Natural Play is a Growing Adventure for Early Years

Posted by Nick Riley on 24th Apr, 2018 |

Natural Play is a Growing Adventure for Early Years Foundation Stage and we know time is limited so we have found a list from the Woodland Trust that helps summarize ideas and how simple they can be to create real value for play.

  1. Tree climbing using a fallen tree as a climbing frame, or two to three metre high posts with footholds.
  2. Fallen trees provide a place for magical story telling or hanging natural art works.
  3. Log balancing trails using different sized and shaped logs along a path.
  4. Stepping stone logs arranged in a pattern separated by distances ranging from 30cm to 1m.
  5. Secret paths through a thicket leading to a small clearing.
  6. Timber post maze made with shaped branches to give an air of mystery.
  7. Willow domes and structures to create play areas and shelters.
  8. Pools and muddy pits for mud play or pond dipping make marvellous play spaces. Nets and white plastic containers are needed for examining the catch.
  9. Mown mazes in long grass and flower meadows can provide fun experiences.
  10. Banks and slopes that children love to roll or slide down.
  11. Den building sites require a pile of brash and maybe access to ferns or bracken. Located by a support such as a tree trunk or post, it is ideal for creating dens or shelters.
  12. Boulders can be used to create a maze, seating or stepping stones.
  13. Storyteller chairs can be constructed from tree trunks or stumps to encourage story telling.
  14. An area with hiding places is good for ‘hide and seek’ and ‘surprise’ games.
  15. Barefoot trails allow children to explore the environment through the soles of their feet.

So there you have it, simple and effective ideas from a few simple materials and activites.

We would suggest including a range of everyday objects that, creatively, could be used as other creative solutions for construction. Keeping everything tidy is also a requirement and we would suggest storage sheds and plastic containers are key to maintaining a usable area.

Pictured in this article is a collection of materials and parts that are meant to inspire childrens creativity. Its what EYFS is all about, we need to reinvigorate interests in practical skills and construction.

Contact us about our Forest School packs or Loose Parts kits, it will save you lots of time and at the same time get a whole bunch of possibilities for play, delivered to your school outdoor area.