Office of Pre-Primary Education and Childcare

 

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Member Login

 

Indoor/ Outdoor Planning & Improvement

Optimal Outdoor Environments for Children in ECE Centres and Homes

By Cheryl Greenfield 
© ChildForum

 

what's under the tree?  The pleasure of a natural environmentYoung children have the right to inhabit optimal early childhood outdoor environments.

Optimal outdoor environments have the potential or power to promote and sustain meaningful relationships.

Bullard’s  (2010)  book Creative Environments for Learning uses the term ‘optimal’ when describing outdoor playgrounds that are functional, safe, and provide increased learning opportunities and improve social interactions.

The environment we place children in strongly influences the behaviour and learning that occurs there and the child’s sense of self (Greenman, 2005; Tovey, 2007). 

Spaces are not neutral, they give a message to the children and the adults who inhabit the space. Space is the backdrop to play, supplying the context, content and meaning; it provides possibilities or limitations to adults and children as to what can be done here. 

The location of spaces and equipment, and how welcoming the outdoor area is for adults, along with the aesthetics are highly influential on what children do. Poorly designed and maintained environments can be detrimental to children’s development.

This article focuses on the characteristics of optimal outdoor environments within a New Zealand context and is based on the findings of the qualitative research I have done over the years on early childhood outdoor environments.

To keep reading, login with your ECE Service's member username and password.  If you don't know what your service's login is ask your manager or team leader Smile

Not a member?  Click on the blue button below to join 



Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources. 

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Teachers, Caregivers, Teacher Educators, Policy Advisors - any indivdual with an interest in ECE

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

Choose your own personal username and password
(Note that this membership does not give access to specialist ECE Service members-only info and support) 

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed.

$198.00 12 months per standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licensed service

This membership gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS ECE service management area info and support. 

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.