Think about what spaces you would include when designing your outdoor learning environment. Check the learning spaces you would include and answer the questions about your choices.
Spaces for Learning
- 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 opportunities for music or sounds (materials that make noise when struck, radio for dancing)?
- Are there tools or objects for exploration (pulleys, ramps, pipes)?
- Are there materials for art or writing?
- Are there plants or a garden?
- Are there opportunities to take walks?
Which of the spaces for learning did you decide to include, and why? Which of the spaces for learning did you decide not to include? Discuss your responses with a supervisor, trainer or coach.
Now, think about how you might organize these spaces in the outdoor learning environment. Use the space below to draw a diagram showing the layout of outdoor learning activities. After drawing your diagram, answer the questions below.
Space and Design
- 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?
Think about your answers to the questions above. Feel free to make changes to your diagram if there are spaces or design elements you would like to add. Discuss your plan with a supervisor, trainer or coach.
References and Source Material:
Dodge, D., Rudick, S., Berke, K. (2006). The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Twos, 2nd ed. Washington DC: Teaching Strategies.
Supporting outdoor play and exploration for infants and toddlers. (2013). Early Head Start National Resource Center.