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

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Session 5: Developing outdoor provision for babies and young children


In the last session you thought about the difficulties and challenges in giving young children outdoor experiences. You also considered some of the ways that these barriers can be overcome. You might now be wondering how, if you are undeterred by poor weather, you have negotiated challenges in gaining access to outdoor space and promoted the importance of outdoor opportunities, you can now ensure that your outdoor provision is as good as it can be for under twos.

This session is going to consider three aspects that will help you develop your outdoor practice. The first section will provide information about the principles of outdoor provision, focusing on criteria outlined by Gould (2012) and Bilton et al. (2005). Then in the second section, you will move on to think about two of Gould’s criteria in more detail, those of surfaces and stimuli. Finally, you will think about what adults can do in the outdoor space to foster the learning and development of babies and toddlers.

Before you go any further, listen to the following audio in which author Polly Bolshaw introduces the session.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: yon_1_s5_audio.mp3
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By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the principles of engaging outdoor provision for babies and toddlers
  • outline what effective outdoor spaces may look like in relation to their surfaces and stimuli
  • describe the role of the adult in engaging outdoor provision for babies and young children.