Sunday 27 June 2010

Zoning the Outside Space

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Teacher Tom said...

We have a very small, urban outdoor space, but we've still managed to come up with zones: construction/tinkering, sand pit/water play, Little World (fine motor/dramatic play), and garden. We have to use our gym for wheeled vehicles because that's the only flat surface we have.

I find zones both outdoors and indoors to be useful in curriculum planning. That said, I like when play crosses over from zone to zone, blurring the boundaries a bit. Our construction, for instance, often spills over into the sand pit or dramatic play area. Our garden is the only part of our outdoor space that is physically divided from the rest. It tends to double as our "quiet" play area.

Play for Life said...

We have zones Juliet but like Tom we like blurring our boundaries too. We have a grass area where the children run, build, picnic and play ball sport which cannot be used for climbing equipment because of the soft fall regulations and a concreted area which again is used for everything except climbing equipment but basically the children are free to move props and equipments around to all parts of the indoor and outdoor play space. That is not to say we do not set the environment up in their zoned areas because we do, it's just that our ideas of play zones do not necessarily match the children's idea of play zones! But at the end of the day props and equipment are returned to their zoned areas because tomorrows zones will no doubt be different from todays!
Donna :) :)

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi Tom

I think your outside area is an excellent example of what can be achieved within a small space. Very often staff are tempted to offer only physically active play materials like trikes, balls and hoops. However the trick is to offer everything else there and find a bigger space elsewhere for running about.

I love it when children take their play into different area and blur the "adult" boundaries. I think this is when creativity is really seen.