Guest post

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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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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Vegetable patch to Ofsted registration in 4 months!

So, after 18 months of set backs, we sat in the office at Wigfield Farm, Lindsey and I, waiting to sign the contract for the land that would become our nursery. My hands were shaking by the time the contract arrived at ten past! As we walked back to the car our emotions changed from …

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Fresh Air, Freedom and Fun

By Felicity Thomas Norfolk is putting ‘Learning in the Outdoors’ at centre stage for their Early Years training and development programme. Their annual Early Years Conference this year consists of three days promoting outdoor learning, investigation and information. A ‘Training Garden’ has been developed at the Early Years Hub in Norwich to show how all learning can happen …

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An Outdoor Nursery for Babies… Really?

by Carol Duffy, Early Childhood Ireland I stood transfixed in the centre of a field in Farley, near Salisbury, taking in a spectacle that took my breath away. Every part of my being knew I was witnessing the pure essence of nature pedagogy and childhood play provision. The overwhelming beauty of children at play in nature …

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What will they learn when all they do is play?

I recently took a well-deserved break in the South Hams, and as I’m sure many of you reading this will understand, my eyes and ears are always open to watching children at play. On this particular afternoon at the beach, two young brothers caught my attention. One (who I am guessing was aged about 2) …

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Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery Blog, 23rd July 2019 – Never say never!

To anyone planning to set up an outdoor nursery, a few words of wisdom, ‘if at first you do not succeed …’ Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery is the realisation of the hopes, dreams, trials and tribulations of myself and fellow outdoor specialist, Lindsey Bielby. After many knock-backs, trying to set up an outdoor nursery independently, …

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