Blue tarp on a windy day

5 March 2011 · 4 comments

in Early Years Outdoors, Outdoor Play, Play Resources

Windy weather can be a lot of fun. Trying to make a shelter from tarp is more challenging. When this happened, we gave up trying and the children decided to let the tarp go with the flow…



A lot of space is needed for this activity. Luckily most children in the nursery were playing inside at this point…

I had to show the children where to hold the tarp – corners are best…

The wind is unpredictable. This leads to a lot of unexpected lifts and flaps…

When two or more children use the tarp together the fun can really begin…

A high degree of cooperation is required…

The tarp also gets twisted and needs sorting out from time to time…

But when it’s airborne, the feeling is amazing. The power of the wind can really be felt in a different way as it pulls on the tarp…

The children have to go with it. The temptation is to run. This may result in a fall or two so it’s safer to do this on grass in many ways…

Luckily the fence stopped the tarp from blowing away. This would not have been possible on the nearby playing field…

Pulling the tarp off the fence is a lot of fun…

And it often blows straight back there…

And at the end of the session, the tarp gets bundled up to go back in the shed!

This activity was an impromptu experiment for us all. I did need to supervise it owing to the wind, the chances of getting tangled up and the general excitement and unpredictability of the wind in the tarp. For me, this has been the most joyful and free use of tarp I’ve seen pre-school children experience.

This activity happened as part of Aberdeen City Council’s Early Years Outdoor Nurture Project. Four different professionals, each with a different outdoor background, are working alongside nurseries to develop outdoor play experiences through a nurturing approach.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam March 5, 2011 at 16:07

This looks like fun! Although I’m sure the kids would LOVE this, I have one little guy who is so tiny I would probably have to hold on to his feet so he wouldn’t blow away! πŸ™‚ we will have to try just a breezy day for this- no gusts of wind for us!

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wondersofnature March 7, 2011 at 18:45

I spend a lot of time thinking about the outdoor sessions with my pupils, but quite often the plans do just get blown away!! I’ve found that the more I can adjust and adapt to whatever is happening ‘in the moment’ the greater experiences had by all…

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buffstep March 8, 2011 at 20:56

It’s amazing how a blue tarp can focus everyone. I’ve often used it just a gathering place or a “shrinking lifeboat” problem solving task. Then by just saying everyone back to the learning lifeboat the pupils know where I’m at and where they need to be and what’s expected i.e. “we’ll talk about our learning at the lifeboat”

Simple things!

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