After hearing about our support for Outdoor Classroom Day, Kathleen from Muire Gan Smal Pre- School in Castleisland in Kerry, got in touch to share with us how they have Outdoor Classroom time everyday. Have a read and be inspired:
Greetings from all in Muire Gan Smal Pre-school. We have developed an outdoor play area which contains an outdoor classroom. Since we have developed it in October 2017 we have seen many benefits for both children and staff. Every day no matter what the weather we spend a large part of our session in the outdoor. We do many activities from our table top work to our story time and also it has provided great opportunities for messy play.
The parents have been asked to provide outdoor boots and warm clothing to we can go out every day. We have a covered area that we use even if it is raining. The children have the chance to climb and run every day. We have a few apple trees and we planted rhubarb and strawberries also.
We were able to use our produce in our baking activities.
It is a great learning environment with the extra bonus of being out in the fresh air. We find that both children and staff are relaxed and energised from the outdoors .We find it very useful with helping children who need support with regulating their emotions.
It is great to see the children grow in confidence during a term when they become competent in climbing and adventurous play with others. It helps build a positive sense of belonging.
We also have the advantage to being adjacent to a beautiful river walk that leads to a community garden.
We have many walks by the river to visit the ducks and to listen to sounds of the river. We have visited the community garden during the different seasons to see the frog spawn in the pond and to see the pumpkins growing. We find that the outdoors offers many open ended and positive learning experiences for all of the children and we are extending our outdoor time as much as possible.
We have had some sessions in late spring that were totally outdoor .We hope that this outdoors experience will help the children develop a love of the outdoors that will remain with them.
I will also send a few pictures of the activities we have enjoyed.
There is still time for you to sign up this years Outdoor Classroom Day and become part of this global movement - sign up here -http://bit.ly/OCDNewsletter