Although nurseries and schools are currently closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, this is a great time to think ahead for when they re-open. Red Monkey Play is on hand to help you prepare for the excited and anticipated return, following government guidelines on health and safety.
There’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors and this is highly recommended for the little ones too. In fact, the NHS recommends that toddlers aged between one and two and preschoolers aged between three and four should be physically active every day for at least three hours with a mixture of indoor and outdoor play.
Children aged five and upwards require around 60 minutes of physical activity at a moderate level, as stated by the NHS, as well as being able to take part in a variety of physical activities which develop movement skills, muscles and bones.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our five favourite outdoor learning activities and the benefits of outdoor learning in primary schools and nurseries. These can range from shelters to sports and even sensory activities. There’s plenty of options for all ages and abilities.
1. Outdoor Classrooms and Shelters
Who says learning has to be indoors? There are plenty of educational outdoor activities that will engage children by providing a different learning experience, showing them that things can be done outside of the classroom too. As they enjoy the natural environment and fresh air, children will discover a fun way of learning new information and skills.
Educational experiences can take place in an outdoor amphitheatre, perfect for large groups of children or in a unique earth pod, which is great for snuggling up with a good book. However, the little ones will be really impressed with this treehouse, for endless, top-secret adventures.
2. Sport and Fitness Playground Equipment
Physical fitness is vital in providing children with a healthy lifestyle and our equipment to improve different areas of children’s physical strength and abilities.
Incorporating gym equipment into your outdoor learning activities will develop children’s balance, strength and coordination. Our Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) for example, is an all-in-one addition that will challenge children, boost social interaction and promote team play. It can also be used for a number of sports including football, netball, basketball and other outdoor activities for kids in one space.
Becoming increasingly popular, outdoor gym equipment will offer a variety of exercise options that children can endure without too much strain. These are designed to be gentle enough on bones and to build body strength while giving children a bit of a challenge. Our range of gym equipment, from rowers to riders, offer single and duo options so that children can pair up on these outdoor learning activities.
3. Role Play
Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of role play? These fun outdoor options are guaranteed to make children’s imagination run wild! Set sail with this adventure ship, complete with three decks to allow for a great game including pirates, soldiers and captains.
Or get everyone onboard the timber train, encouraging children to hop on and off as passengers and take it turns to be the driver. For more of a sensory experience, check out our explorer house with a grass roof and a front door to make this a wonderful and enchanting place to learn.
4. Outdoor Sensory Playground Equipment
Giving children direct access to sensory play will do wonders for stimulating their five senses and we specialise in creating bespoke outdoor learning activities to suit you best.
Our outdoor sensory equipment ensures all ages and abilities can investigate and discover. From the feeling of sand running through their fingers in this sand wall and pit to banging the drums with a rustic music centre, there are plenty of options to bring your outdoor play zone to life.
Don’t forget to check out our sensory panels too. These mounted games, puzzles and brain teasers are a brilliant way for hand-eye coordination as well as social interaction.
5. Outdoor Playground Equipment
Last but by no means least, our innovative range of playground equipment is made from durable, natural materials that will last.
Our traditional wooden climbing frames let children do what they do best – run, jump, climb, crawl and play! These fun yet physical challenges develop coordination and balance skills, whilst providing the perfect environment for active adventures.
If your school or nursery environment adopts a curiosity approach, then you’ll love our range of natural play products. With messy kitchens, natural logs and a place to grow plant, it’s a great way to introduce children to the wonders of nature.
How Can Red Monkey Play Help You?
The team at Red Monkey Play understand the frustration of being closed during this time and we also share the anticipation you may be feeling to re-open. However, we strongly advise you to continue to think of new and exciting ways to bring the best outdoor learning activities for early years to your school.
If you would like to discuss outdoor classroom activity ideas or outdoor learning curriculum planning, we’d love to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help! You can either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Leicester office on 0116 366 9922 or our London office on 020 38445 525.