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Outdoor Play Everyday: Innovative Play Concepts for Early Childhood 1st Edition

Karyn Wellhousen, Ph.D.

  • Published
  • 224 Pages


Outdoor Play, Everyday: Innovative Play Concepts for Early Childhoodpresents information not readily available to early childhood teachers. While safety of children is placed first and most, the text goes far beyond the playground as a means of providing outdoor experiences. Outdoor play is viewed in a wholistic manner and thus a broad range of opportunities for learning and play are covered. Specific assessment techniques for analyzing children's growth in an outdoor environment are introduced in detail with relevant examples, with attention given specifically to primary grade children. Children of varying ages are distinctly different in their cognitive thinking and physical abilities, as plans for their outdoor play should be made accordingly. Outdoor play is as important at home and in the community as it is in school settings, yet often there is a lack of safe places and appropriate supervision. These important issues are also addressed, as well as issues such as gender, socio-economic background, and ability in relation to outdoor play. As an important aspect of childhood, ideas for making outdoor play accessible are also well-presented.

Karyn Wellhousen, Ph.D., University of South Alabama

  • Importance of outdoor play defined from an historical view
  • Provides information on infant/toddler outdoor play-age groups that are often overlooked
  • Gives attention to children with a range of special needs what kinds of outdoor adaptations are necessary
  • The latest findings on safety features and safe outdoor play equipment as established by the ADA are included
  • Offers simple, inexpensive ideas for incorporating new activities and outdoor challenges for teachers to incorporate in the outdoor play environment
  • Shows why assessment is important in outdoor play settings and gives specific guidelines for this evaluation
CHAPTER 1: Outdoor Play: A Mainstay of Early Childhood Education.
A. Overview: chapter one is a narrative, historic timeline of outdoor play and learning in early childhood education. the contributions of influential educational philosophers and practitioners will be discusses.
B. Early Educators Who Recognized Importance of Outdoor Play. 1. Rousseau. 2. Pestalozzi. 3. Froebel.
C. the Nursery School Movement. 1. Rachel and Margaret Macmillan. 2. Abigail Eliot. 3. Harriet Johnson.
D. Trends Leading to Steady Decline of Outdoor Play. 1. Launching of Sputnik 2. Teacher Accountability. 3. Standardized Testing. 4. Liability Issues.
E. Where We Stand Today. 1. Early Childhood Programs. 2. Elementary Schools. 3. Community Recreation.
CHAPTER 2: Playground Safety.
A. Introduction
B. Categories of Playground Safety. 1. Supervision for Safety. a. Supervision for Learning. 2. Age Appropriate Design. 3. Fall Surfacing. 4. Maintenance and Placement of Surfacing Materials. a. Swings. b. Slides.
C. Equipment and Playground Maintenance.
D. Weather Related Hazards.
E. Accessibility to Playground. 1. Play Components. a. Ground Level Play Components. b. Elevated Play Components. 2. Accessible Surfacing.
F Conclusion.
CHAPTER 3: Outdoor Play for Infants and Toddlers.
A. Introduction. 1. Brain Development.
B. Cognitive Development of Infants and Toddlers.
C. Communication Development of Infants and Toddlers.
D. Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Toddlers.
E. Physical Progression of Infants and Toddlers.
F. Age Appropriate Outdoor Play Experience for Infants and Toddlers. 1. No Mobility Children. a. Listening. b. Looking. c. Feeling. 2. Low Mobility Children. 3. High Mobility Children. a. Large Motor Zone. b. Dramatic Play Zone. c. Messy Zone. 1. Water Table. 2. Sand Table or Sandbox. 3. Painting. 4 Modeling Dough. d. Quite Zone. 4. Music and Movement.
G. Teacher''s Role.
CHAPTER 4: Outdoor Play In the Preschool Years.
A. Introduction.
B. Cognitive Development of Preschoolers.
C. Communication Development of Preschoolers.
D. Social-Emotional Development of Preschoolers.
E. Physical Progression of Preschoolers. 1. Gross Motor Skills. a. Walking and Running. b. Climbing and Jumping Down. c. Throwing and Catching. d. Balancing. e. Rough-and-Tumble Play. 2. Fine Motor Skills.
F. Age Appropriate Outdoor Play Experience for Preschoolers. 1. Planning and Complexity and Variety. 2. Planning Physical Arrangement of Play Yard. 3. Outdoor Learning Centers. a. Outdoor Art Centers. b. Outdoor Block Center. c. Outdoor Dramatic Play Center.
G. Fifty Quick Ways to Add Interest to Preschool Play Yards.
CHAPTER 5: Outdoor Play In the Primary Grades.
A. Introduction.
B. Cognitive Development of Primary Grade Children. 1. Multiple Intelligences.
C. Communication Development In the Primary Grade.
D. Social-Emotional Development of Primary Grade Children.
E. Physical Progression of Primary Grade Children.
F. Outdoor Play Experiences. 1. Age Appropriate Playground Design.
G. Loose Parts. 1. Jump Ropes. 2. Sports Equipment. 3. Obstacle Courses.
H. Games.
I. Field Trips.
J. Dealing with Conflict.
CHAPTER 6: Observing and Assessing Children''s Outdoor Play.
A. Introduction.
B. Two Separate Methods for Documenting Children Learning During Outdoor Play Are Introduced: 1. Systematic recording-Careful observation and record-keeping of a child''s actions and language. a. Anecdotal Records. b. Observation Guides. c. Checklist/Rating Scales. 2. Products-producing tangible evidence of a child''''s new accomplishments. a. Photos/Video. b. Drawing or Narrative. c. Label Showing Ownership. d. Note to Parents.
C. Information gathered through systematic record-keeping and collecting products can best be analyzed through a comprehensive portfolio system which will be shared with parents during conferences.
CHAPTER 7 : Residential and Community Outdoor Play Areas.
A. Introduction.
B. Residential Playgrounds.
C. Safety On Residential Playgrounds. 1. Age Appropriate Design. 2. Fall Surfacing. 3. Equipment Maintenance.
D. Loose Parts.
E. Community Playgrounds. 1. Case Study: A Community Built Playground. 2. Options for Community Builds. a. Organizing Committees. b. Selecting A Site and Other Considerations.