Early learning teachers build relationships among children, their families, and the early learning team. As children and families enter an early learning environment, the process of building relationships begins (Dietze & Kashin, 2016). Children’s play has many purposes. Creating outdoor environments that support children in establishing meaningful play is one of the most important strategies that adults use to connect children with others and to help them form relationships that support their development. Through play, children also release their stress or tension and work out their feelings of disequilibrium. Early learning teachers continuously try to create comfortable experiences and places within the play space that support children in feeling accepted, safe, and emotionally comfortable (Jessee & Gaynard, 2009).
Early learning teachers consider the importance of establishing close bonds and connections with families and community. Expanding the possibilities for relationship building in outdoor play and learning will support children in feeling connected. Early learning teachers focus on the core elements outlined below individually, as a team and with children and families.