How can early learning teachers make sure that there is ample time for outdoor play in their schedule? Many jurisdictions have regulated the time for outdoor play in policies and regulations. How much are you required to be outside with the children? Is it enough? What do the children do when they are outside? Without large blocks of time for play, children do not engage in deep-play, thus reducing the opportunities for learning outdoors. Do children have the same time for outdoor play in the winter as they do in the warmer months? Discuss the issue of time to play in the comment box below. Why do some early learning teachers feel bound by schedules rather than the quality of the play experiences?
From the comments below have you gotten any ideas about enhancing children’s outdoor play experiences by providing more time? Watch this video to see how these early learning teachers have reflected upon the “flow of the day” to allow for more time to play and why.
How the day is spent with children is reflected in a daily schedule for your program. Reflect on your schedule. Does it allow for children to have uninterrupted time to play outdoors? Do you follow the schedule strictly? Is the schedule flexible? Perhaps you can consider creating a “flow of the day” which refers to a flexible and fluid plan with a minimum of transitions (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016). The flow of the day is flexible so if the children are engaged in deep and meaningful learning outdoors, why bring them inside? If the children begin the day indoors, every day during every month, how do you deal with the time it takes for the children to get dressed for outdoor play? Share your experiences and ideas about creating a flow of the day that supports extended time outdoors for children. Add your comments in the comment box below.