The Place

Topic Progress:

course11-lesson2-topic2-photo1In Module six, the concepts of place and the pedagogy of place were introduced. The space where learning takes place is critical to consider when reflecting upon increasing children’s engagement with nature and active play opportunities for outdoor play. Where do the children in your program play? Do you always go to the playground? How is your playground designed? Are there ample opportunities for children to experience all types of play?

In the photo above what types of play do you envision children might engage in while in this space and place?

The photo depicts a mud kitchen, something that is easy to provide for children inside a fenced in playground or any way outside. Check out this resource:



What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities?  Record your ideas in the comments box below.



  1. Michelle Davis

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities

    I think that building centres offer very rich play opportunities. Big blocks of wood, hammers, nails, screw and screw drivers, maybe even some drills. Protective glasses and gloves.

  2. Christine Norman

    Other key areas that offer children rich play opportunies are sand box, especially when mixed with other materials such as rock and water, large and small loose parts, forts or materials to create forts, gardens, tools and materials to explore with the tools and so much more.

  3. Jasmine Park

    I think dramatic play with the kitchen will be good experience. This can be extended restaurant play, mommy play and shopping play.

  4. Nikki Littlechild

    I think planting and taking care of what’s been planted, whether garden or flowers, offer such rich play opportunities that help children grow skills of their own. It teaches them how to plant and care for something that brings joy and nourishment and also helps them develop a love and respect for living things.

  5. Hilary Geddes

    I believe incorporating gardening is a great way of introducing children to the understanding of where our food comes from and learning how to live sustainably in the future. another great component to incorporate would be music

  6. Heather Diewert

    Key areas outdoors that can offer rich play opportunities, not only include Mud Kitchens, but also sand pits with a variety of loose parts, water play area with PVC pipes etc, a garden tools, pots, and a compost bin, Outdoor Art station with various art materials and natural objects, even an open field with hula hoops, balls, and tires can offer an invitation to children to create their own games.

  7. Carrie Maclellan 

    I think the gardening process is another great example of this rich play experience as well as adventures into the nearby forest pathways

  8. Rachael Ewan

    I think garden and water areas, natural areas, quiet areas and areas with loose parts are all important.

  9. Heather Brekkaas

    They could combine the mud kitchen with some imaginative play. Someone cooks, someone serves/takes orders, someone is the customer etc.

  10. Rachelle Gregoire

    Kids love mud construction as well as the kitchen. They will build elaborate cities and farms and roll their trucks in it for ever.

  11. Katarina Ninkovic

    Dramatic play! The children and I made laminated menus and brought out some aprons and oven mitts, the children moved some of the tables and chairs near the kitchen to serve me and other children what we ordered from the restaurant!

  12. Krista Ambrose

    Other key areas that offer children rich play opportunities are more dramatic play (bring costumes/dress up clothes out), construction/building play, and gross motor/risky play.

  13. Melissa Vail

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities?
    Any area that is inside could be brought outside such as dramatic play, arts, music etc

  14. Dana Wilson

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities?

    Other key areas that I think offer children rich play opportunities would be dramatic play, outdoor music centres, and water play. In our yard we have a low area that makes a glorious huge puddle when it has rained. We have had educators suggest that we level the yard in that corner but it makes such an amazing play area. It is an area that encourages so much experiential learning and development.

  15. Jody Anderson

    Hide and go seek
    Treasure hunting
    Eye spy games
    Dramatic play
    Music centre by banging on the pots and wooden items
    Kitchen, home or restaurant play

  16. Angel Huang

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities? Record your ideas in the comments box below.
    dramatic play, kitchen area, imaginative play, sand and water table.
    twigs, rocks and acorns, natural materials..

  17. Betty-Ann Ryz

    Playhouses of various types like a mini village, boats to float on a 1.5 foot deep pond, outdoor theater with a backstage, grassy area, open space to construct to their hearts desire.

  18. Ruth Novak

    A sand pit or box. A gardening area where they learn from the seed to the item. Building campires with branches and stones. An area where risky play can be tried as well!

  19. Amanda Christison

    Gardening area, sand box and water play, den and fort play area, large space for loose parts experiences, natural hills, stones, stumps, planks, etc and a quiet nook area for reading and relaxation.

  20. Amanda N

    Children might engage in exciting conversations about what they will cook for the birds, imaginary friends, or themselves. Other designed areas that could provoke children’s imagination could be a garden or a sandbox area.

  21. Joanne Falk

    Having real tools/kitchen items outside for the children, have a quiet/rest area with some books. Bigger stumps/logs for the children to do risky play.

  22. Kimberley Thompson

    Climbing bigger rocks and stumps, having a garden to tend to, building with larger natural materials, loose parts, little fairy drama areas, sandbox and art area.

  23. Shannon Stewart

    Stumps and boulders to climb, garden boxes and sand play, large river rocks for stacking, hills, flowers, den making

  24. Jessica Garner

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities? Record your ideas in the comments box below.

    Gardens, areas for sand or water play, hills/slopes/ramps, outdoor easels, or dens/sheltered spaces

  25. Alison Rinas

    Areas that allow exploration, mud kitchens – which to me represent dramatic play, building, authentic items that children can move around and create their own structure that fit into their ideas and play conversations with peers

  26. Svetlana Babikova

    I would like to add a garden that provides a sensory experience, risky play, creativity, dramatic play, science, math, physical and language development.

  27. Kamaldeep Sidhu

    Dramatic play,sensory and gardening,colouring on big cardboard pieces and story time outside,offers good opportunities for children to explore.

  28. Caroline Driedger

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities?
    I would love to add a wood working area, add elements of risky play.

  29. Nadira Ramnauth

    Some other key areas that offer children rich play opportunities are sand and water, gardening, play structures, a construction area, and an outdoor library.

  30. Janice Duncan

    Having a variety of play areas such as fixed equipment, blankets with books under a tree, trees for climbing and loose parts such as tires and boards.

  31. Kathy Barnhart

    So many ideas, I love the mud kitchen myself because it brings back happy childhood memories. I think the ability to find things that might be hidden out of view would be a fn and interesting activity, like a scavenger hunt but using familiar objects outside.

  32. Alphonsine Hategekimana

    Since the beginning of this course, we have seen the importance of the outside game. Its benefits with children and adults.
    I think that activities planned indoors can also be planned as outdoor play. Thinking of painting, reading, dramatic play, cooking. All of these can be beneficial to children. It is just a matter of planning and having the will.

  33. Deborah Fehr

    I love a natural forest!! Also, a carpentry area for building both large and small items with real tools. A socio-dramatic space for fantasy and role play. A space for music and dancing. A place for the arts … large and small.

  34. Heather Howard

    Dramatic play is another key area that would present rich play opportunities. Bringing the indoors out but using the natural setting of outdoors would take pretend camping for example to a new level of that experience with a real tent, a camping/mud kitchen, sleeping bags, books and just being in the natural environment to live and explore in.

  35. Laura Mcintosh

    I think it is important for educators to keep in mind that anything that can be planned inside can be planned for outside as well. Having coloring, dramatic play and areas to read are examples of this.

  36. Patricia Lynch-Staunton

    What other key areas offer children rich play opportunities?
    Unstructured areas so that the children can construct their own rules – probably many flexible, moveable parts.
    Invitations and provocations, thoughtfully arranged.
    Kind interactions with educators
    The area of time – slow, uniterupted time
    Areas for adventurous gross motor play

  37. Jaclyn Geiger

    Problem solving through building and socially through dramatic play is really important. I feel like there needs to be more mud play, this looks fantastic.

  38. Nicole Morrell

    I think dramatic play is so important to provide space for as well as a cozy space in the shade to read books!

  39. Christine Villeneuve

    Anything children can do indoors, to also bring outdoors. Dramatic play, art, creative expression, literacy and reading, construction, tables for eating (or blankets for picnics), fine motor activities, risky play opportunities, quiet areas, and gardening spaces.

  40. Romy Ralph

    Instruments made and found are something to add to your outdoor space and construction materials are great too.

  41. Kim Hoey

    Having a tool workshop area where kids can hammer with real tools, saw.
    I like a camping area. We could put up a tent and bring in other props.

  42. Charmee Penner

    dramatic play areas , science/discovery areas, imaginative play, creative areas, areas the support risky play, gross motor areas, quiet areas for reading/relaxation.

  43. Taylor Aichelberger

    Outdoor theatres for dramatic and imaginative play, rocky/forested areas for creative play and safe risky play, fort and construction areas for house play, outdoor laboratories for experimentation (natural materials, loose parts), sit spots for individual thinking/play.

  44. Jessica Popp

    An additional key area to offer outdoors in dramatic play opportunities or as we have previously reviewed risky outdoor play.