead to do some twilight training. The nursery have been working hard to develop their outdoor space. One of my favourite features were the stumps in the photo above.

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A Simple Shack

10 September 2014
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Recently I came across a series of simple shacks being built for an event. They were created from locally cut saplings in the village of Nida in Lithuania. I really liked the simplicity of the construction and felt it could be a useful project for older children who want to undertake a practical design project.

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A Bespoke Lithuanian Cafe Play Park

20 August 2014
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Whilst walking around Vilnius in Lithuania, I kept an eagle eye out for any interesting play parks. Most were the usual rather dismal swing, slide, spring toy and climbing frame set. Yet tucked away in the Pavilniai Regional Park, I discovered this little bespoke beauty.

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The Biggest Splash

23 July 2014
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With the summer holidays here, the sun shining over Scotland and the Commonwealth Games starting this week, I thought it might be fun to share some water games and activities devised by Early Years Practitioners on a course a couple of months ago. After all there nothing like developing a few fringe sporting activities to […]

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The “Sensori” Water Station

21 June 2014
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Children love water play. Recently I attended a wonderful presentation and workshop by the legendary Tom “Sensori” Bedard who is currently touring the UK and Netherlands. He writes the blog Sand and Water Tables. It’s very niche and all about engaging children through well-thought out apparatus and creations at the sand and water trays. I’ve […]

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The Curiosity Shop

15 June 2014
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Do you ever see children interacting with murals on playground walls? Very often murals and boards are a decorative presence rather than a playful presence. They may have originally been a class project. Over the years such projects can loose their meaning to all but those who are involved.

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UN World Environment Day – A Child’s Right to a Better World

5 June 2014
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Recently, I was presenting at a Kirklees Council conference, I’m a Kid, Get Me Out of Here, which was based at Cliffe House. This council-run outdoor centre is a wonderful place. Aside from a beautiful location, really quirky dormitories with decent beds and good food, I particularly liked the displays and attention to detail throughout the […]

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101 Things For Kids To Do Outside

10 May 2014
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In this blog post I have the privilege of interviewing Dawn Isaac about her second book, 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside.  I’ve known Dawn virtually via Twitter and enjoy reading her Little Green Fingers blog. I bought Dawn’s book and liked it so much I asked if I could interview her for a […]

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Repurposing Charity Bags into Dance Resources

7 May 2014
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Do you have a growing collection of charity bags which get popped through your door each week? If you do, and you don’t have any particular plans for them, perhaps it’s time to put them to good use as outdoor dance items. 

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Bamboo Guttering – 8 Reasons Why I Like This Resource

2 March 2014
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A year ago I bought a set of bamboo guttering comprising of 6 short and 6 long lengths. I’ve used it so many times, with so many classes and groups and in so many ways. Here’s some of reasons why it is such a useful resource…

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An Outdoor Memory Game

25 February 2014
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At the International Skogsmulle Symposium in Japan last year there was an afternoon of playing games and undertaking practical activities such as making things with bamboo. This very simple memory game was featured and this is how it is played…

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Snow Fun: 15+ Ideas

5 January 2014
Snow Angel

Wrap up warm and enjoy learning outdoors in the white stuff!

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Are Loose Parts Toys?

19 December 2013
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Are toys all that children want for Xmas?

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