Can one be too young to play outside? This unique and compelling book charts the experiences of a group of under-three-year-olds as they explore their natural outdoor environment, followed by caring and attentive adults. It deconstructs the myths that underestimate under threes and celebrates the importance of connecting children with the natural world and the influence of positive relationships in this early stage of life.
Taking the First Steps Outside draws on all aspects of working outdoors, focusing on different steps of the project, main achievements and obstacles, implemented strategies and benefits for the development of young children. Features include:
Stunning photographs of children exploring the outdoor environment, who are interested, thoughtful, persistent and successful
Detailed descriptions of real events, illustrating how the outdoor space can be an educational context for under threes
Insight into the role of the adult, as they observe and reflect upon children's learning
Advice on choosing the right resources and facilities to create a good outdoor learning environment for the young child
Advice about risky play and promoting challenging and positive opportunities in the natural environment
Guidance on how to set up an outdoor project for children under three
Written to support all students, teachers, practitioners and managers working with under threes, this essential guide will help you to develop your knowledge, build confidence and gain the ability to co-explore outdoors with children.
Helen Bilton is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Reading, UK. Gabriela Bento is an educational psychologist and PhD student at the University of Aveiro, Portugal. Gisela Dias is an early childhood teacher with a great deal of experience in working with children under three in Portugal.
Dedication and Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The story behind the book 2. Awaking for Nature 3. Play in the natural world 4. Becoming safe through taking risks 5. Companionship and shared experiences 6. Adults thinking about children 7. Resources and facilities Bibliography Index