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Outside Play
"The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky." This quote from nursery educator Margaret McMillan sums up how we feel about our children being outdoors. She maintained that children need outdoor space as much as food and air, and we can’t help but agree! As well as fostering a love of nature and simply being outside, outdoor play encourages healthy physical activity, team play and social inclusion. We are very lucky to have a wonderful outdoor space here at the Cottage Nursery and every group, with the exception of Beavers, has direct access on to a garden; this allows for continuous access to the outdoors at the choice of the child. Our purpose designed space allows us to cater for the needs of all ages of our children without hindering the fun! For some reason, children love learning outside more than anywhere else…it is just more fun! Therefore we ensure that our outdoor areas are rich in activity and cover the development areas of the EYFS. We love getting messy outdoors and a favourite is our Mud Kitchens where we develop so many wonderful skills! Outdoor play is also essential in children learning about their physical limitations, pushing their boundaries and learning to risk assess in a controlled environment; these skills are essential and need to be developed at an early age. We have lots of opportunity for our children to do this through open ended materials such as crates, planks and large tyres; these same resources also allow children’s imaginations to run wild…one minute they are a pirate ship, the next a castle and later a cave! Children also have the opportunity to explore with their senses and learn all about the world around them – we love spying for aeroplanes and spotting wildlife that comes to visit us! It is important to note that unless the conditions are just too severe or unsafe for even our adventurers, we go out regardless. If it’s cold and rainy, we snuggle up in woollies, wellies and waterproofs, and get on with it, whatever the weather. The children love it!  As they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!
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"The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky." This quote from nursery educator Margaret McMillan sums up how we feel about our children being outdoors. She maintained that children need outdoor space as much as food and air, and we can’t help but agree! As well as fostering a love of nature and simply being outside, outdoor play encourages healthy physical activity, team play and social inclusion. We are very lucky to have a wonderful outdoor space here at the Cottage Nursery and every group, with the exception of Beavers, has direct access on to a garden; this allows for continuous access to the outdoors at the choice of the child. Our purpose designed space allows us to cater for the needs of all ages of our children without hindering the fun! For some reason, children love learning outside more than anywhere else…it is just more fun! Therefore we ensure that our outdoor areas are rich in activity and cover the development areas of the EYFS. We love getting messy outdoors and a favourite is our Mud Kitchens where we develop so many wonderful skills! Outdoor play is also essential in children learning about their physical limitations, pushing their boundaries and learning to risk assess in a controlled environment; these skills are essential and need to be developed at an early age. We have lots of opportunity for our children to do this through open ended materials such as crates, planks and large tyres; these same resources also allow children’s imaginations to run wild…one minute they are a pirate ship, the next a castle and later a cave! Children also have the opportunity to explore with their senses and learn all about the world around them – we love spying for aeroplanes and spotting wildlife that comes to visit us! It is important to note that unless the conditions are just too severe or unsafe for even our adventurers, we go out regardless. If it’s cold and rainy, we snuggle up in woollies, wellies and waterproofs, and get on with it, whatever the weather. The children love it!  As they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!