The Muddy Puddle Teacher

Outdoor Continuous Provision

Mega Tip : Outdoor Continuous Provision (Demo Video)

What is Outdoor Continuous Provision?

Outdoor continuous provision refers to the intentional and planned provision of resources and learning experiences outdoors for children in early years settings. It involves creating an environment where children can access various outdoor resources and materials that support their play, exploration, and learning.

Educators carefully set up the outdoor space in an outdoor continuous provision to encourage independent and child-led learning. The environment typically includes a mud kitchen, nature exploration corner, construction area, mark-making zone, sensory garden, and more. These areas allow children to engage in various activities and experiences promoting holistic development.

The benefits of outdoor continuous provision are numerous. Children can develop their physical skills through climbing, balancing, and gross motor skills through climbing frames, obstacle courses, and riding bikes. Outdoor play also offers opportunities for children to engage in imaginative play, problem-solving, and creativity, as they can freely explore and manipulate natural materials and open-ended resources.

An outdoor continuous provision can be integrated into the daily curriculum, allowing children to spend regular periods outdoors to explore and engage with the environment independently. Educators observe and support children’s learning within this provision, scaffolding their play and providing guidance when needed. This approach enhances children’s education and fosters a sense of independence, curiosity, and resilience.

What is outdoor play?

Outdoor play refers to children engaging in play and activities in natural or outdoor settings, such as parks, playgrounds, gardens, or other outdoor environments. It involves children interacting with the natural elements, exploring their surroundings, and engaging in physical activities.

Outdoor play is essential for children’s overall development and well-being. It offers numerous benefits, including:

Physical development: Outdoor play provides opportunities for children to develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and strength. Running, climbing, jumping, and riding bikes are examples of activities that promote physical development.

Cognitive development: Outdoor play stimulates children’s thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. They can explore and experiment with natural materials, engage in imaginative play, and observe the world around them—perfect surroundings for outdoor continuous provision.

Social development: Outdoor play encourages social interactions, cooperation, and communication among children. They learn to take turns, negotiate, and collaborate while engaging in group activities or games.

Emotional well-being: Spending time outdoors can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote well-being. Interacting with nature and being in natural environments can positively impact children’s emotional development.

Health benefits: Outdoor play exposes children to fresh air and sunlight, supporting their physical health. It also promotes an active lifestyle, reducing the risk of sedentary behaviours and related health issues.

Educators and parents can facilitate outdoor play by providing a safe and well-designed outdoor environment, including age-appropriate equipment, natural elements, and open-ended materials. They can also actively engage with children during outdoor play, encouraging exploration, asking questions, and supporting their learning experiences.

Overall, outdoor play offers children a rich and diverse learning experience, fostering their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development while nurturing their connection with nature and the world around them.


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♬ original sound – Muddy Puddle Teacher

What outdoor continuous resources do we have to support you? 

We have hundreds of resources to support you with your outdoor continuous provision at Muddy Puddles.  From maths planning to specific training for outdoor play

We also have specific season session plans for your outdoor continuous provision, such as our Pumpkin Session plans. 

Look out for our demo videos that also help you to explore the outdoors in all seasons.

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