What`s going on? An open-ended approach to outdoor play

January 20, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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What’s Going On? An Approach to Open Ended Play

Our Setting A large Early Years Unit within a primary school with 30 Reception aged children and around 15 Nursery children each session.

Time for a Change -Structured planning and approach. -Activities which focussed on the product not the process. -Planning did not reflect the interests or prior learning of the children.

Ethos and Approach That children should enjoy learning and be fully involved in it. -By planning for hands on activities -Child led activities

-Open ended resources

The Indoor Area

In the indoor area we added more open ended areas of provision. These included: -A stage area -A large junk modelling area -A stage area -A woodwork area -A clay area

Outdoor Resources -Tyres

-Wooden planks -Tarpaulin and large sheets -Drainpipes and guttering -Hosepipes and plastic tubing -A selection of crates -Large cardboard boxes -Large blackboards

-Wooden reels

The Outdoor Area Resources are brought in by parents and donated by local companies. These resources are stored in piles within the outdoor area. There are no set areas and so resources are used for a full range of activities. With the introduction of the new resources, the play is observed to be very different. The children use the resources in a variety of ways, working collaboratively and creatively and becoming far more absorbed in their play.

Transporting Water Water play was now no longer restricted to a water tray within the outdoor area. Instead, water was transported to every part of the outdoor area using a variety of large and small containers. We provided empty, cleaned out plastic oil drums, large rubber containers, buckets, tarpaulins and large watering cans alongside drainpipes, guttering, tubes, pulleys and hosepipes. Water exploration became part of other activities including building and imaginative play.

Transporting waterProblem solving The resources led to lots of opportunities for problem solving. This could be individual children selecting resources for a particular purpose or, on other occasions, this was seen in collaborative play when children would work together towards a common goal. This was seen when many of the children worked together, combining resources to create a paddling pool on a hot day.

Building Dens The introduction of milk crates, bread crates, tarpaulins , tyres, wooden planks and builder’s sacks gave children lots of opportunities to create their own structures and spaces. These structures would often be a key part of a particular child’s play and tended to evolve over time.

Structures Staff would support the children in creating structures for a purpose such as on rainy or very hot, sunny days.


Creative Activities

C r e a t i v e

Creative Activities

Creative Activities The children were able to use paint more readily as part of outdoor play. They painted on: -their own structures -walls, often adding different patterns -The wet tarmac and added paint to puddles.

The Weather Planning became much more flexible and spontaneous with the weather often influencing the activities. This meant that on wet days the children would often explore puddles, paint onto wet surfaces and find minibeasts.

Physical Skills The children developed a range of physical activities through using the resources in a variety of ways. -Constructing a variety of structures and dens -Balancing as they walked across planks of wood -Climbing on, over and through different resources

Developing and Understanding Concepts Children were observed to be exploring and challenging concepts through their play. -Using their whole bodies to explore the properties of shape and space -Exploring the properties of water

“Thought is …action carried on inwardly.” Isaacs

Risk Taking -The children develop in their ability to assess risk. -They become more aware of when they feel safe or unsafe

Chaos, Mess and Risks

Staff observed the play closely in order to develop an understanding of the children’s interests and emerging themes.

The Role of the Adult

-To observe the children as they play. -To develop an in depth knowledge of the different ways that the children learn and develop. -To encourage the children to use their own ideas and to support them in carrying them out. -To record the children’s development and learning as it takes place.

Recording Learning Journey Books Individual books for each of the children provided a rich record of the ways that the play had developed over time. They also showed a how, through this play, the children were developing a range of concepts and skills.


Planning Based on the Children’s Interests

The children were observed to be fascinated by exploring a range of slopes and gradients.

Planning Based on the Children’s Interests We talked about how slopes and gradients are used in everyday life and showed the children footage of roller coasters. We discussed how slopes meant that the roller coaster went slower or faster at different times during the ride and what that felt like to the passengers. This led to discussion and exploration of forces.

Planning Based on the Children’s Interests The children used crates to build for a variety of purposes.

We looked at these crate sculptures. The children thought that they looked funny and understood the challenges of creating sculptures in this way and on this scale.

Planning Based on the Children’s Interests

We looked at, and talked about, this house made out of crates. This prompted discussion about the design of the house and what it would be like inside.

Planning Based on the Children’s Interests

We were all amazed to find that it looked like this!

What Does it Mean for Our Children? -Confident, well motivated learners. -Resourceful children who work well collaboratively and are skilled problem solvers.

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