The Benefits Of Outdoor Play And Learning In The Early Years

The Benefits Of Outdoor Play And Learning In The Early Years 2000 1696 Nursery Story

Spending time outdoors has many benefits to physical and mental health – and that applies to young children too. However, safety concerns and the busy schedule of many parents mean that children today aren’t spending as much time outdoors as their parents or grandparents did.

What can education professionals do to meet the developmental needs of children through outdoor play? Find the answer in this article.

What Does The EYFS Say About Outdoor Learning?

The EYFS recognises the importance of outdoor learning and states that young children must have access to outdoor spaces. Outdoor learning plays a crucial role in helping children make sense of the world and grasp the basic concepts of science. 

Outdoor activities can also stimulate children’s curiosity and instil a love for learning from a young age. With the right guidance, children can develop appreciation for nature and the desire to look after the environment. 

Outdoor activities are usually linked to physical exploration and movement, which helps toddlers improve their motor skills. According to the EYFS, outdoor learning also offers opportunities for quiet time and relaxation and can help children find peace and calm.

Moreover, outdoor learning has benefits for children throughout the entire developmental cycle, from birth to 60+ months. 

The EYFS guidance doesn’t differentiate between the value of indoor and outdoor learning. They can both be equally effective as long as learning sessions are carefully planned. 

The Key To Effective Practice In Outdoor Learning

So how exactly can Early Years professionals implement outdoor learning according to the new EYFS? Here are some ideas that can work in your nursery setting:

  • Choose a space that complies with all health and safety measures to avoid trips, falls, and accidents.
  • Shade and shelter from the elements should be considered .
  • Have a source of drinking water nearby.
  • If possible, choose a space that has varied features so it will encourage exploration and keep children engaged.
  • Outdoor learning activities should be supervised by a qualified and enthusiastic adult who can transmit a positive attitude.
  • Have a wide selection of learning and play materials available. However, the focus should be on delivering a great learning experience and not so much on which materials are used.

It’s also important to plan a variety of activities that promote all specific areas of learning and development. Not all areas need to be addressed at once, but ensure they’re covered in different outdoor play and learning sessions. 

For example, some outdoor activities like running, climbing, or jumping encourage the energetic and adventurous side of children and target their motor skills and physical development. But there should also be room for activities such as finding patterns and exploring materials which can help develop their understanding of the world and reasoning skills. Similarly, outdoor team activities like competitions or gardening in small groups can improve communication and social skills.

How Nursery Story Helps You Record Magic Moments In The Great Outdoors

At Nursery Story we are well aware of how important it is to get children to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Our app has been created to support Early Years practitioners in their job of nurturing the skills of children.

Here’s how Nursery Story helps with outdoor learning:

  1. With Nursery Story, educators can save time by switching to paperless admin work. This means you can devote all your attention to helping children grow, learn through experimentation, develop their sense of empowerment and create positive group dynamics.
  2. We make it easy for Early Years practitioners to record magic outdoor moments and keep track of activities and their outcomes. For example, you can use the Learning Journey when observing outdoor activities and record milestones and achievements – which don’t always happen in a classroom environment.
  3. With the Daily Story feature, you can log every meal, snack, activity and nap children take whether indoors or outdoors. And you can share observations, photos, and journeys with parents and keep them in the loop about their child’s progress with just a few taps of the screen.

See for yourself the benefits of using the Nursery Story app for all your outdoor learning plans. Click here to get your free trial.

Looking to bring your nursery business to the next level?

Now is the best time to give your nursery setting the competitive edge it needs and help you reach your occupancy goals. Don’t forget that Nursery Story has been created to support Early Years practitioners and parents. Our childcare software makes it easy to communicate with parents to keep them involved in their child’s daily activities.

Try Nursery Story for FREE.

How to Increase Your Occupancy Rate

Nursery owners and managers are looking to attract parents and increase revenue. Here is how…

Getting Ready For EYFS 2021

Get Your Childcare Setting Ready for EYFS 2021

We’ve created an article with all you need to know to get your childcare setting ready for EYFS 2021.

Back to top
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.