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Outdoor Spaces

Articles

Team Building

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Team building is an ongoing process that helps a work group evolve into a cohesive unit.

Sharing Playground Space

students hugging smiling

This article embraces the idea of sharing space with different centres and collaborating with the community in order to create playground space for children to explore and learn.

Programming for the Playground

adult looking over children

Keeping in Touch Edition, exploring a poem shared about letting children be children and what comes with being a child, allows educators to understand the importance of outdoor and indoor programming.

Building Children's Capacity Through Experiences with Nature

Nurturing capabilities through outdoor experiences for children in your care, through a structure and intentionality that also promotes social relationships.  

It's Raining it's Pouring Let's Go Outside

exploring outdoor rainy days

Exploring the outdoors for play and exploration on rainy days.  

Child Care Design & Technical Guideline

child care design

The document provides information about the Child Care Design layout and the regulations and standards that centres must meet according to Government Standards.

 

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Children, Outdoor Play, and Loose Parts | Journal of Childhood Studies

diverse kids learning

Children, Outdoor Play and Loose Parts by Caileigh Flannigan and Beverlie Dietze 

This journal article investigates the development benefits of preschool children in a rural outdoor natural environment interacting with loose parts.

 

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Videos

Designing Spaces with Children's Input

Woman Sitting on Rug

Recognizing the environment as a teacher and creating a flexible space that is designed with input from children creates many possibilities for learning and growth.

Great Teaching: Petra Eperjesi, OCT

children playing

This video discusses the concepts and the benefits of Forest Nature Schools and how it allows for inclusivity of all children to explore.

3 Key ingredients for supporting children's outdoor play  |  Dr Mariana Brussoni

Throughout this video, it discusses the three ingredients of outdoor play which are: time, space, and freedom and why these are important for children’s holistic development.  

 

Activities

Water, Water Everywhere!

children playing

Water play activities can be simple, clever and are great for a group. They are cost effective and can be done using materials already found at your childcare centre. Try some water relay races. To increase the challenge add an obstacle course. Have the children use items such as plastic bottles, funnels, pool noodles, basins and plastic tie wraps to create a water wonderland.

Community Activities for Summer Planning

children outdoor playing

This resource provides a series of activities that educators can use to engage with learners this summer. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/community-activities-for-summer-planning.html

Revving Up the School Age Playground

This resource discusses how frequently played games can be  played in the playground, setting bring a fresh and exciting to a new environment. 

Planning for a Fun Filled Summer Program

children playing

With summer programming comes alot of outdoor play, this resource is for educators to create an engaging programming for the very busy child to remembering sun and heat safety.  Especially for the child who is unable to consider this on their own. With all that extra outdoor time summer can be an excellent opportunity to work on gross motor skills.

8 Fun Summer For Family Child Care Programs

This resource povides some easy and inexpensive fun things you can do at your day care or at home with your family. These can be adapted for most ages and abilities.

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/8-fun-summer-for-family-child-care-programs.html

Climbers Aren't Just for Climbing - Expand Your Playground Possibilities

This resources provides educators an opportunity to be creative with structures already in the playground. The permanent climbing structure is one of your best assets on the playground. Consider these fun ideas to dress up or use the climber or play structure and expand your playground possibilities.

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/climbers-arent-just-for-climbing-expand-your-playground-possibilities.html

Take Your Classroom's Summer Outdoor Program to the Next Level

With the arrival of the warm summer months it provides teachers with so many wonderful opportunities to incorporate the natural elements of the outdoors, into their program development. This resource provides some creative ways to engage pre-school and kingdergarten aged children in natural resources such as leaves, flat rocks and flowers. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/take-your-classrooms-summer-outdoor-program-to-the-next-level.html

Books

9 Books to inspire a love of the great outdoors | Children's adventure stories

This article highlights 9 different books that promote exploration of the outdoor environments and provides brief descriptions of the 9 books listed.  

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/children/2017/books-that-will-inspire-a-love-of-the-great-outdoors/

Websites

Summer Activities for Families and Children in Care

Summer is always a special time for exploring and enjoying the outdoors, nature and your family. There are loads of free and almost free things to do in and around the city of Toronto. This resources will provide you with a list of easy and quick activities for toodlers. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/summer-activities-for-families-and-children-in-care.html

 

Practical Tools and Strategies

Strategies to Beat the Heat

 

Here comes the sun, let’s get ready to have some fun!!! With summer just around the corner, it is important to be well equipped and ready to beat the heat. With hot sunny days in sight, it is a great time to review some helpful tips so that both you and the children stay safe, while enjoying the warmer, more humid days that are ahead.This resource provides the educators and parents with the tips on how to recongnize heat related illnesses and so much more. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/strategies-to-beat-the-heat.html

 

How to Get the Most out of Playing Outdoors and in Nature

This resource provides educators and families tips and strategies on how to get the most out of playing outdoors and in nauture. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-playing-outdoors-and-in-nature.html

Summer Safety Tips

Summer has us getting ready for fun in the sun and a change in our regular programming routines. Being sure that we are not only equipped with fresh and interesting ideas for our children, but prepared to ensure that our children remain safe is key to having a fun, safe and relaxing summer. Summer programming usually involves outings and a lot of outdoor activities. With the upcoming change in routines, it is a perfect time to review the rules of summer and to highlight some tips to remain safe. This resource provides a tips on how to ensure you keep summer activities safe. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/summer-safety-tips.html

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Summer can be one of the most challenging times to program for children with special needs. This resource provides a few points to keep in mind when planning for inclusion within your group this summer. 

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/hot-fun-in-the-summertime.html

Resources and Ideas for Summer Outdoor Programming

Creating activities to engage children on the playground can pose a challenge. Sometimes the challenge is finding ways to provide activities that the children already enjoy inside on your playground without bringing all your indoor toys and equipment outside. Consider these inexpensive methods to meet the goal of bringing the indoors outdoors.

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/resources-and-ideas-for-summer-outdoor-programming.html

Resources for Educators

This resource provides a few suggested books that will assist you when planning for outdoor summer programming for different age groups.

https://citywidetraining.ca/resources/resources-for-educators.html

Geocaching - Parks Canada Geocaching Guidelines

The government of Canada provides an overview of what geocaching is, how to geocache and where you can geocache.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/docs/pc/guide/geocache

Outdoor Play - Child Encyclopedia

This rescource by the Child Encyclopedia highlights some of the outdoor play activities. In addition, it examines through research on designing outdoor play environments and risky outdoor play. Information about outdoor play is also available in a concise infosheet.  

http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/sites/default/files/dossiers-complets/en/outdoor-play.pdf

Outdoor Play Canada

Outdoor Play Canada is an excellent source in which  government information is provided in regards to outdoor play. This includes outdoor play practicespolicies and research. 

https://www.outdoorplaycanada.ca/

Tools & Publications

This resource is provided by Evergreen. This resources provides teachers with lesson plans that investigates different outdoor environments.

Outside Play

Outside Play is a tool for parents to understand the importance of risky outdoor play and slowly implement risky outdoor play in a manner that is safe but allows children to explore the outdoors and take risks.  

The Nature Playbook

The Canadian Parks Council created a book that explains the benefits of outdoor play and encouraging outdoor play. This book also includes a few games and activities children would enjoy.