What is it?
Outdoor play and learning means anything that is happening outside during our morning play time and lunch time. It is about creating an opportunity for children to learn and develop vital skills such as team work and resilience in a fun way. It is also about the children taking risks and learning how to manage and judge these risks safely. All equipment we use has been risk assessed and we have decided that the benefits they gain through use outweigh any potential risks it may pose.
What do the children use?
A large part of OPAL is the ‘loose parts’ that children play with. This can be anything from small pieces of lego they use to build a small house or ropes and sheets they might use for a den they can get inside.
Areas we are developing for the children to use
We are trying to develop our outdoor area for the children to enjoy as much as they possibly can. We have developed the mud kitchen and den building area as well as a stage for children to perform on. We are also developing a toy shed to store more of those loose parts for the children to bring out and enjoy.
Will my child get dirty?
A big part of OPAL is that it is all weather so we will be outside as much as we can be. If the weather really doesn’t cooperate and we feel it creates a risk to the children then we still have the option of indoor play. As it is all weather there is a chance that children will get dirty, especially in the mud kitchen. They are however encouraged to wash their hands immediately after it has been used. As the grassed areas of the school get wet we insist that children wear wellies rather than school shoes to go on the grass. The children are aware of this rule.