Exploring the Use of Outdoor Play to Support Children’s Development Abstract: This study explored how outdoor play is perceived to support children’s development in a Nursery School in Beckton. The research methodology employed were questionnaires and interviews of teachers and early childhood practitioners working in the said children’s centre as well as young children themselves…
Being able to play outdoors was perceived to be good for one’s health and well-being. The respondents reported that supervision of outdoor play entailed challenges in keeping the environment safe for the children, adding variety to their play and keeping them appropriately dressed for whatever weather there is during their outdoor play. Analysis of the data led to recommendations of using a bigger number of participants, improvement of the questionnaire and using focus group interviews to yield more qualitative insights from practitioners in the early years. Purposes and Aims This study purports to explore how outdoor play supports children’s development in one nursery school in Beckton. This children’s centre caters to very young children aged two to five years. Being aware that play serves many purposes for children (Bruce, 2004; Eden, 2008; Wood & Attfield, 2005), this research wants to explore first-hand, what teachers, practitioners, parents and children themselves think about outdoor play and how it is beneficial to them and children’s growth and development. Most studies focus on the benefits of play, however, not many studies specifically refer to outdoor play, especially those which are unstructured. Some studies focus on the safety of outdoor play (White, 2008; Clements, 2004).Allowing young children to play freely out in the sun without much physical constraints offered indoors may yield behaviours and outcomes which are not usually studied. This is the rationale for the choice of research – to find out more about what outdoor play can do to support children’s early development and how adults around them view outdoor play Outdoor play is differentiated with indoor play by the venue and nature of the play experience. As the word implies, outdoor play is held outdoors, with less physical constraints and more space to move around. The literature likens the outdoors to a garden (Herrington, 2001; Froebel, 1898; Wood & Attfield, 2005) where large motor play is encouraged (Wellhousen, 2002). Outdoor play has been found to provide several benefits for children, among these, physical gains, promotion of spirituality, independence, critical thinking and enhancement of children’s love for nature (Lindon, 2000; Faegre et al, 1958). It also is a natural motivation for social interaction with peers. This research will be useful for teachers, parents, caregivers and other adults involved in the care and education of young children. Their young wards are at the stage when they are curious, physically active and restless to find out more about their world. This research attempts to bring light to the topic of outdoor play and provide ideas to adults on how they can use outdoor play to support the children’s over-all growth and development. This research is conducted to find out the following: How is outdoor play used to support the children’s development? What are the possible benefits of outdoor play? What are the possible challenges in provision for outdoor play? Data Results and Discussion of Findings This section presents the results of the study as well as discusses its implications for outdoor play and its significance in the development of young children as viewed by teachers and practitioners, parents and the children themselves. Presentation of findings culled from raw ...
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20 Pages(5000 words)Dissertation
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