Space and Design
- Is there an unobstructed view of the children at all times?
- Is there easy access to and from the indoor space used by the program?
- Is there easy access to restrooms or a diapering area?
- Is there age-appropriate equipment for climbing, swinging, and building?
- Is there a storage shed?
- Are there soft materials like sawdust, sand, or bark under swings, slides, and climbers?
- Are there sunny and shady areas?
- Are there paved or hard surfaces for riding, chalk, etc.?
- Is there a covered area for use in wet weather?
- Is there a place to be alone or with one or two other children?
- Is there open, grassy space for crawling, rolling, running, etc.?
- Is there an area for digging?
- Is the area free from litter?
- Are any materials or equipment damaged?
- Do you see rust, splinters, or cracks in any equipment?
- Are there obvious hazards (s-hooks on swings, sharp edges, places to pinch fingers)?
- Are there large rocks or roots that may trip children?
- Are there protective surfaces under climbers, swings, and slides?
Outdoor Learning Experiences
- Is there a sand or water area?
- Is there a space for sitting and reading books?
- Are there wheeled toys?
- Are there objects for rolling and throwing (balls, beanbags)?
- Are there materials for art or writing?
- Are there opportunities for music or sounds (materials that make noise when struck, wind chimes)?
- Are there tools for exploration of nature (binoculars, magnifying glasses, thermometers)?
- Are there tools or objects for building or exploring simple machines (pulleys, ramps, blocks, pipes)?
- Are there plants or a garden?
- Are there opportunities to take walks?
Dodge, D., Rudick, S., Berke, K. (2015). The creative curriculum for infants, toddlers, and twos (3rd ed.). Teaching Strategies, Inc.
Early Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center. (2021). Supporting outdoor play and exploration for infants and toddlers.