Sometimes, the outside can feel very uninviting with the British weather often feeling cold, harsh and unpredictable! As an adult, there are a million and one reasons why we could stay inside and be warm and cosy…however once we take a step out of our comfort zone into the outside environment, there is a whole world of discovery on our doorstep!
We can assure you…30 minutes outside and you will begin to feel refreshed, energised and appreciate the unpredictability of what we can find! And it costs nothing but a bit of encouragement and time!
Here at our Little Owls nurseries we understand the tremendous benefits the outside environment brings for our children and why we must celebrate everything it has to offer. At our little owl’s nurseries, the management staff have attended ‘Outstanding Outdoors’ training with Norfolk County Council and they endeavour to continue this fantastic ethos of discovery and willingness to try and to remove the stigma that being messy and muddy is chaotic and problematic. In fact, at our nurseries, it creates the opposite experience. It opens up copious amounts of opportunity to learn and understand, making connections through trial and error.
This is why we promote outdoor learning and what it can bring. At our two settings, we offer den building using sticks, mud, open ended resources such as string and rubber bands. Getting creative in our bespoke mud kitchens using kitchen utensils alongside plant pots, compost and mud to make the perfect mud pie!
Meanwhile listening to the natural sounds all around such as the birds chirping, looking at their nests in our trees. At our scarning nursery we have horses running over to remind us they may need an apple or 2 while we are in the garden alongside the wonderful sounds of children laughing, working together to problem solve and celebrate their achievements! While in our bug hotels there’s the scuttling of the woodlouse, the buzz of the bee’s and the creepy crawling sound of the spiders hiding from the noise of our muddy chef’s in the mud kitchen.
In addition to the above it is important that we appreciate the spaces we have and how fortunate we are for garden space alongside the soft surface areas! Many of our families come from some sort of agricultural family where the outside is a common place for people to work and we should make sure we replicate this at nursery. Whilst for other families outside space may be limited; therefore, another great reason to use the spaces we have! And although a muddy mess may be daunting as an adult…no one can deny that jumping in muddy puddles isn’t fun!
Finally, the core message that we see daily on our Little Owls faces is happiness…and that is the key. Being outside makes people happy and on those wet, rainy days children are in their element, making friendships whilst making a mess!
So, next time you’re at a loss of what to do; think of a rainy day as a day to go outside!