Think about what spaces you would include when designing your outdoor learning environment. Check the learning spaces you would include (try to choose around 10) and answer the questions about your choices. Discuss your ideas with a trainer, coach, or administrator.
Spaces For Learning
- Is there a sand or water area?
- Is there a space for sitting and reading books?
- Are there dramatic play materials (e.g., picnic props)?
- Are there blocks?
- Are there props for imaginative play (tubes, boxes, ramps)?
- Are there wheeled toys?
- Are there balls, beanbags, or other objects for throwing?
- Are there sand and water toys?
- Are there materials for art or writing?
- Are there opportunities for music (bells, cymbals, materials that make noise when struck, radio for dancing)?
- Are there tools for exploration (binoculars, magnifying glasses, thermometers)?
- Are there tools or objects for building or exploring simple machines (pulleys, ramps, blocks, pipes)?
- Are there plants?
- Are their opportunities for children to grow things or take care of plants?
- 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?
Draw your own
Now, think about how you might organize these spaces in the outdoor learning environment. Use the space below or a separate sheet of paper to sketch a layout of outdoor learning activities. After drawing your space, 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 running, kicking, throwing, 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 your trainer, coach, or administrator.
Cryer, D., Harms, T., & Riley, C. (2012). All about the ECERS-R: A detailed guide in words and pictures to be used with ECERS-R (1st ed.). Pact House.
Dodge, D. T., Heroman, C., Berke, K., Bickart, T., Colker, L., Jones, C., Copley, J., & Dighe, J. (2016). The creative curriculum for preschool (6th ed.). Teaching Strategies, Inc.