Topic

Children’s Responses to Environmental Conditions

Topic Progress:

children_trucksChildren are naturally good; however, when the environment does not meet their needs, they will communicate their feelings by the behaviours they exhibit. Three of the most common behaviours that are exhibited when the environment is uncomfortable are anxiousness, feeling overwhelmed, or psychologically uncomfortable.  Think of the 3- and 4-year-old children who have high activity levels. These children function best in large spaces and in environments where they may engage in physical activity, risk taking and active play. These needs are best met in the outdoor environment.  When these children spend large portions of time indoors and in small spaces, there will be varying types of negative behaviours exhibited. If children are in environments that are not correct, the effects are vast, including energy level, ability to problem solve, and ability to cope with the daily living behaviours required in early learning places.

Response to Environmental Conditions

Impact on Children

Anxiety

  • Reduces ability to spend time on task.
  • Impedes intensity of play experience.
  • Reduces ability to be creative.
  • Reduces social networking skills and pro-social behaviour.
  • Changes children’s brain functions including processing mechanisms, coding processes, and memory function.

Feeling overwhelmed

  • Reduces attention span in play.
  • Impedes ability to complete tasks or engage in discovery learning.
  • Interferes with child’s use of imagery.
  • Is easily distracted.
  • Increased agitation leading to negative behaviour such as biting, hitting, and kicking.

Psychological discomfort

  • Reduces social interaction and social networking.
  • Reduces tolerance for adapting to environmental conditions.
  • Reduces verbal interactions, language acquisition, and vocabulary expansion.

Adapted from Dietze (2006).

The play space design influences children’s social play behaviour. As outlined below, when the play space meets the needs of children, they engage in positive social play. Conversely, when the play space requires some adjustments or is not meeting the needs of the children, negative behaviour is evident. Early learning teachers observe for signs of behaviours such as children wandering, rough play, or starting to engage in aggressive play. These are signs that children require changes to the play space.

Evidence of Positively Engaged Social Play Evidence of Negatively Engaged Social Play
Social conversation Arguing
Cooperative play Object possessiveness
Child initiated play Unilateral decisions
Sharing of materials Aggressiveness towards others and with materials
Friendly, caring play Aggressive play

Dietze (2006)

Think about children that you have observed that have exhibited some challenging behaviours in the outdoor play space. What might be some reasons that those behaviours were exhibited?

  • Were there sufficient materials for children to use?
  • Were there materials that were intriguing and unique for the children to explore?
  • Were the attitudes of the early learning teachers positive, interactive and engaging?
  • Was the space intriguing with plants, paths, loose parts, natural materials or was it open space with limited materials to choose from?
  • Were the children given ample time to participate in the outdoor play?
  • How much unstructured time and freedom to explore were children given?
  • How many materials reflected cultures of families and the community?

Record your thoughts in the Comments box below.

Comments

  1. Barb Keller

    We are on a school space so we have not got a dedicated space so we carry our equipment so we never have enough.

  2. Minni Harris

    We lack the space and materials to offer quiet place for children, and when we see negative behaviors it’s time to reevaluate our play space and change up the environment the best we can with limited means.

  3. Angela George

    We see many many behaviours in varying degrees and children only occasionally have a diagnosis; so many times i am wondering if a child should have a diagnosis or if it is just a behaviour. These charts are going to be useful in reflecting on children and how best we can support them.
    The teachers attitude and disposition are very useful in helping children to settle down and find an activity that they enjoy. So the teachers enthusiasm and excitement has a huge impact on how children sometimes receive a project or even how they enter the classroom.
    We used to have an awful lot more behaviours and spent most of our day dealing with them when the program was mainly indoors. Now the program is mainly outdoors and the behaviours have calmed right down, only when the children first enter the program and are dealing with seperation anxiety and the like; not many transitions for them to deal with now and a variety of activities and interesting spaces outside, so teachers can spend more time facilitating activities

  4. Christine Norman

    Generally when I start seeing negative behaviors in the outdoor play area it is a good indicator that it is time to change the environment. By either adding or removing toys, changing the environment around or adding more challenging activities and materials. Most of behaviors I see are children trying to use materials in different ways that perhaps they are not meant to be used. When materials are starting to get broken it usually lets me know that the children need new or challenging material or experiences.

  5. Cindy Spencer

    Challenging behaviours often arise in our playground due to lack of materials, not enough for all the children or no space to offer a quiet area for a smaller group to go or lack of time to play.

  6. Michelle Davis

    I find that if there aren’t enough of something, children have a hard time waiting their turn, or moving to a different activity. If they are feeling rushed they also may exhibit negative behaviors.

  7. Jasmine Park

    Those questions remind us what we should consider about the outdoor play. Children show challenging behaviors when they need something. We need to focus on their signal. Too less or too much toy? Too engaged or not engaged in the play? Interactive and connecting environment? Aesthetic and inviting space? Freedom? risky play opportunity? Too easy or too difficult? To figure out children’s needs, we have to observe their play closely and examine our play environment regularly.

  8. Xintong Wang

    I found that they shows more challenging behavior when they are bored.
    When there are not enough materials for them to explore around and that there are limitations to play.

  9. Jennifer Yarmish

    Yes, in reflecting on “problem behaviors” that I have witnessed in the past, I can definitely think of environmental factors that that contributed to them. Boredom is a huge one…lack of inviting materials or the fact that the materials weren’t being changed regularly.
    The teachers enthusiasm level contributes in such a tremendous way to whether or not the children are going to connect and stay interested in what is all around them too.

  10. Nikki Littlechild

    I find the most challenging behaviors arise around sharing and turn taking. We try hard to ensure there is enough items to help alleviate this. For example, we have lots of cars outside and only one gas pump. We have had to have the gas pump remain in one spot and the children drive up in a line up just like at a gas station to wait their turn. When we first brought it out children would take it as their toy and drag it around not allowing others to use it. This became frustrating very quickly! We are also getting another gas pump 🙂

  11. Carrie Maclellan 

    I just experienced this first hand. We had set up a fishing activity in the water table and it became un-enjoyable for the staff and children due to there only being 2 fishing rods; to problem solve this we used some sticks, paper clips and ribbon to create more rods and once there were ample materials, the challenging behaviours eased.

  12. Shirley Robinson

    I see that children need a lot materials are important for them to expand their minds, plus open space is another things need lots of room to play.

  13. Rachael Ewan

    Mostly it has been lack of material and size of play space. It is challenging when the children don’t have enough space to freely move, run and play.

  14. lisa.rodney

    One space I think back to was a large open space at a school that has a few pieces of stationary equipment. The program for 4 year old were not able to use the stationary equipment because of the CAS rating and there was nothing else in the space to use other than the pea gravel and a few scoops and dishes. In addition, the space was enclosed by a fence, but the fence wrapped around the building so children has a large space to wander that was difficult foe educators to monitor. Educators spent more of their time trying to monitor children, keep them from using banned equipment and break up arguments than actually support children to become engaged in the space. It was a nightmare.

  15. Heather Diewert

    When I think of what I have noticed with Children’s behaviour in the Outdoor Play Space I had a difficult time answering this as most of them have spent the last year in COVID lockdown.
    Because of this I have noticed a HUGE change in children’s ability to play co-operatively. Most have not had any outside interaction with anyone outside their families and I find that a great portion of our children are from 1 child families, or with a very young sibling.
    When I think of a 4 year old, they have spent a quarter of their life in relative isolation from their peers; a 3 year old a third of their life.
    So thinking backwards to pre COVID the biggest challenges behaviours were due to not enough outside space and time and materials. In the past I find that some centres are not comfortable with the potential liability issues of Outside play and the willingness of teachers to be outside in all weather’s. As well, children often don’t come prepared to be outside in all weather.
    Due to this children’s behaviours were greatly affected by lack of space and time outdoors. In the classroom, and outside, they wander, seek out adult interaction, look for stimulus and have a challenging time regulating their BIG emotions.

  16. Katarina Ninkovic

    Whenever we see children exhibiting in these challenging behaviours at my centre we always say the child is bored, which is true!! Then we often switch up the room and outdoor space,move thing around introduce new loose parts

  17. Pamela Casorso

    The time that that arguing occurs outside at our program is when we bring out toys that they don’t get to play with all the time. after a few days the arguments stop.

  18. Heather Brekkaas

    Quite often when I see challenging behaviours on the playground it is because someone wants something that someone else has. So limited items where someone is feeling left out, or situations where one group does not want to include someone who wants to play as well.

  19. Lindsey Cooper

    Challenging behaviours have occurred when there isn’t something cycled through the play space such as a bean bag toss, or a bowling set. Something new and engaging activities seem to reduce challenging behaviours.

  20. Daphne Hachey

    i find challenging behaviors often come out in places where children feel limited or like they are put in a box. having many materials, educator’s with different teaching styles children can connect too and the mindset that there will never be a one size fits all approach can help create play and learning that works for children and decreases the challenging behaviors

  21. Dana Wilson

    I have seen challenging behaviours in an outdoor environment caused by a few factors. I believe the mains causes were limitations placed on the children and limitations of the space and it’s environment. I have too often seen children who are wholly engaged in play and exploration that are not allowed the unstructured time to continue their plans due to an educators insistence on following a schedule. I have also seen behaviours caused by a space that was boring, it did not enough have enough materials or areas to keep the children engaged.

  22. Melissa Vail

    Think about children that you have observed that have exhibited some challenging behaviours in the outdoor play space. What might be some reasons that those behaviours were exhibited?

    Were there sufficient materials for children to use? not always, we could use more shovels in the sand area since the spoons often stay in the mud kitchen
    Were there materials that were intriguing and unique for the children to explore? Yes
    Were the attitudes of the early learning teachers positive, interactive and engaging? not always
    Was the space intriguing with plants, paths, loose parts, natural materials or was it open space with limited materials to choose from? yes
    Were the children given ample time to participate in the outdoor play? not always, some educators rush to go back in
    How much unstructured time and freedom to explore were children given?
    How many materials reflected cultures of families and the community?

  23. Anna Mary McKenney

    Any challenging behaviours we have observed come from like mentioned a lack of toys and time outside/transitions. Due to covid rules we have limited toys and children have become bored with them or fight over them. We have to transition so much now throughout the day with added hand washing and can only be outside during our scheduled time. This makes it difficult for children who are really engaged in something when we have to pull them away.

  24. Krista Ambrose

    I see challenging behavior more right now because of the lack of time and play materials. In a time of a pandemic and not being able to have the loose parts available (cannot clean properly) I see the children getting bored and fighting more over the toys that we have. I also wonder if our play space does not offer the risk that some of the children need. I also see educators stop play because they feel it is too risky. At this current time (covid rules), we cannot combine different rooms outside. We only get an hour a day outside and I feel this is not enough time. Hopefully once some of the rules lift we will be able to spend more time outdoors.

  25. Jody Anderson

    I have observed challenging behaviors in the outdoor environment. Sometimes it is due to the energy of some children in that group on a particular day if two of them come to us who have been arguing most of the day at school it can carry over into our program..If they are arguing with each other it casuse anxiety in some of our children. If we leave a play space before the children have had enough time to fully finish what they were doing it creates some negative behaviors. If we are in a play space for too long or if we haven’t provided new spaces or items to enhance the play space. Not having enough of an item ie. our woodworking table is very popular and we only have one small work space that allows for one child at a time, we often have children fighting about who is going next. The children definitly are affected by the overall modes of the educators, if they are calm and relaxed the children usually are as well, if the educator is excited to learn and are curious themselves the children are too, if an educator does not want to be outside the children sense that and will sometimes keep asking to go inside as well. Being aware of this is vital when working with children.

  26. Bonnie Willson

    We have been experiencing problem behavior in our center recently, and reading this, I believe it is because they are bored with our play spaces. We have wonderful toys and an amazing yard, but without some help the children will definitely get bored.

  27. Amanda Funk

    I have observed challenging behaviors when there is lack of materials, insufficient time, and inadequate space to move.

  28. Lisa Goldsack

    I don’t really see much challenging behaviours in our outdoor play space, we already have an amazing play area. If I see challenging behaviours it’s because of other reasons; the child is tired, hungry, not feeling well etc.

  29. Maria Agustin

    When we don’t have enough materials that’s the time when negative behaviours arise. Children’s also get bored when they have the same materials to play with everyday. We should give them enough time to play outdoors. Teacher participation also influence children behaviour.

  30. Grace Smith

    Challenging behaviors arise if there’s not enough materials for the children . There’s should be a variety of materials to manipulate and for children to choose and also when educators are not very involve with the children’s play.

  31. Angel Huang

    I don’t see a lot of problem with challenging behaviours at my centre, unless the children are new to the place. As their anxiety will be higher, since everything is new to him/her. The child will be sitting in the corner crying and not wanting to participate, usually the children would go and ask the child to come join and play. As then it will be better.

    Sometime a popular equipment at the centre is the tricycle, children love them but we only have 4, there are 2 boys that don’t like to share at all and want to be on the bike for all day. If they are being asked to come down, they will be hitting other children who is on the tricycle. When we see that then we put the tricycles away.

  32. Amanda Christison

    I would say for sure that educators attitudes and involvement definitely has a large impact on children’s responses to their environmental conditions. If educators are just standing around and talking to one another and their frame of mind is that outdoor time is for them to have a break and for the children to run around then you are going to see a lot of behaviours that could be avoided by intentionally and mindfully planning your outdoor environment. I have seen that myself as an educator where the kids have the same – or lack thereof – materials and they get bored and wander and get involved in arguments and aggressive behaviour. There is also challenging behaviours when the children’s spaces or play is limited by an educator whether the educator isn’t comfortable with riskier play or is anxious about the child getting hurt or dirty. Also lack of materials or lack of a variety of materials leads to squabbles with the children as well when outdoors. If there is enough and they are spread out for individual, small and larger group play we will hopefully see more engaged and positive play behaviour outdoors.

  33. Nicole Robinson

    I have one child who exhibits a lot of anxiety. She does not like to engage often with other children, she cries frequently and has a hard time managing self help skills. She has been with me for several years, this behaviour has always been present but is getting worse since we began staying outside 100% of the time. After reading this I now see that perhaps the change has upset her and I need to focus on creating some of the elements that brought her comfort inside to outside.

  34. Ruth Novak

    The space and materials really do make a difference. Though we need more space, we have a few who do not really know what to do outside and so, they start taking toys from friends or breaking their castles because they are bored. It also depends on how invested the educators in the outdoor play program. Are they modeling ideas for the children or engaging with them. Does the outdoor space feel inclusive for all? Some children just need an extra push, because they might be nervous to try something new or “risky”. The amount of time outside can also be a factor.

  35. Betty-Ann Ryz

    When I had my daycare the children had 2 areas on the property available for outside play. One area was fenced with a play structure, swings, ride ons, etc. The other area was a treed area not fenced and ample room to run freely, collect pine cones and play hid & seek among the trees. Over time it was apparent to me that the children preferred playing in the treed area. Alot of times we started outside time in the fenced playground, it wouldn’t take long before play was not cooperative and children were just unhappy. When we moved to the treed area behaviors changed and calm cooperative play returned. Eventually we started outside time under the trees and they had the option to play in the fenced playground. Children voted on the area of choice and 80% of outside time was under the treed area.

  36. Tammy

    The space, materials and amount of educator involvement has definitely been a factor in some behaviours that I have observed.

  37. Karin Freiberg

    “Behaviors” often happen when educators have misinterpreted children’s interest or simply chosen to offer materials and experiences based on adult interest rather than child interest. Perhaps there are not enough materials or enough space for constructive play or maybe the materials are too limiting and children are not able to use their imaginations to manipulate the materials.

  38. Silvia Martínez

    I have noticed the influence that kids have on other kids, for example when one child does not want to play that activity or go outside, the other kids will pick up on it and reflect it as well. Another thing I have noticed is that when kids have been used to not play or explore as much in outdoor play they tend to not want to get involved as much or interact with outdoor play activities. When there are not enough toys that each one may have their own it causes them to get discouraged, having a toy of the same kind for each helps for all to get involved.

  39. Annette Casey

    Negative behaviours begins when not enough materials are not there to share, Struggling to manage the small amount provided can become time consuming.

  40. Amanda N

    When we lack sensory materials for children to engage with, they are more likely to show negative behaviour. And, when we offer children more exploratory materials, they are more likely to engage in exciting conversations and play together.

  41. Jessica Garner

    In some outdoor play spaces I have observed, challenging behaviours can be attributed to a lack of materials. For example, children might have a sand area, but limited buckets or shovels to use. This leave children bored with few options to play, or fighting with others over limited resources.

  42. Prabhulata Immaraju

    I think with two groups in our outdoor yard, 12 children ( mix of toddlers n preschoolers) there is ample space for children to engage in different parts of our yard and materials are well shared and we don’t see as much negative behaviour or boredom factor.
    But, due to any reason once we have more children there is definitely more behaviours that we observe that disrupt play and lead to arguments etc. Hence in the best interest of children it’s optimal to ensure that while one or two groups are in the yard the other two groups are out on a walk.

  43. Shannon Stewart

    Limiting children to the comfort and convenience of the adults can be an issue that trickles down to the children. For example, limiting sensory opportunities in the outdoor play experience due to clean up or low comfort with risk play. In these cases, educators may not be able to see that their lack of responsiveness is impacting the children. Using the elements of the responsive environment to plan for children’s experiences and as a guide to reflect on the children’s responses will support this.

  44. Mikaela Reyes

    I do agree that children’s responses depends on the kind of environment that we provide for them. When there is nothing to explore with, they are definitely going to be frustrated as they are natural explorers and hunters for learning. If that isn’t provided well enough, they will obviously not be happy. Teachers sadly mostly thinks it’s just a learnt behaviour but it is not.

    Whenever I provide materials for children such as mortar and pestle, wooden spoons, milk jars, and etc at the mud kitchen, most of my colleagues will either throw or hide them as they always believe it’s dangerous for children. Then behaviour arises, and teachers always ask why they children do so. 🙁

  45. Leisha Kozier

    Our connection with children in the outdoor environment is of utmost importance. Sometimes we forget to just watch and become involved when we are invited, or just asking, “can I play too?” children most times want the adult interactions, and sometimes they don’t. We have to watch for those cues. Its important to watch the play evolve and to evaluate every situation. To know when to step in or ask questions like “I wonder what might happen if?” Taking the children’s lead and evaluating, whether to get involved or to continue, and just see what happens. Its a work in progression, to progress.

  46. Lucie Pendergraff

    Lack of a change in the play space becomes too routine and boring for the children leading to arguments and upset feelings.

  47. Nazia Mir

    Too many rules for the safety of children and adult’s low comfort levels in risky play.

  48. Charlene Durrant

    The lack of equipment and materials for all the children. Sometimes there isn’t enough for all children. Also lack of experience and/or interest from the caregivers about what the children are engaged in or interested in doing.

  49. Svetlana Babikova

    From my work experience, I have observed challenging behavior when children are playing outdoor and space doesn’t support creativity, inquiry, imagination. For example, playground structures don’t engage children in play or lack materials, or space becomes boring.

  50. Nikki Meyer

    When children have had behavioral challenges in outdoor areas it has often been due in part to a lack of responsive materials. Educators then get frustrated and blame the child, sometimes labelling them and setting them in a time away, further increasing the boredom and child’s frustration.

  51. Lucie Theroret

    the most common arguing outside at our center it is when we bring out the bike the first couple days children relearne turn taking
    kids will get bored if the materials outside dont get change often

  52. Andrea Preissl

    The main reason I have seen challenging behaviours outside is becuase the environment lacked in many areas. Most things were stationary, no loose parts, or not enough, thus creating more conflict revolving around sharing and waiting for a turn.

  53. Joanne Falk

    In the center I work at, we do have quite a bit of children who hit and bite. After reading these lessons, it makes sense that they are being given limited toys to play with and that us as teachers should have multiple of the same one to avoid these kinds of behaviors. With more options and loose parts, they also wouldn’t be bored as quickly.

  54. Nadira Ramnauth

    Some children are having a difficult time taking turns and sharing, this is when some challenging behaviours are being observed. This is why we have to implement activities that involves sharing and taking turns so the children can develop these skills. I agree that space has a lot to do with how children learn and why aggressive behaviours sometimes take place. The outdoor environment is the best place for the children to spend most of their time. We have to add lots of materials, toys, loose parts, and other props to keep the children occupied in exploring. We need to give the children lots of time and freedom to take risks and participate in other plays with their peers.

  55. Kathy Barnhart

    when I see children being argumentative and aggressive, I wonder what it is in their environment that could help them. It often seems like they are tired of being in the same place, with the same materials, day after day. I may be putting my own feelings on it but I think that is what I believe is happening in many instances.

  56. Caroline Driedger

    Think about children that you have observed that have exhibited some challenging behaviours in the outdoor play space. What might be some reasons that those behaviours were exhibited
    Some reasons for behaviours are poorly designed programs, not enough challenging and or intriguing materials, not enough materials overall, to stimulating , overwhelming space when not set up properly.

  57. Erin Lihou

    I believe the biggest challenge is getting the children to be able to take turns and understand sharing among each other. Often when new items are introduced we have to monitor at a close distance and have the children take turns in groups so that everyone can have a try at the new item. Over time it is not so structured and can be left as a free play item most times.

  58. Kathryn Armstrong

    I have observed challenging behaviours when something new and particularly intriguing has been added. This is often temporary as the experience is new but usually results in the need for staff to oversee the play until all calms down.

  59. Deborah Fehr

    All of the things mentioned contribute to challenging behaviours, but the one is notice that can be the greatest contributor is the way in which the educators engage with the children. I see two main concerns. One is apparent when the educators don’t want to be outdoors or they think that this is their opportunity to visit (which I would like to point out is not the same thing as using the opportunity to reflect, which may be quite appropriate until the challenges begin). Secondly when the educators are too involved with some of the children that they are unable to “see” what’s happening with the others or the group they have formed can not continue without them.

  60. Kamaldeep Sidhu

    I think,when there is not enough materials and when they go to same space or play structure they get bored and show signs of upset and negative behaviour.

  61. Janice Duncan

    I think that all of the points listed could contribute to challenging behavior in children. Children need adequate time to explore their play interests, open-ended, interesting materials both natural and man made, that is sufficient for the number of children. Children do well when they have a variety of play spaces to choose from, that they can explore freely. Caring, responsive educators help to create a sense of safety and security for the children too.

  62. Jaclyn Geiger

    I think one step that may be missed is the importance of teaching and practicing expected behaviours and routines. This may sound traditional but it involves modelling of the teacher and agreed upon boundaries and rules to keep all learners feeling safe and knowing their responsibility. I have observed less challenging behaviours in outdoor play spaces than within classroom walls when safety has been practices and reminded before hand. Outdoors there is a freedom of exploration which is not achieved in the same way as a walled classroom. Keeping in touch with the students interests is also key.

  63. Alphonsine Hategekimana

    I think when there is a lack of materials, children start to show signs of bad behavior, seem to be tired or bored. If the space is limited it can also contribute to bad behavior

  64. Laura Mcintosh

    When they are not enough materials being offered to a group of children this can cause challenging behaviors or if the materials that are being offered do not interest the children. I find that boredom can often make these problems occur.

  65. Nicole Morrell

    I think most of the time when I see challenging behaviour it is either because the materials are not engaging or the children are looking for connections with educators and are wanting to play. I think sometimes educators see going outdoors as a chance to let children run around and go wild and although sometimes their cues do show us that is what they need they also need learning and opportunities to explore and when children are not given that they get bored and act out in negative ways.

  66. Stephanie Vieira

    When there is not enough materials for all children to use they get very upset and that’s when the behaviours start out.

  67. Ai Paul

    I have observed that children get really frustrated when we need to take down their creations because their play time is over and new sets of children will arrive. It would be great if I can figure out how to support longer extended play.

  68. Heather Howard

    When the elements of a responsive environment are lacking it is the right mix for challenging behaviours to emerge. I have witnessed a program where all the children share one play space and because of the size there is a strict schedule that allows each age group or each room to have a specific amount of time. Materials aren’t necessarily organized for each age group and the educators are on this tight schedule so the participation from them is minimal. This doesn’t allow the children to engage in much meaningful play.

  69. Lorraine Kok

    I think lack of materials or loose parts in one of the main reasons for challenging behaviors another would be they are bored and need some changes.

  70. Alison Rinas

    I agree, when there is lack of materials and play opportunities that don’t offfer children any engagement, behaviours and agreements will occur. When there is texture, levels and materials accessible the children are more engaged and content in exploring the space outdoors than worrying about their peers.

  71. Christine Villeneuve

    I have observed challenging behaviours when children are not provided with materials they are interested in, limited materials, lack of interaction or too much direction from educators (not being outdoors enough, or educators wanting to come inside when children want to stay out).

  72. Patricia Lynch-Staunton

    Educator participation greatly influences children’s behaviour. Too much direction and limiting comments (Be careful!, You’re getting dirty!) reduces children’s natural desire to think, learn and explore. Lack of interesting materials contributes to squabbling over resources. Limited time in the outdoor space can contribute to less cooperative play as children hoard, make unilateral decisions who does what and when and aggressive responses.

  73. Carli Olson

    Social anxiety, bored, same thing different day. Finding new ways to engage a child who is displaying behaviours, offering choices, and creating a fun environment for learning are key.

  74. Daniela Rodriguez

    Not enough space and limited materials. There could also be a misinterpreted communication between the child and educator.

  75. Romy Ralph

    Having enough materials and loose parts is important but sometimes there just isn’t another wheelbarrow and that is a learning experience as well.

  76. Randi Robertson

    I think it’s important to have a lot of materials for the children to play with and to change them up every once in a while so they don’t get bored of them. I think giving them a good amount of time outdoors is really important as well.

  77. Kim Hoey

    Having not enough material. Shovels, pails, riding cars. Also…… staff not being comfortable with risky play. Therefore they won’t let the children do the activity.

  78. Susanne Saunders

    The children exhibited some challenging behavior both wanting to play with the same muffin tin. More materials need to be added to the kitchen area. I have other muffin tins. they both want the same one.

  79. Charmee Penner

    Behaviors that the children have exhibited in our current outdoor space is overcrowding (sensory areas), fighting over resources (not enough resources available) and at times being destructive with resources (not enough materials that are stimulating, or areas that are engaging for children, materials are not able to be manipulated so they can become boring)

  80. Taylor Aichelberger

    Some of the reasons I have observed for children exhibiting challenging behaviours in the outdoor play space are it being an open space with limited materials to choose from, the same materials being used too often so that they were no longer very interesting to the children, and the materials not reflecting the cultures of families and the community.

  81. Jessica Popp

    The main reasons I have observed challenging behaviours occur in an outdoor environment is due to limitation of the space and/or educators. I have seen educators limit a child’s that they are not comfortable, due to fear that this type of play will increases amongst the children. There is also fear of others watching and what other perceptions is. Additionally to limiting safe play, is limitation to time and materials in a metal or plastic play environment.