The outdoor space was explored using strategies children have always possessed; vibrant attention and curiosity and highly responsive actions and senses capable of empathy with and re-interpretation of things they encounter. The teachers followed the children in their knowledge seeking research as the children explored the area and resources, considering,
- What elements will the children stop and focus on?
- What would attract their hands, intriguing and stimulating them and how?
Although each group was attracted to different features, some threads were common, the pleasure of unrestricted space, the joy of being with friends and a rich landscape of sensory experiences that stimulate the whole body.
The children expressed their ideas about the area…
“I liked going on the mountain. I liked the children playing outside.”
“There was two hills on the top of the hill. There was little seeds and I feeled them when I was walking on the seeds.”
“The bicycles because it was fast and I like it.”
“I like playing in the sand and I found treasure on my map and there is a gold coin. And I play on the big hill and I pretended to be the king. I played with the climbing frame.”
“The green hills, I rolled down them.”
“The sand and the caves. We are making a hole. You just dig out the sand. There was some watery sand. It was water and sand.”
“Did you know I liked climbing the mountain. The clouds in the sky.”
As we develop our relationship the outdoor learning environment , we will develop our relationship with each other. It is hoped that it will be a way of experiencing and inhabiting nature that underscores and makes visible the empathies and deep listening to places, a way of looking at surroundings attentively to grasp and interpret differences and changes. The children appreciating their friends and the time they spend together outside. Being outside can provide a strong sense of togetherness and joy.