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Outdoor Play…Bigger, Louder and Messier!


3 February 2021

We believe that it is essential as adults, to give children the lifelong gift that is nature and in turn, a love for the world we live in. Considering the current pandemic, the outdoors continues to be even more a significant part of our practice and the external enhancements we are making across our settings – including brand new gardens at Sheepbridge and Chesterfield – further enable that.

At Kids Planet, whenever we consider outdoor provision, we always go back to the same three principles…Bigger, Louder and Messier!

In our nursery gardens and outdoor play areas, we provide opportunities to forage, collect, dig, and mix. Outdoor play is not pristine! For us, we think it is important that children feel mud between their toes and know what it feels like to squeeze, crush, scatter, to name a few!

Here are some outdoor art ideas to get you started:

Mush, Mix, Make

By buying fruit and other natural products that release pigments and using a mortar and pestle, children can make paint–they can even add different textures such as sand or mud to introduce another element to the play. Children love the sensory exploration this experience provides!

Transient Art

The use of various natural items, picture frames and a tray for sorting, is a wonderful way for children to collect their own natural finds and use them to create their own masterpieces. The true beauty of this experience is there is no pre-prescribed outcome, as it places importance on the process, not the product. While making arrangements, children can examine, sort, comment, and categorise items as they play.

Mud Painting

Why use paints when you can explore the muddiness of mud? Children can collect their own, adding water to decide their own consistency. Using an old bed sheet as a blank canvas, children can create a muddy masterpiece! Mud is everywhere and offers so many possibilities and endless learning opportunities. What does dry mud look like? Can you make thick paint? What happens when it is very watery? Can you make different shades of colour from the mud?

We hope you will give these activities a go, remember that outdoor provision is …bigger, louder, messier!  And, if your little one has enjoyed them, please share any photos and tag us on social media!

For more details about our outdoor provision, please contact Rhiannon Scott – Outdoor Learning Lead at Kids Planet Day Nurseries.

In the meantime, happy outdoor play!  ????


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