Professor Jan White on what ‘being outdoors’ means for children

In a wide-ranging interview for the Early Years Summit ‘Leading Practitioners, Leading Practice’, Professor Jan White discussed outdoor play, its benefits and what this means for children. In this excerpt, taken from the hour’s interview, Professor White describes what she believes to be core opportunities for young children outdoors: to move, to play and to …

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Early Years qualifications and training for practicing outdoors

Early Childhood Outdoors aims to increase the confidence and competence of the early childhood care and education workforce in working in the outdoors with children from birth to seven, with the emphasis firmly on the day-to-day experience young children have in their early years settings. This week’s ECO blog post launches an important ongoing conversation …

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Routes of Resilience in the Early Years – Pathways to Flourishing

Over many years of community focused early years work, Annie Davy has co-constructed an accessible yet profound framework for thinking and acting towards enabling young children’s emotional health through their relationship with the natural world. She describes this framework in her recent book, Nursery World award-winning A Sense of Place: Mindful practice outdoors (2019, Featherstone). …

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Babies Thrive Outdoors!

Early Childhood Outdoors seeks to make links and collaborate with organisations and companies sharing the mission to increase the amount and quality of outdoor experience children from birth to seven have in their daily lives. Through liaising with a wide range of ‘collaborators’ our aim is to enhance each other’s work, enabling and supporting however …

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Natural Places and Spaces for Children’s Play

This post, written by early childhood educator, landscape designer and author Nancy Striniste introduces the ‘design’ stream of the Early Childhood Outdoors weekly blog. As owner and director of landscape design company Early Space in the USA, her mission is to connect children – in their neighbourhoods, backyards, schoolyards, childcare centres, and parks – to …

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Imagination 101

This deeply thoughtful and well-articulated longer read, written by Clare Caro, provides much food for thought about how we can best allow, enable and nurture the rich, flexible and powerful ability to image that is at the heart of human existence. Strongly influenced by Pikler research, thinking and practice, Clare is founder of Nature Play®, …

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Researching children’s language use and development in outdoor environments

Through the ‘Driving and Guiding Research’ strand of Early Childhood Outdoors’ work, we aim to find mechanisms for sharing the knowledge that is being generated through post-graduate and post-doctorate research, and to make research findings available for practitioners to apply in developing provision and practice outdoors. This post by Tanya Richardson, on some of the …

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Wonderful children’s books to support their experiences outside

Children’s picture books can be magical and are an important part of the pedagogy of working with the outdoors. What better place to start this stream of the Early Childhood Outdoors blog than this review by Liz Magraw (thanks Liz!) The Lost Words: a spell book by Robert MacFarlane, author & Jackie Morris, illustrator (2017 …

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Playing and Learning Outdoors

The monthly ECO reading recommendation This monthly post aims to let you know about specialist books that support thinking and action towards our mission of ‘more children thriving outdoors, more often and for longer, benefiting from richer and more meaningful environments offering authentic, rewarding and satisfying experiences’. Let’s kick off with the new edition of my book, Playing …

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Where are the babies? Exploring outdoor provision for children from birth to two

Early Childhood Outdoors is excited to announce the first of our annual research seminars on the child in the outdoors, on Friday 27th March 2020 in Sheffield. As part of the Froebel Trust’s yearlong seminar series to promote and share their funded research projects, this is free event is hosted by the Froebel Trust and …

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