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

Guiding play requires pedagogical tact. It is about developing a quality of connection between teacher and toddler. If you can establish a good connection with the children and give didactic impulses to the game from there, you can create rich development opportunities for children. In the first instance, didactic moments are also always pedagogic moments. De Haan (in Dierickx & Koelman, 2021) calls this way of acting: exploring, connecting and enriching.


Exploring | By playing along and adopting an experience-oriented attitude, you explore the game. You try to assess what this game means to the children. If you do not carefully assess the meaning or intentions of the game for the children, your input can disrupt the game and engagement.

Connecting | Exploration is followed by connection, in which you look for ways to come to something together. You bring about intersubjectivity by focusing your attention and that of the toddler on something that was not yet there

Enriching | By enriching, you create new opportunities. You can deepen or broaden the children's play.


Dierickx, E & Koelman, A. (2021). Kleuter-leer-kracht. Tielt: uitgeverij Lannoo

Get started | Initiate dialogue

Watch a video and engage in a dialogue.

  • What can exploring - connecting - enriching mean here?
  • How do you relate to this idea of explore – connect – enrich?
  • What do you think or feel when you hear the others' answers?
  • Does this exercise bring about anything? Does it set something in motion?