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

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1.3 Ko plays in the park

In the following video, a different child (Ko) is in a different environment. Ko is 9 months old and has been taken to the park by his mum.

Activity 1 Playing in the park

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch the video and then answer the questions which follow. Add notes to your Learning journey or the text box below.

Download this video clip.Video player: babies_outdoors_-_ko_plays_in_the_park.mp4
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  • How would you describe the ‘affordances’ for Ko in the park environment?
  • Which of the activities he spends time doing in this video could happen in any outdoor environment?
  • How important do you think the natural features are within the environment (grass, trees, wildlife) to his learning and development?
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Parks are a commonly used resource for families and settings. While any outdoor environment (including a shopping street for example) might offer exposure to the weather and a connection to the wider world, this video illustrates how the natural features of a park environment can offer particular affordances for a young child.

The grass is comfortable to sit on and explore. There are trees that offer shade and move in the wind. There are birds, plants, and animals to fascinate.

The concept of affordances helps the adult to understand the characteristics of an environment AND those of the child. Probably, he could engage in the same activities elsewhere but the park perhaps offers a greater variety of plants, animals and birds; it certainly provides a sense of space and horizons that may not be so evident elsewhere.