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Outdoor play, learning and development - DVD box set training programme

image © Nursery World

For young children, movement and physical development is an intrinsic part of their learning experience. It is closely linked to their physical health, social and behavioural development and cognitive understanding, and nowhere is this more evident than in the outdoor environment.

This self-directed and interactive CPD programme shows how important the natural world is and how it can stimulate children to investigate, interact, make connections and create new ideas. In the right outdoor environment, learning can occur at a very deep level and the programme helps you and your team consider how to creatively (and cost effectively) adapt your space to meet your children’s needs.

Part of a series of professional development DVD box sets, Outdoor Play, Learning and Development is a collaboration between Nursery World magazine and early years outdoor specialists Julie Mountain and Gail Ryder Richardson. One box set focuses on the needs of children from birth to three; the second looks at outdoor provision for 3 – 5 year olds. Each set includes two DVDs featuring footage of children and practitioners engaged in high quality outdoor learning and play at early years settings, with a diverse range of outdoor spaces.

Julie and Gail’s accompanying commentary aims to motivate you to evaluate and improve your own provision. The box sets are designed to be used by a nursery team as part of internally-led CPD, and each DVD has a run time of around 45 minutes, but will take just over an hour to work through as they include prompts for reflection and discussion. Each box set also includes downloadable PPT presentations, advice notes and activity prompts, to enhance and enrich the CPD experience.


The Learning Environment

  • Consider the areas and environments needed to enhance active learning for birth to threes and three to five year olds across all the areas of learning

  • Ensure children are active and interactive outdoors with practical ideas to enhance their development

  • Explore the value of access to natural elements and loose parts in freely chosen and adult led play

  • Watch examples of how to develop motor skills, co-ordination and control for babies and toddlers through a range of adult led and child initiated play

  • Learn about valuable experiences and opportunities in outdoor spaces beyond the conventional nursery setting

  • Consider areas and environments that create an enriched and stimulating outdoor classroom for under threes and cater for all the areas of learning

Adult Engagement

  • Inspire enthusiasm amongst staff members and help them fully engage in planning and assessing outdoor activities for all weathers

  • Suggestions for addressing parental anxieties and working with them to ensure a safe, positive approach to outdoor learning.

  • Consider practical challenges around space, weather, budgeting and staff attitude to ensure sustainable changes to policy and practice outdoors.

Order the Birth to Three Box Set

Order the Three to Five Box Set here:

Julie Mountain, 16/11/2012


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