Early Years Blogs – An Outdoor Thank You

11 August 2012 · 16 comments

in Creative STAR Blurb, Early Years Outdoors, General Commentary

Four summers ago I sat down nervously to write my first blog post. I had no idea what I was doing. I had only seen marketing blogs and a few hardcore outdoor blogs by real outdoor education instructors – the ones who get paid for canoeing and rock climbing.

My blog’s birthday is a wee bit fuzzy. It began life on an edublogs platform then switched after a few months to this Blogger site. As with most things in life, it was all a bit of a long, drawn-out experiment. I only really got going with it all in my second year. For this I have to thank other Early Years educators for showing me the true path of the blogger.

So in recognition of these bloggers and their blogs, I’d like to flag up those people who have been  continuously supportive of this blog and have reached out in friendship and kindred spirit. Not all are especially outdoorsy but I’ve trawled their sites for some fab posts regardless. Thank you all very much.

1) Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning. Donna and Sherry are two of the warmest and most supportive and responsive people in the education blogosphere. Have a look at their Facebook page and you will understand why.

2) Teacher Tom. This guy is the original superhero of the education bloggers world. He writes prolifically in a gutsy and outspoken way which warms the cockles of every practitioner’s heart as connects his pre-school work to events and issues in the world at large.

3) Let the Children Play. Jenny Kable’s blog has probably more outdoor pre-school posts than the rest of the blogosphere put together. My favourite are definitely her posts about activities at her own progressive pre-school such as:

4) Teach Pre-school has to be the mother of all pre-school blogs. It is hugely popular and comprehensive. Deborah J Stewart is a remarkable, professional blogger and educator, giving others advice and assistance. Her outdoor posts are often reflective and reassuring for other practitioners:

Teach Preschool

5) Childhood 101 is a very organised Australian Pre-school blog established by Christie Burnett,

“to celebrate the joys of family and childhood, providing information and inspiration for modern day parents as their children play, learn and grow.”

The outdoor activities are easy to find and well-worth exploring.

6) ABC Does. This is one of my favourite British early years blogs. Alastair Bryce-Clegg does a fantastic job spelling out expectations around quality play in the early years, indoors and out. He gives lots of warm shout outs for people and settings. So my outdoor play picks have to be:

7) Child Central Station. Amy has one of the best blogs for practical recycling ideas. Her  garden is incredibly child-friendly and just looks like fun! Have a peek at the posts but have a tissue ready in case you start drooling…

8) Learning for Life is all about Kierna’s nursery in Northern Ireland. I have found Kierna to be particularly supportive on Facebook over the past 2 years and I’m sure many others would agree. Her blog is going from strength to strength and these posts reflect this:

  • Forest Adventures – Kierna is a Forest School practitioner so this post gives a flavour of these sessions
  • Polar Bear Educator – Most of Kierna’s posts have photos of her outdoor play space which always looks like a thriving outdoor environment
  • Learning through Play – A good example of how Kierna uses partnerships and people to provide interesting experiences for her children

Learning for Life

9) Flights of Whimsy. I know Karen Green may blink with surprise when she sees her blog listed here. This is the power of a blogroll – Karen kindly has the “I’m a teacher…” button on her blog. Many thanks to Karen and her readers for coming to visit. Flights of Whimsy provides provocations and food for thought as well as plenty of ideas and suggestions. Have a look at:

  • A Puddle for Two – Karen’s latest post which typifies her reflective approach
  • The Thinking Child – A blend of research, practical examples and food for thought
  • Autumn Playscape – A good illustration of indoor and outdoor links being made by children in their play


10) Child’s Play Music is a refreshing approach to music inside and out. Alec Duncan makes his own instruments, blogs and creates helpful videos about his work. Enjoy the following:

My deep appreciation goes to these other bloggers who provide support, inspiration, good humour, a love of being a pre-school professional and are on an eternal quest for understanding children. Four years of blogging – thanks to all of you and many more!

Finally, many thanks to the silent, supportive thousands of visitors. I am touched that you come, visit this blog in your own time and hope that you are able to take an idea or two with you when you leave. Please say hello here or face-to-face should we ever meet.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kierna C August 11, 2012 at 12:32

4 years you are a true trail blazer! Thanks so much for all your support, advice & kind comments. My blog would never have existed but for you.


Juliet Robertson August 11, 2012 at 13:24

Funnily enough it was my son’s school who introduced me to blogging. His head teacher had a year-long exchange to Australia back in 2006 and he blogged about it.

The hardest part is definitely the beginning. I was worried that I wouldn’t manage to write enough posts and it’s amazed me how the online-ink has flowed.

Anyway, that’s always an ongoing concern. Thanks for your comments, as usual.


Lesley Romanoff August 11, 2012 at 14:46

Thank you Juliet. I am so honored to be included here, but mostly I just enjoy your posts. I printed out the poisonous plant one and hung it on the school bulletin board.


childsplaymusic August 11, 2012 at 16:16

Wow! Juliet, thanks so much for placing my blog in such illustrious company – I really don’t know what to say except that I certainly wouldn’t be blogging if it weren’t for you and the other bloggers you cite.

You blog is an ongoing inspiration – to get children (and us adults!) outside and learning through hands-on play. Thanks for all the wonderful information you share both here and on Facebook.



Förskoleburken August 11, 2012 at 16:16

And Thank You! I think I first found your blog via your wonderful painted stones…

Love your dedication and it’s always fun to read your posts about Sweden.

Wanted to give you a tip from a Swedish outdoor-blog whick is
greatly inspiring:


and here’s a post I did about a wonderful park in Stockholm:




Scott August 11, 2012 at 22:36

Congrats Juliet! Thanks for the mention.

Your blog is great. I always have new ideas and inspiration after reading it.


KAREN GREEN August 12, 2012 at 04:35

Thank-you Juliet, I feel very honoured and humbled to be in amongst this wonderful crew of outdoorsy bloggers. We are all very passionate about what we do (sometimes too much so!), and you have been an inspiration many! 😉


Males in Early Childhood August 12, 2012 at 04:49

You are too kind Juliet. You are amongst the leaders of the pack when it comes to blogging about early years learning. If I can become one tenth the inspiration you have become I will be happy.

Thanks for the mention by the way. It is truly humbling.


Males in Early Childhood August 12, 2012 at 04:52

Congratulations on four years of world leading blogging. You are an inspiration to all in the early childhood field & I am honoured to know you. Thank you for the mention and if I can become one tenth the blogger you are than I will be happy.


Aunt Annie August 12, 2012 at 06:11

Well, thank you so much for the mention, Juliet.

I must say that one of the things that attracted me to your blog from the first time I saw it was your integrity, and it’s so typical of you to thank those who’ve given you a leg up in one way or another. Many of the blogs you mention have also been guiding lights for me in my blogging journey- the support of other bloggers is so important, as sometimes we can feel like we’re a solitary voice crying in the wilderness (especially about risky / outdoor play!).

May you blog for many years more!


Juliet Robertson August 12, 2012 at 11:25

Thanks to everyone who’s posted comments whilst I’ve been asleep! It was a lovely wake-up surprise.

The criteria for inclusion in a longer mention is that the 10 blogs long-listed here are those which appear on Google analytics to send me the most readers. There are others that do too, but not necessarily pre-school ones.

The short-listed blogs is simply that I ran out of puff but I wanted to acknowledge your support, comments, feedback and camaraderie through this blog and on Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is irrelevant to how many visitors you send to my blog because it’s about friendship that is created through online mechanisms.

Maria – many, many thanks for your comments and links. Your blog created a dilemma for me because it is written in Swedish and I didn’t know whether to include it or not. I think I will amend the post to do so after your prompts.

Thanks again everyone.


Förskoleburken August 12, 2012 at 20:06

Dear Juliet, I know it’s a bit of a hassle that my blog’s in Swedish, I realise it drives people away, but I simply don’t have the time to write in English too. I have a translator box though, but it’s not perfect.

Do forgive me if I came out to be fishing for you to include my little blog in your post, that was not my intention att all!

Thanks again for all inspiration through the years, and this great list.



Tom Bedard August 16, 2012 at 01:21

Juliet, I am a little late with my thank you. I have been hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior, a place you would dearly love. It is wild with lots of trees, streams, rocks, waves and a night sky to rival Scotland.

I follow many blogs, but yours is one I read every time from beginning to end. Congrats, Tom


Juliet Robertson August 16, 2012 at 09:46

Tom – I purposefully didn’t contact you or many others on the list as I didn’t really want or need any thanks.

On of my favourite photos is of my husband walking along the north shore of Lake Superior – you are right,it is an amazing and beautiful place that one day I hope to return to.

Best wishes

PS Maria – earned on merit – as with others 🙂


azimabdul August 27, 2015 at 10:04

Congratulations on six years of world leading blogging. You are an inspiration to all in the early childhood field & I am honoured to know you.


Juliet Robertson August 27, 2015 at 11:44

Thank you for visiting and caring enough to comment. This blog has been running since July 2008 and this is it’s 3rd website!


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