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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

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1.2 Learning bays

Bilton et al. (2005) advise an approach which focuses on ‘resource-based learning bays’ (p. 25). It is useful to consider whether they can be adapted for babies and toddlers while bearing in mind that organising resources in this way can potentially prevent children from taking things from one place to another and so interrupt the important ‘freeflow’ which was discussed in Session 4. The bays they suggest are:

  • A creative area: for instance, including painting, sand, water, mark-making and music making.
  • A quiet area: for books and a ‘space to be’. This could also include a space for babies and toddlers to nap.
  • An imaginative play area: for instance, including construction and building materials.
  • An environmental area: for example, a ‘wild area’ and space for digging and growing for babies and toddlers to explore.
  • An open space: which can be used flexibly for things like small equipment like balls, for children to crawl, toddle, climb or balance.

Although Bilton et al. (2005) were not thinking specifically about under twos when they compiled this list, the principles still stand that these are types of outdoor provision that babies and young children will benefit from. You might think that some of these are more important for young children than others.