Sunday, 2 December 2012

outdoor environments - International

my children call this the Rabbit Park as it has rabbit/hare sculptures, it also uses brick throughout the park, which definitely challenges you as a parent and preschool teacher to view this as a great risk taking park - so many corners and hard edges - and yet I have never dealt with an accident here ... yet.
This time I will let the links talk for themselves more or less, just the odd comment here and there. Its is very apparent that a natural playing environment is favoured by most pedagogues as the optimal learning experience

http://creativestarlearning.blogspot.se/2010/05/outdoor-play-at-cowgate-under-5s-centre.html - this preschool in Edinburgh has a wonderful outdoor and indoor environment - I love how they compliment each other. I also felt that this blog is better than the actual homepage for the preschool, as I would have linked up the actual preschool homepage but there were less pictures and they have designed it is such a way that the text becomes hard to read as it does not all fit on the screen at once!

http://www.naturalplaygrounds.com/gallery/index.html - a company that designs natural playgrounds - this is the link to their photo gallery. I like the idea that they do not have a set catalogue as each preschool is unique and requires its own solutions...

http://www.creativekidslearningcenter.com/preschool-program/preschool-playgrounds/ - Las Vegas - devoid of nature - hopefully we are moving away from these colourful but yet impersonal playgrounds.

http://www.first5la.org/articles/not-enough-play-on-preschool-playgrounds  - fear of playing outside in case of injuries, thankfully this is not something that we experience in Sweden - we are outdoors alot - in the yard and on excursions - I LOVE the fact that time is not spent writing risk assessments to go on trips outside the preschool premises - this means we can really follow the children's lead - if we talk about a certain park or forest or museum, we can go there the same day or the day after if we wish...

http://www.turtlerockpreschool.com/?p=1031  - the conversion to a natural playground a year ago - great to see how a preschool transformed their playground into a natural play space - I love the "rooms" in the play space.

http://www.preschooldraper.com/files/Importance_of_Play.pdf - about the importance of outdoor play

http://landscapeonline.com/research/article/7131  - reggio inspired playground with photos and explanations of their thinking.

http://architypesource.com/projects/964-cow-hollow-school-playground  another interesting playground   -" in providing children with dynamic outdoor spaces that encourage self-instruction and participation, the landscape design of the playground emphasizes the natural landscape adjacent to the site and becomes an extension of the classroom itself". This also has Reggio Emilia as a source of inspiration

http://www.castleviewchildcarecentre.com/p/our-play-yard.html - playground for a preschool in Australia

http://www.childrenandnature.org/downloads/White_YoungChildren.pdf  - article about the benefits of young children playing with nature

http://progressiveearlychildhoodeducation.blogspot.se/2011/05/play-heats-up-in-outdoor-kitchen.html - blog about mud kitchens and the use of materials - not just sand and mud but sawdust too. This blog is certainly worth exploring

http://www.flor.com/blog/natural-outdoor-playspaces/ - I really like how the ground can become inspiring by changing the surface - look at the last photo of the wood - there is texture. I think we should consider the shape and patterns of the surface more as a contributing factor to learning and imagination - and also their effect on how children interact with the environment - for example it is easy to ride a trike fast on asphalt and other smooth surfaces but harder on gravel and sand - science comes into riding a bike - but also the idea of using different surface materials to slow down cyclists in an area where the youngest children like to play...

http://info.evergreen.ca/en/blog/entry/natural-playscapes-healthy-diverse-and-inclusive - the awareness that cities need to put nature back into play areas as the city claims nature

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.319310421460852.73108.245263905532171&type=3  - outdoor environment of the Blue House Nursery School in Singapore - a very inspiring outdoor environment. I really wish the outdoor sand in Sweden was as fine as this and other preschools I see online - or have visited in the UK.

http://playgrounddesigns.blogspot.se/2008/03/natural-design-elements-for-playgrounds.html - fantastic resource for outdoor play inspiration - another blog worth browsing

http://www.naturalplaygrounds.com/documents/NaturalPlaygroundsDotCom_KidsDon't_NeedEquipment.pdf  - interesting read

http://rethinkingchildhood.com/2012/03/07/playground-safety/ - the idea that children need to be risk takers and not be wrapped in cotton wool. Sometimes children need to hurt themselves to understand and to learn... it is part of the process.

http://www.beltzig-playdesign.de/indexd.html - German playground designer with grand designs

http://www.londonplay.org.uk/file/584.pdf - with photos and links to more resources and inspiration this is worth looking at

http://loveoutdoorplay.net/2011/01/06/kierna-corr-we-love-outdoor-play-because/ - playing outdoors with young children is fun and inspiring - lots to look at here too.


It has been hard to STOP surfing the net looking for inspiring outdoor play areas for preschoolers - maybe if you know a great playground you could link it up in the comments section here. Many thanks if you do take the time.

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