Outdoor Kindy Term 2, 2014. Day 3

The fire crackled to life with very little effort this morning.  As far as the weather goes, this morning was the nicest so far, cool but not cold, cloudy but no rain.  We did get showers over the course of the day, but they really went un-noticed by the majority of the children.  Those that chose to keep removing their waterproof clothing spent the day having their play interrupted by the need to keep returning to their lockers to put them back on as each shower came.  The children who kept theirs on, continued their play, generally unphased by the weather conditions around them.

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Todays group of children was the largest we have had at an outdoor kindy session.  The bugs group plus half the frogs group (who have been with us the last two days) joined us ready for a full on day of outdoor kindy fun.

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It was interesting to watch the dynamics of the group today.  For the majority of the children it was a brand new experience.  As they were spending time familiarising themselves with the new environment, exploring all the loose parts available, and discovering all the play provocations and what they had to offer,  there were also a small group who were looking to repeat and extend experiences that they had been part of over the past two days.

As always, there was a huge focus on mud and water in the play of the children.  Watching the water spray in a fine mist from the hose and trying to catch just the right amount of the sunlight to create a rainbow.

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Collecting water and pouring it down the gutter, leaves racing down and dissapearing out the end, as the water continued to cascade over the sparkling coloured tiles.

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Finding big puddles of cold water left from the rain and jumping into them, the muddy water splashing up legs and over anyone and anything that was close enough.  The infectious laughter of children as they encouraged each other to try and jump harder and splash bigger.

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Dirt was dug by shovels and little hands, and loaded into wheelbarrows that became very tricky to manipulate as their weight increased and the ground become uneven from all the holes that were dug. The excitement as water was added and the dirt turned into thick, squelchy and heavy mud.

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The watercourse was a hive of activity in the afternoon as pipes, bamboo and tubes were connected to move water from one part of the digging patch to the other.  Children clambered around, working alongside one and other. They chatted and planned, negotiated, listened, put forward ideas and hypothosies, and worked together to devise ways to make their ideas become reality.  Then worked through the whole process again to adjust their ideas when things didnt quite go to plan.

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We made some special paint with watered down clay, it squelched in our hands, and the colour remained long after the painting was completed. We used it to paint the back wall of our digging patch area in gentle hues of colour.  The thick paint making beautiful patterns as each brick was coloured one by one.

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Our mud kitchen area, which was rearranged yesterday to create more space for the digging patch, had some finishing touches planned.

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Inspired by some gorgeous slabs of wood bought in by one of the families yesterday, a few of the children helped design a sign for the mud kitchen. Katie and one of the mums used our new wood burning tool to start making it.  The children have decided to call it the ‘MUDDY PUDDLE KITCHEN’

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A long clear piece of tubing become a fascinating experiment as a couple of children discovered you could blow water out of the end of it.  It was hard work, but oh so much fun when they managed to get water spurting from the end.

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There was unlimited fun to be had in a cardboard box.

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There was time for sitting around the warmth of the fire enjoying the company of our friends.

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Time for cuddles with little visitors, equally fascinated by the dancing flames and warmth of the campfire as the kindy children.

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Time for a few silly selfies….ok some of us may have taken a few more than others 😉

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Today we also had a visit from one of our mums in her ambulance!  She talked to us about keeping safe, and the sorts of things that ambulance officers do….she even pretended to do some first aid on some people.

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Then we all got to look through the ambulance, and even saw the lights flashing and heard the siren sound.

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We had some difficulties getting our pizza oven going properly today, but as luck would have it, our lovely friend that made it for us dropped in with some apples and made a few adjustments so its all ready to fire up again tomorrow.

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We still cooked fruit toast, sausages and marshmallows on the fire over the day though.

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Ropes have become a fascinating tool to create so many different experiences with this week, and the children are particularly enjoying the challenge of climbing and balancing on ropes.

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There were some fantastic structures created today using lots of loose parts from around the yard.

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We had a very busy and exciting day.  There are a few VERY tired children (and staff/prac teachers/work experience students!) after three days straight of outdoor kindy, and some that are chomping at the bit to get back for their second day tomorrow.  We are really looking forward to another day filled with amazing play experiences and muddy faces tomorrow.

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24 Comments

  • Lisa

    Such gorgeous photos, I know one particular little girl that didn’t want to leave today and cant wait until tomorrow. She was telling us how she had cut the whole way through a block with the very sharp saw and was very proud of herself. we are all looking forward to tomorrows stories.

  • Lisa

    Such gorgeous photos, I know one particular little girl that didn’t want to leave today and cant wait until tomorrow. She was telling us how she had cut the whole way through a block with the very sharp saw and was very proud of herself. we are all looking forward to tomorrows stories.

  • Wendy

    What a week. My Mr 4 has had the best 3 days. He is totally exhausted. How lucky are we that our kids get to have this amazing experience. There was no prompting at the end of the day for what he had been up to, the chatter & excitement just flowed with no prompting. He was also eager to share this all with his big brother too, I feel our back yard may get explored and look like outdoor kindy by Sunday night. I love that the last three days for Mr 4 really cements that weather is weather but it does not stop the play, just makes for different challenges and loads of fun. Thanks to everyone involved in making it such a special kindy experience. Well done. I have loved ready the blog Nic, perfect capture. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s instalment.

  • Wendy

    What a week. My Mr 4 has had the best 3 days. He is totally exhausted. How lucky are we that our kids get to have this amazing experience. There was no prompting at the end of the day for what he had been up to, the chatter & excitement just flowed with no prompting. He was also eager to share this all with his big brother too, I feel our back yard may get explored and look like outdoor kindy by Sunday night. I love that the last three days for Mr 4 really cements that weather is weather but it does not stop the play, just makes for different challenges and loads of fun. Thanks to everyone involved in making it such a special kindy experience. Well done. I have loved ready the blog Nic, perfect capture. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s instalment.

  • Erika

    I’ve been waiting for this blob entry to appear to see more of the wonderful things that happened today! This was my daughter’s first outdoor kindy experience and she was only able to tell me about a couple of experiences before promptly falling asleep in the car. The amount of learning that must have happened in this one day is quite amazing.

  • Erika

    I’ve been waiting for this blob entry to appear to see more of the wonderful things that happened today! This was my daughter’s first outdoor kindy experience and she was only able to tell me about a couple of experiences before promptly falling asleep in the car. The amount of learning that must have happened in this one day is quite amazing.

  • Tess

    Our Little possum, hasn’t stopped talking about the amazing day she has had.
    Outdoor Kindy has really made her day.
    From climbing ropes, painting walls to the ambo visit. She told us about her day with such animation & excitement.
    She was most excited about a special button in the ambulance, I think we heard about that a few times.
    The best thing I told her today was “guess what you get to do it all again tomorrow.”

  • Tess

    Our Little possum, hasn’t stopped talking about the amazing day she has had.
    Outdoor Kindy has really made her day.
    From climbing ropes, painting walls to the ambo visit. She told us about her day with such animation & excitement.
    She was most excited about a special button in the ambulance, I think we heard about that a few times.
    The best thing I told her today was “guess what you get to do it all again tomorrow.”

  • Kyra

    I was lucky enough to spend time at today’s outdoor kindy. How fantastic it is.
    I was able to collect ideas for entertaining my grandies.
    The children love the climbing, making, jumping, and the
    imagination used is such an experience. Of course the water and mud was very popular.
    When Kerry was talking first aid to them, they all concentrated on what she was saying.
    This was very educational, even to me. Well done to all involved

  • Kyra

    I was lucky enough to spend time at today’s outdoor kindy. How fantastic it is.
    I was able to collect ideas for entertaining my grandies.
    The children love the climbing, making, jumping, and the
    imagination used is such an experience. Of course the water and mud was very popular.
    When Kerry was talking first aid to them, they all concentrated on what she was saying.
    This was very educational, even to me. Well done to all involved

  • Lilybett

    This looks amazing! What a great experience for all the kids. Our kindy just doesn’t have the space or type of outdoor space to do this (tiny, artificial grass, etc). You’re very lucky to have the perfect environment for it as well as willing educators to facilitate this time for the kids.

  • Lilybett

    This looks amazing! What a great experience for all the kids. Our kindy just doesn’t have the space or type of outdoor space to do this (tiny, artificial grass, etc). You’re very lucky to have the perfect environment for it as well as willing educators to facilitate this time for the kids.

  • Olivia Cushway

    Brilliant! It has been an absolutely fantastic experience. I wanted to stay and play too! The kids have just had a ball. the opportunities and experiences you have all given the kids will be with them forever. I can’t thank you enough. It makes me quite sad to think that this is something so out of the ordinary instead of being a normal part of childhood. I hope this enthusiasm will spread to other kindys and schools and they might not be so frightened of the weather!

  • Olivia Cushway

    Brilliant! It has been an absolutely fantastic experience. I wanted to stay and play too! The kids have just had a ball. the opportunities and experiences you have all given the kids will be with them forever. I can’t thank you enough. It makes me quite sad to think that this is something so out of the ordinary instead of being a normal part of childhood. I hope this enthusiasm will spread to other kindys and schools and they might not be so frightened of the weather!

  • Katie

    it just comes so naturally to children who are intrinsically motivated to explore, create, discover and to enjoy all the awe and wonderment their natural world provides. I feel so blessed to be involved in this whole learning experience. The engagement levels and pride on the children’s faces is second to none. It has been a ‘buzz’ of excitement the whole week and this is just a ‘springboard’ to future planning and children’s voice as our curriculum continues to emerge and develop into the unknown…..how amazing is it to really trust children! Nic, not sure how you find the energy to write this amazing blog at the end of very exhausting but fulfilling days, it is very much appreciated and you are an asset for Lobethal Community Kindergarten xxxxxxxx

  • Katie

    it just comes so naturally to children who are intrinsically motivated to explore, create, discover and to enjoy all the awe and wonderment their natural world provides. I feel so blessed to be involved in this whole learning experience. The engagement levels and pride on the children’s faces is second to none. It has been a ‘buzz’ of excitement the whole week and this is just a ‘springboard’ to future planning and children’s voice as our curriculum continues to emerge and develop into the unknown…..how amazing is it to really trust children! Nic, not sure how you find the energy to write this amazing blog at the end of very exhausting but fulfilling days, it is very much appreciated and you are an asset for Lobethal Community Kindergarten xxxxxxxx

  • Catherine

    Awesome work all…. Amazing and lucky children

  • Catherine

    Awesome work all…. Amazing and lucky children

  • Tamra Mardle

    What an awesome week of outdoor exploring you have had! You guys are amazing.
    Teachers of excellence. Congratulations.
    Must organise a visit soon. Xx

  • Tamra Mardle

    What an awesome week of outdoor exploring you have had! You guys are amazing.
    Teachers of excellence. Congratulations.
    Must organise a visit soon. Xx

  • Dani

    After seeing what a great learning enviornemnt you have provided, we are wanting to do some cooking on a fire as well. Just wondering if you have any safety guidelines/policy you have that you may like to share

    • Lee Munn

      As a staff team we complete benefit/risk assesments for all the activites we provide – including the campfire! We undertake a lot of pre-planning with the children prior to the actual campfire being lit. We talk about fire safety and good and bad fires, we set up ‘fake’ fires inside and talk about fire safety and set rules about the fire with the children. We introduce safety cones at this point and create rules about staying behind them to keep ourselves safe. Our fire pit has an outer boundary of seating which prevents any run through, then an inner safety area of cones – the children respond very well to this as they have been involved in the setting up and discussion of safety procedures. The children help to fill the metal fire bucket and set up an area with this and woolen blankets that we keep on hand to be used in an emergensy, and they know these are for this purpose only. We also have a campfire roster over the time the fire is lit, which ensures there is always one staff member whos only responsibility is to supervise the fire. Good luck with your campfire cooking – it is an amazing experience to be able to provide for for the children. Marshmallows, sausages, flat bread, soups, ‘wombat stew’, apples and potatoes baked in foil are just a few of our campfire favourites!

  • Dani

    After seeing what a great learning enviornemnt you have provided, we are wanting to do some cooking on a fire as well. Just wondering if you have any safety guidelines/policy you have that you may like to share

    • Lee Munn

      As a staff team we complete benefit/risk assesments for all the activites we provide – including the campfire! We undertake a lot of pre-planning with the children prior to the actual campfire being lit. We talk about fire safety and good and bad fires, we set up ‘fake’ fires inside and talk about fire safety and set rules about the fire with the children. We introduce safety cones at this point and create rules about staying behind them to keep ourselves safe. Our fire pit has an outer boundary of seating which prevents any run through, then an inner safety area of cones – the children respond very well to this as they have been involved in the setting up and discussion of safety procedures. The children help to fill the metal fire bucket and set up an area with this and woolen blankets that we keep on hand to be used in an emergensy, and they know these are for this purpose only. We also have a campfire roster over the time the fire is lit, which ensures there is always one staff member whos only responsibility is to supervise the fire. Good luck with your campfire cooking – it is an amazing experience to be able to provide for for the children. Marshmallows, sausages, flat bread, soups, ‘wombat stew’, apples and potatoes baked in foil are just a few of our campfire favourites!