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Exploring outdoor play in the early years

Exploring outdoor play in the early years

Maynard, Trisha, editor of compilation; Waters, Janet Gadsby, editor of compilation

Outdoor play is a significant and essential aspect of a young child's development and enjoys a renewed emphasis in early years practice, in keeping with the core principles embedded within the early years tradition. However, this emphasis may sit uneasily alongside a requirement to focus on the development of literacy and numeracy skills and supporting outdoor play can raise a number of thorny issues such as freedom, safety and risk. This book challenges the reader to consider: Why outdoor play is seen to be of significance within early childhood Whether this view is justified (what are the benefits of outdoor play?) The implications for practitioners who may be facing conflicting pressures in their work with young childrenIn particular, the writers skilfully blend theory, research and practical guidance to address three important issues: What constitutes 'good' outdoor provision for young children and babies? How do we respect and respond to the young child in outdoor provision? How do we support risky play within the bounds of a statutory curriculum or regulatory regime?Incorporating chapters from internationally renowned authors working in this field, this book is recommended both for practitioners involved in early years education and care and for students at foundation, degree and post-graduate levels. "This is a thought provoking book that draws on research to encourage the reader to reflect on the essence of outdoor play in early childhood. Recognising that within our society assumptions are made about outdoors and about childhood, this book challenges the reader to reflect on outdoor provision from a number of perspectives. The outdoor environment matters to young children. This book not only makes the case for outdoor play, it considers what that actually looks like in the UK and internationally, and asks us to reflect on the implications for our own working practices. Maynard and Waters set out to provoke critical reflection and inspire practitioners; they have certainly achieved their aim and this book is a welcome addition to the debate about outdoors in the early years." Gail Ryder Richardson, Early Years Consultant and Trainer, Outdoor Matters! Contributors: Valerie Huggins, Sara Knight, Helen Little, Trisha Maynard, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Alison Stephenson, Helen Tovey, Sue Waite, Jane Waters, Jan White, Karen Wickett, Helen Woolley and Shirley Wyver

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2014
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Available: Online

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    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
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Statement of responsibility: edited by Trisha Maynard and Jane Waters
ISBN: 0335263399, 9780335263387, 9780335263394
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (unpaged) : illustrations.
Subject: Outdoor education.; Early childhood education.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Dawson Books. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form.


  1. Contributors
  2. Introduction: Outdoor play in Early Years settings
  3. Section One: The case for outdoor play
  4. Outdoor play and the Early Years traditionWhat makes a good outdoor environment for young children?Exploring appropriate outdoor provision for babies and toddlers
  5. Section Two: Policy and practice in the UK
  6. Supporting child-initiated activity in the outdoor environmentRisky outdoor play: embracing uncertainty in pursuit of learningWorking with forest schoolsGetting the most out of outdoor spaces
  7. Section Three: International perspectives
  8. Early Years outdoor play in ScandinaviaOutdoor play in New Zealand centres: protecting, defending, extendingOutdoor play in Australia
  9. Index

Author note

Trisha Maynard is Professor of Early Childhood Spaces and Director of the Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.

Jane Waters is Director of Primary Programmes in the South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David: Swansea and Carmarthen, UK.