Outdoor Exploration


With the warmer weather has come more opportunities for outdoor exploration. The toddlers are no longer burdened by bulky snowsuits which can limit their movement, and there are a lot of things to see as plants start to bloom and the environment starts to change, making the outdoor environment feel more welcoming and exciting.

One of their favourite activities outside has been water play. The children don’t care if their clothes get a little wet, as long as they can play with the water. They love using their hand-eye coordination to fill up containers in the trickle trunk. They then use this water and pour it into a puddle to splash around in, or they use it to make mud creations such as “cake” and “medicine”. Another way that water play is used is through an outdoor sensory table. The two bins are filled up with water and the children are free to splash around in it or to dip paint brushes in it and paint the playground. This builds on their creativity, while also allowing them to engage in sensory play.

2 toddlers playing with trickle trunk

3 toddlers painting outside 2 toddler boys on ratchet straps2 toddlers bouncing on ratchet straps Another favourite outdoor activity has been risky play. Through walking along the balance beam children have been able to engage in risky play and learn how to take turns. When the children go across the beam they go one at a time in order for an educator to be there to support them as they go across. To make this process easier the children have been learning to line up at the low end of the beam until it is their turn. Ruby, along with some of the other children, can often be heard saying “I’m in line!” as they patiently wait for their turn. When it is their turn the children climb up, walk across, and the take a big jump off the end.

Building on the skills used with the balance beam, we came up with the idea to introduce ratchet straps into our risky play. Ensuring the straps are on nice and tight the children are able to hang their hands over the straps and swing their bodies. We added more straps until we created an entire area dedicated to exploring risk through the straps. Once the straps were set up, Liam sat on a lower one and practiced balancing his bum. Finn climbed onto the lower strap and held on tight to the top strap, bouncing up and down as if he were on a trampoline. Ashton and Samuel discovered they could hang under the middle strap, wrapping their hands around and hang their feet off the ground. Samuel exclaimed, “wee” as he swung back and forth. This inspired more children to join in as they saw the potential the straps could provide for risky play.

Overall our outdoor environment has provided the toddlers with many ways to play and learn. From water play to risky play, the toddlers have gained new skills and confidence in their abilities. We can’t wait to see how their learning continues to evolve as they further explore their outdoor environment.