outdoor play

Outdoor Play Matters will explore the importance of children playing outdoors in a natural environment and the many benefits of outdoor play for a child’s holistic development. Playing outside in a natural environment supports a young child’s holistic development, it benefits a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

There will be a key note speaker followed by five workshops all of which will discuss the benefits of playing outside and offer helpful guidelines on how to maximise young children’s play outside and ensuring an enjoyable fun experience for all.

 Key note speaker : Carol Duffy (MA in Early Years Education) is an Early Childhood Specialist with Early Childhood Ireland. She has worked in the sector for over thirty-five years, as an early year’s educator, lecturer, and mentor. She is passionate about young children’s access to nature and outdoor play. Her research presented at many national and international conferences and seminars demonstrates the benefits of play in natural spaces for young children. She is the author of Nurture through Nature and The Trunks.

 Outdoor Play Matters: Key note address: Carol Duffy (MA in Early Years Education)

This visually stunning keynote address demonstrates why Outdoor Play Matters for young children. Using a mixture of images, video, and stories Carol presents some inspiring Irish outdoor early years practice. The benefits of natural spaces and the simple ways that natural materials can be provided in any type of space is presented and explored. There is something for everybody. Entertaining stories are revealed as rich learning experiences and tips and ideas are freely shared. This presentation is tailored to support adults to provide meaningful outdoor play and experiences for children across the ages from birth to after-school.

 Workshops  *warning- workshops will require letting go and having fun outside, please bring appropriate clothing. 

Workshop 1 :Towards Quality Outdoor Provision

Carol Duffy:

This workshop will address the main issues involved in providing a curriculum that is rich in outdoor play. Using examples from practice, the benefits, challenges, and models of outdoor provision are presented, explored, are discussed.

 Workshop 2. Discovering bugs, bees and pollinators.

Albert Nolan:

Mini beasts are great fun, and kids love any creature that crawls, slitters and wriggles. This workshop will show adult’s practical ideas, around how to help children discover the fascinating worlds of insects. Learn how to make a bug hotel from a coffee cup, seed balloon bombs for pollinators, and shake a few trees to see what creatures live in the branches.

 Workshop 3: Mucky Boots.

Niamh Geoghegan:

Through Mucky Boots, Niamh facilitates year round forest school sessions for 3-7 year old’s, monthly events for 6-12 year old’s, monthly Family days and a range of Easter and Summer Camps.

Mucky Boots offers Niamh and her collaborators an opportunity to combine their many skills and experiences to provide a nature based programme that is both creative and fun while offering participants plenty of time to explore and connect with the natural world.

Niamh will invite participants to play some nature connection games as a way to land and arrive in nature. We will explore some creative ways of approaching storytelling in nature and do a simple wood craft activity. The workshop will be experiential and hands on.

 Workshop 4: Totally kids

Totally Kids is a Preschool offering both morning and afternoon ECCE sessions situated within the grounds of St Josephs School in Tipperary Town. At Totally Kids we believe that outside play provides a powerful learning environment and it is absolutely central to our curriculum delivery. Being out in the natural surroundings allows the children to learn through first hand, active experiences, enriching their play by stimulating their senses. Over time and through a mixture of determination and trial and error we have evolved into a setting where we can spend all of our sessions freely playing outside in all but the most severe of weathers. The environment is comfortable and practical providing a positive outdoor experience for both us, the educators and the child. This workshop will explore the practical challenges and benefits to moving your settings outdoors. Therese and Michele will share their journey to moving the ECCE class fully outdoors. They will outline the practical challenges associated with getting outdoors and illustrate the development of their outdoor space over the past few years, culminating this year in being fully outdoors for much of the winter. They will also allow space for you to explore what steps you can take in the coming year to get outside more and use outdoor learning spaces in your service.

Workshop 5: Fundamental Movement Skill

Christina Duff:

Movements such as throwing, catching, skipping and kicking are fundamental to active play, but are children getting the opportunities to develop these basic movement patterns in the way that they used to? This workshop aims to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to encourage and facilitate the development of physical literacy in the early years Participants will learn:

  • What fundamental movement skills are and why they are so important?
  • How to encourage and develop these skills?
  • How to create low cost alternatives to purchased equipment using natural, recycled or repurposed materials
  • Tips and tricks for incorporating these skills into the day both indoors and outdoors

Please Note: Once you book in for the event you will be contacted by the event organisers to choose which workshop you would like to attend.

BOOKING LINK : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/outdoor-play-matters-tickets-44252302829