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Do your chn use the outdoor area in the cold?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Ucan2, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. We spend ages every day cleaning, clearing leaves and setting out activities to choose from but if it is cold, the children just prefer to be indoors. It is certainly too cold to write, even playing in the sand is cold. I literally have to order the chn out to 'have a run around'. We leave the door open and freeze our socks off every day - is this really necessary on the really cold days?
  2. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    If it is sunny then they need the vitamin D they will make!
    You need to play fast and active. Skip, bats and balls, football, hide and seek, bikes and hoops and so on. Chalk is fine and often the sand is attractive if it is in a tray not a pit.
    It is me that does not like the cold, not the children.
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    You should bear the weather in mind when you set out the activiites, surely? If it's cold, there's not much point in laying out stuff that improves fine motor control, for example. Softplay is a lovely cold weather activity. Trikes, climbing frames etc are active and warming things. When it's icy, water that's frozen overnight is fun. Frost, frosty spiders' webs, hard soil, lingering rosehips... the nature possibilities are endless. Show the children a compass and explain about the North Pole [and maybe Jack Frost, if you're feeling fanciful]

    Never make the children stay outside but don't deny them the pleasures of winter either.
  4. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    Why does the door need to be open? Presumably the building is heated, so if you are having the door permanently open, all that precious (and expensive) heat is just being wasted. You might as well stand in the doorway and chuck a load of tenners in the air. After all, you wouldn't sit at home with your back door wide open on the off chance that your own children might want to go out.
    We have the door permanently shut, and the children open (and then shut) it when going outside or coming back in. The door is pretty lethal on a windy day, but they know that they have to ask an adult to open the door for them in bad weather.
  5. We have an outside area which is covered (top only) and the children can access this independently - we have the door open because then we can hear and keep an eye on them but still work with a group writing or numbers inside. There is no room for bikes etc here but chn can use wobble boards, skittles, sand etc. We also have a large oudoor area with the playground which we have to police when the children are using it - I don't mind this part but can't do it all day because it is just too cold.
  6. Keep trying. Wear some thermals, that's what we did last winter. Make sure the children have warm fleeces to wear that are easily accessible. Create some windbreaks with your furniture (we had a bit of a wind tunnel going last year). Try some dried pasta/dried pulses in the sand or water tray or bring the water tray inside. Plan an activity outside that is adult led to encourage the children to go outside. Remember the Foundation phase is all about choice, if the children chose to stay inside then that is their choice! Does anyone dare say do not go out if the temperature is below ......? (is there a health and safety limit?). If it is really cold can you not pick an outdoor time (say for 15 minutes) once an hour if the children want to go out? What do parents think about their children being outside when it is really cold? Tricky problem I say with no definitive answer until some poor child or teacher develops hypothermia and the papers go mad!!!
    We also shut the door and the children were told if it was a windy day they needed to ask before going out and we had an adult on door monitoring (usually adult doing an activity near the door).
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I wonder if the children play outdoors at home or do you think parents tell them it is too cold which may influence how they behave in school. Our children have to be told to go indoors when they start to develop icicles [​IMG]
  8. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    In respect to the whole freezing classroom issue, a lot of schools seem to be buying heavy plastic butchers curtains that hang in front of the door.
  9. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    The activities change in the cold and the rain, but some children love being outside all wrapped up.
  10. Some good advice thanks. Our head insists the outside area is used all the time (even though | know she wouldn't put up with the cold). I'm just glad when the children choose to stay inside!
  11. We use the outdoor area as chn are still very keen to go out. We send them in when they turn blue! We don't play with the water but they still like to access the sand and all the other things outside.
  12. A fair rotation of adults is necessary- not rigid, perhaps allowing staff to change when they feel cold, such that the overall time outdoors ends up fairly distributed but with the principle clearly established that inddot outdoor activity for children is a fundamental provision in the early years. If there is enough staff and the outside can be available from almost immediately there are children who will come straight in and go outside, their pent up energy and need for purposeful large motor activity demands it of them. THere is no easy way because it does get cold for adults although taking part in running games, ball games and ring games or vigorous sweeping and moving of things does generate heat.

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