Friday, 10 January 2014

86 Ideas for fabulous outdoor fun! (Part 1)

Over the next few posts I'm going to list some of the oh so many wonderful experiences and opportunities that children can gain from getting outdoors! I've broken then down into sections (rather that writing one long list) for your convenience and I've even added links to the curriculum! I spoil you so!

Let's start with some action...

Let's get physical!
  1. Nice and simple to start with: Games. These can be as simple or as complicated as you like or your children can manage.

    A favourite game with my children just now is "What's the time Mr Wolf." Races are also lots of fun and can be adapted to become accessible to children of many different abilities.
    Football is also an ever popular game - particularly with the boys. 
    (Counting, running and chasing, taking turns, teamwork and following rules.)

  2. Balls: How about a game of throw and catch? Or throwing balls into containers of various sizes! What about rolling the ball to each other? Maybe I can even throw the ball all the way over the top of the slide! (Gross motor skills, spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination.)
  3. Parachute: If you work with children and don't possess a parachute then I urge you to get one!
    There are many different games and activities that you can play:
    'colour swap' is a game where children who are standing at particular colours must run underneath the parachute to swap places (colour recognition, listening skills) Another parachute game for you to try is 'don't drop the ball!' where you place a large (I recommend a fairly soft) ball on top of the parachute and the children must prevent it from falling off at their side
    (Team work, co-operation, gross motor skills)

  4. Bikes: What could be more fun than whizzing along the path on a bike, or bumpity bumping along the grass on a push along toy? Bikes and scooters are fantastic resources for gross motor skills, confidence, balance and coordination. Push along toys can be helpful for building up strength in children's legs as well as building their confidence before moving onto bikes.
    (Turn taking)

  5. Ropes: skipping ropes and chunky ropes can be used in many ways. A rope could mark out a pathway, create a barrier, allow a place for washing to dry or could encourage children to jump and hop. Why not try wrapping a rope around trees and encouraging the children to climb over and underneath? (Gross motor skills, coordination, balance)

  6. Obstacle course: This could be introduced in 2 different ways.
    It could be a course that is set up and built by adults to promote particular movements and allow for children of different abilities to explore and investigate. (Gross motor skills, balance, coordination, turn taking, safety awareness)

    Or it you could provide the materials and resources (for example planks of wood, crates, logs, stepping stones...) and allow the children to create their own course. (Problem solving, gross motor skills, balance, coordination, turn taking, teamwork, safety awareness.)

  7. Walk the line: is a simple game where the child simple has to walk along a line which could be straight, wiggly, zig zagged, form shapes... the possibilities are endless! A nice way to extend this activity would be to allow the child to then draw a line for themselves/the teacher/ their friends to try. (Balance, shape and pattern recognition)

  8. Stepping stones: Let's pretend that the grass is water! Or lava! This activity is very open ended and allows for all kinds of imaginative play. (Gross motor skills, coordination, spatial awareness)

  9. Cutting plants and flowers: I'll finish with a fine motor activity. Providing a tray with petals, leaves and any other soft natural items that take your fancy, along with some children's scissors, can be a lovely invitation to practice and develop children's cutting skills but I feel it is also important to explain to children that plants are special and important, and should not be damaged or destroyed without reason.

There are many, many more activities that I could list here, but I believe it's time to move on!

Next post: "No resources, No problem!"

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