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.

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Play in the outdoor area requires professionals and parents to have confidence in children. As a professional/parent, it is at least as important to trust in yourself where you can make a correct assessment of danger.

The outdoor play of children is often prescribed by rules and protocols about what is and is not allowed. These rules and protocols come about as a result of a tension that you experience yourself as a professional / parent.  Knowledge about children's play behaviour, how they guard their boundaries and what they need can help to lower these thresholds. Insight into the outdoor space, which game invitations there are in this specific place and what risks this entails with sight ensure that you are aware of the opportunities you want to give to children in this outdoor space.

Get started | Action

Find out what you do and don't allow.

I tend to protect children too much/ too little because....

Explore your limits / boundaries.

Checkbox when you intervene in the following situation and explain your choice:

“Running fast” - “Fast cycling” - “Smelling flowers/plants” - “Climbing high” - “Frolicking” - “Playing out of sight” - “Playing with branches” - “Grabbing critters” because ...

Questions | Initiate dialogue

At what moments do you intervene and why do you do this?

Reflect on your own actions

What would you do differently next time?

I intervene if.....

When I look back on this I find my actions ok/not ok because....

Next time I'm going....

download this exercise in pdf