Outdoor Learning and Play
3 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking Expressive Arts and Design Into The Playground
Arts and crafts relate to an important area of the EYFS curriculum: Expressive Arts and Design.
This involves supporting these young children to explore, play and create with a wide range of differing media and materials. Along with this, it entails providing children with the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas as well as encouraging them to do so.
One of the simple ways this can be done is through various activities both indoors and outdoors.
Expressive arts and design is a very important part of the curriculum because it helps children to see the world in new, exciting and creative ways by encouraging them to observe the world around them and appreciate everything right in front of their eyes.
Most importantly, it helps them realise all the amazing, creative possibilities as little artists practise, develop and refine their creative skills, while enhancing their PSED, understanding of the world and critical thinking skills.
Some teachers, however, usually think of art and design as an indoor activity. They imagine it involving a selection of colourful materials like cardboard, paper, glue, paint and pencil or if they do take art outdoors, they may set activities up involving chalk on the tarmac and paint in puddles.
Art and crafts in the playground is a fantastic way to truly get the most of out of exciting, creative activities, which is why we have explored 3 reasons why outdoor expressive arts and design should be promoted.
1. Feeling Free
In the outdoor environment, children no longer feel the constraints of the classroom and they feel truly free to express themselves as they breathe a breath of fresh air.
Taking art outdoors enables children to enhance their PSED as they explore all the wonderful materials found outdoors, likes sticks, leaves, mud, grass and many more natural objects.
Whether they create their own stickman village, or simply use these organic objects to support their imaginative play, they can take steps to enhance their creative flair.
Activities can be set up involving various resources. The mud kitchen is one of our best outdoor resources to encourage children to bring out their inner chef. Will they take grass and leaves and create a lovely mud salad, or is it a glitter cake that comes to mind?
The Mud Kitchen supports expressive arts and design as children collaborate in the kitchen and create Michellin Star worthy meals for the little customers waiting for a delicious feast.
Exploring differnet job roles outdoors enhances children’s understanding of the world, too.
2. Outdoor Inspiration
Children naturally want to draw and put their thoughts into images. As children’s communication and language skills are still developing, drawing and creating wonderful masterpieces help children express themselves and let go of any frustrations they may have – expressing their thoughts and feelings.
For some children, pencils, paper and other colourful objects indoors may not inspire them to get creative. A huge, blank canvas outdoors, where their beautiful artwork won’t get trodden on, is a fantastic way to inspire children’s inner artistic self.
Giant Mark Making Panels or Easel Tables are enormous blank canvases, where they are able to use the full board to make their ideas come to life: a terrific way to naturally get children excited about drawing.
3. Using Their ‘Outdoor Voices’
While in the indoor classroom, children are often, necessarily taught to use their ‘indoor voices’ in fear of disturbing other classes lessons, which may prevent them from expressing their thoughts and feelings to one another during imaginative games or role play activities.
In the playground, children don’t need to worry about using their indoor voices, they can feel free: singing, shouting and playing as loud as they like. Schools and nurseries can support children’s creativity away from mark making through the addition of a fantastic Outdoor Performance Stage.
Collaborating with one another, children can get up on the stage as they make up their own plays, songs or even try out a number of different musical instruments and form a band!
Overall, the outdoor learning environment is a creative, inspiring space where the expressive arts and design space of the curriculum can truly be developed.
If you’d like to transform your outdoor learning environment to improve your children’s educational play experience, please feel free to Contact Us for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert playground consultants. We have a fantastic range of Educational Playground Equipment, which supports the curriculum outdoors.