We embrace the Scandinavian phrase, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. Weather is a glorious resource and interest for children. We spend every day outdoors no matter the weather (unless deemed unsafe). Each nursery is provided with waterproofs for children.
We encourage children to fully engage using their senses when learning outdoors, this may mean getting messy, therefore we ask that parents don’t send children in their best clothes. As we do go out in all weathers it is important to supply the right layers to keep children warm. If you’re unsure about what to dress your children in, please do ask one of the team.
As part of our outdoor learning, we support children in taking manageable risks. This is particularly important for children’s confidence, self-esteem, and resilience. Think of a baby taking those first steps towards walking, constantly falling but getting up again. Without stepping out of their comfort zone, children are unable to progress. Occasionally children may bump or graze, but these are outweighed by the learning taking place.
We are lucky to have a wide variety of garden spaces at Kids Planet, from huge, to smaller and full of nature to somewhat artificial. Our skilled practitioners can unlock the full potential of our garden spaces no matter the size or amount of nature. There are lots of ways to maximize space and bring nature in. We also encourage nurseries to head out to green spaces in the local community.
It is in fact the opposite! There is nothing that can be learned indoors that cannot be learned outdoors. Children are designed to be outdoors and therefore they thrive in natural spaces, their concentration improves, and their brain is ready to learn. We consider our indoor and outdoor spaces to be one big learning environment.
A common myth is that if children play outdoors in colder, wetter weather they will catch a cold. However, this is not true, a cold is a virus that is far more likely to be passed on in enclosed environments. Fresh air and time in nature have been found to aid the recovery of lots of medical issues.
As much as we care for and take great pride in our outdoor spaces, they are natural spaces. This means they will contain natural materials such as mud, sand, water, stones, and grass. A well-played in outdoor space may not look ‘tidy’ but we can assure you that the learning taking place and the opportunities offered far outweigh the need to be clean.
Once a nursery has been selected to begin the Udeskole journey they will be given a set of learning outcomes to work through over 6 months. Lots of evidence will need to be provided and all work will be assessed. At the end of the journey, nurseries will have attended practical sessions and outdoor first aid. Practical skills will be observed and signed off, along with an end visit to observe the changes made.
There are lots of ways to engage with outdoor play with your children, whether it be coming into the nursery and spending time outdoors, to get a feel for what we do, or learning with nature at home. Don’t worry, you don’t need a garden to enjoy outdoor play, nature is everywhere! A walk to the local path, noticing clouds, jumping in puddles, building dens, making daisy chains. Just by getting outside, you are already making a difference.