Closely connected to the playplace we developed exercises that can help professionals (teachers, policy-makers, architects, …) and parents to interpret the video traces of the interactions between children and the outdoor environment. This exercises help to value, read and imagine the outdoors as a learning environment in early childhood.

download this exercise in pdf

Background | Information

Within outdoor education you could say that the viewing and experience of the outdoor space also takes place from a layering. Every individual who surrounds himself in the outdoor space at that moment has a different hat on. How do you experience this outdoor space as a child, as parents, as a citizen, as an architect? How does each relate to it and what deeper layers can be recognized in each individual?


We would like to illustrate this with an example. When jumping in peeing, you as a parent may have the fear that your child will get wet or get dirty while other parents are more likely to look at it from a lens of having fun and discovering the experience in water. Also as a teacher you can consider the pee from opportunities that you see to learn (is there life in the pee?) or you can also keep children away from peeing for fear that their clothes will be wet and you get reactions from parents or children can catch a cold as a result.

Get started | Action

Write down the letters of the alphabet on a large sheet.

Brainstorm: write down words that you associate with the importance of outdoor space using the letters of the alphabet. You can do this in small groups or individually.

Questions | Initiate dialogue

  • Pick some important words and enter into a dialogue with each other about them
  • Do we get each concept explained in our own words?
  • Where are the differences and similarities when you discuss this with each other?
  • What could this understanding mean for our own environment? What could that look like in concrete terms? So what are we aiming for?
  • Who/what inspires you?
  • Which values and norms do we find important and what do we want to stand for?
  • What do we convey and how does that translate into a vision?

download this exercise in pdf