Outdoor Learning and Play
Why Children Should Be Able To Choose Outdoor Play During Golden Time
Golden time is a popular behaviour and attendance incentive at many primary schools across the country as children put away their work and get stuck into a weekly activity on a Friday afternoon.
At some schools, the rewards vary each week and others they are the same: from time on the computers to art and crafts to special games. These activities are usually rewards that are exciting, interesting and stimulating, which also enable children to freely play and relax as they wind down for the weekend.
We know that many teachers ensure that these activities promote learning through play in order to the make the most of every moment in school. This is why we believe that outdoor play is the perfect activity that children should be able to choose from come rain or shine. Here are 5 reasons why…
1. Exciting Outdoor Activities
The outdoor space is a fun, stimulating area, where children can explore, investigate, learn through play and feel free away from the indoor classroom. Allowing Golden Time to take place outdoors enables children to cool off and relax after a hard week at school, away from the indoor classroom.
When children have energetic activities to participate in, which they may only be allowed to participate in on a rota during the usual week, outdoor Golden Time becomes a fantastic incentive for good behaviour!
Along with the usual benefits of golden time including good behaviour and attendance, children will be developing other skills as they climb and swing from a Climbing Frame or create their own bands on the Outdoor Performance Stage.
2. Curriculum Focused Outdoor Play
When children are given the option to head outside during golden time and have a fantastic selection of educational playground equipment, that one afternoon a week can become fun and curriculum focused, too!
As children run outside and head to begin prepping for service in the messy play zone, they are doing much more than just playing. Baking, mixing, stirring and serving delicious meals in the Mud Kitchen to their hungry customers around promotes fine motor skill, communication, language and social skill development as children collaborate on the world’s biggest mud cake. In addition, children can follow recipes and measure out their ingredients in accordance to it.
Alternatively, for older children, play ships can also promote cross-curricular play as young pirates sail the seven seas, looking for buried treasure. As they get together on the top of the Play Ship, children can practise their geography and history skills through imaginative play, sailing from the UK to France before heading to the open waters.
Imaginative, active play activities outdoors during golden time enables children to learn through play, get active and burn off their excitement for the weekend.
3. Sporting activities
During playtimes and lunchtimes, there are many other classes of children running around and playing their own games, which others have to watch for while participating in sporting activities.
Enabling children to go outside during golden time promotes a sense of freedom as the class get together to participate in a ball games without the worry of other children using the same space or colliding with other accidentally.
Those who may not participate in sports during playtime and lunchtime may be encouraged to participate when they have the playground to themselves.
Varied sporting activities can even be set up, such as Kwik Cricket, rounders and basketball, for the children to move to and from as they run around, get active and develop their sporting skills.
With a MUGA, sporting activities can be extended further as there is no need to worry about the rain causing waterlogged, muddy, slippery surfaces during the wetter months of the year.
4. An Activity For Everyone
During golden time in the classroom, children may have a limited number of activities to choose from, which may not interest them or feel like a reward. When promoting good behaviour with a reward such as golden time, children need to want the reward!
In the outdoor learning environment, there is an activity for everyone to participate in, whether they are future sportsman who are football crazy or artistic masterminds who love to draw and write.
Outdoors, children can participate in sporting activities together, socialise, write, draw and explore their outdoor environment. Resources such as a MUGA, Messy Play Area or Communication and Language zone enable children access to a wide range of activities, which will truly get children excited.
5. Free Play and Free Time
Golden time is the children’s reward, so they should be allowed to do what they like (within reason, of course!).
Outdoor play enables children to participate in free play and switch back and forward from the many activities that could be taking place in the playground, ensuring the children get to spend the time how they wish.
Timber Canopies provide children with an excellent free-flow play and learning environment where they can access the great outdoors no matter what the weather may bring. Away from the constraints of an indoor classroom, children feel free and can participate in a range of activities as they learn and play.
Artificial grass surfacing underneath a timber canopy can even create a comfortable, natural-looking play and learning space!
Golden time is a fantastic incentive scheme for children in primary schools, but should still be curriculum focused while enabling children to feel free and participate in activities of their choosing, which is why we believe outdoor play is the perfect activity for golden time!
If you would like to enhance your children outdoor learning environment to improve their educational play experience, we’d love to help, so please Contact us! We’ve have worked all over the UK and are the trusted provider amongst schools and nurseries.