Urban

National Poetry Day – 10 Ideas for Creating Poems Outside

27 September 2014
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National Poetry Day is celebrated on the first Thursday in October. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the power and pleasure of words. It is also an ideal introduction to writing outdoors. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

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Back to School? Stay Outside

16 August 2014
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Schools in Scotland are in the throes of starting back after the summer holidays. Very often, teachers decide that “now is not the time” to be taking children outside, which is a pity as there’s lots of good reasons to be outside from the first day back:

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The Biblical Garden

11 August 2014
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A couple of months ago, I was passing through Elgin and took the opportunity to visit the Biblical Garden, which is the only one of its kind in Scotland. Having never visited before, I was rather intrigued to find out more.  They are known for housing some or all of the plants mentioned in the Bible. […]

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Making Felted Seats – A Better Approach

2 August 2014
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Over four years ago I blogged about making felt seats. These items are lightweight and portable and thus ideal for many outdoor activities on the go. I’ve continued to experiment with them. My first attempts were rough and I learned a lot through trial and error. The above photo is my latest effort and I […]

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Maisie’s Garden

30 July 2014
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Maisie’s Children’s Centre is an Aberdeen partner provider nursery. During the past year one part of their outdoor space as had a complete makeover. Here’s the before photo: And here’s the after photo. Both were taken by Pauline Smith 🙂 (Thanks for sending them to me)  I’m particularly pleased about this redesign for a number of reasons.Firstly, […]

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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 Bike Track in School Grounds

26 June 2014
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I love stumbling across features in school grounds which make me drool. The dirt bike track at Muirfield Primary School in Aberdeen is one of them.  It is cool…

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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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Snip Snap Snout – My Story’s Out

8 June 2014
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Just before the Easter break, I had the privilege of being part of the I’m a Kid Get Me Out of Here conference organised by Kirklees CC and based at the brilliant Cliffe House – a council run outdoor studies and conference centre. If you click on the link you can find a detailed account […]

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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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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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Fairy Gardens and Literacy

4 May 2014
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Recently I visited Westpark  Nursery in Aberdeen, which had been donated a large raised bed – the sort that is traditionally used around towns for floral displays. At first the staff and children wondered how to use it as it seemed too big and too high to be of any real use. Then a spark of […]

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Kaleidoscope Images and Symmetry

22 April 2014
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The kaleidoscope feature of Photo Booth on an iPad remains one of the funkiest ways of looking through the lens I know. It is a useful addition to any light and colour project because what one sees can be photographed. It can capture images for later use. Ordinary kaleidoscopes do not have this ability.

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Shadow Explorations with an iPad

16 April 2014
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Have you ever got that feeling that you aren’t making the most of a resource? Ever since I bought my mini iPad I knew I hadn’t done enough experimenting with Photo Booth. I had given classes opportunity to freely play with Photo Booth and its effects. The use of the mirror app is very helpful […]

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Funky Junk Art

29 March 2014
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This week I was training at Malvern Way Infant and Nursery School in Rickmansworth. Over the past 8 years they have been developing their grounds. This has included giving children opportunities to work with artists and sculptors. Usually the artist creates a piece of work for the school and this is used as inspiration for […]

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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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Permanent Shelters in School Grounds

15 February 2014
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A decision not to be rushed. Consider all options.

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The Affordance of the Big Steps

8 February 2014
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So many possibilities for playing

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Celebrating 100 Days at School

4 February 2014
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How many days has it been since your class returned to school last August or September? You may need to do some counting on a calendar. For schools in Aberdeen City this is Friday 7th February.   Naturally this is a lovely opportunity to celebrate all things 100 and of course going outside as part […]

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10+ Outdoor Ideas for Rainy Days

1 February 2014
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It’s been a very wet winter this year. Rather than stay inside and suffer cabin fever, there is lots of fun to be had, donning the boots, waterproof clothes and heading out into the rain.  Below is a collection of the blog posts and other ideas for rainy day activities.

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Temporary Shelters in School Grounds

25 January 2014
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Recently I blogged about my experience of creating suitable shelters when on beach visits with a nursery. I realised as I was gathering photos together that I had examples of other temporary shelters which practitioners use with children, many of which are suitable for thirty children and a class teacher.

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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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Make a Wish for 2014

30 December 2013
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A resolution with hope 🙂

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5 Ways to Re-use your Xmas Tree

26 December 2013
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Would love to know your ideas too…

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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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Digital Landscape Sketching

8 December 2013
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Notebook app works well

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The Necessity of a White Sheet

3 December 2013
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Helps highlight natural objects

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The Urban Beach Visits

27 November 2013
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Find nature in the heart of a city

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10 Christmas Outdoor Activities

23 November 2013
Star Stick

How to enjoy an outdoor festive time

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A Tyre Sandpit

20 November 2013
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A DIY solution without busting the budget.

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10 Tips for Visiting School Grounds and Outdoor Spaces

9 November 2013
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Things to think about when visiting other schools

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Play in the Dark – 10 Ideas

3 November 2013
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Dark is exciting

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The Junk Orchestra at Broadford Primary

27 October 2013
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Recycled musical instruments

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Drying and Managing Wet Clothes

17 October 2013
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Space saving solutions

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Story Lines Outside

1 September 2013
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A simple reading activity

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Boggle Hole

24 August 2013
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Pirate inspiration from the sea

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Phlip-ing Photos

20 August 2013
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Turns any photo into a puzzle.

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Eye Painting

12 August 2013
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Use this app to paint with your eye not your fingers

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