Out in the open

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By Tracey Godridgewriter for the National School Grounds Charity Learning through Landscapes

Use your outdoor space to create large works of art, put on a show, and make lots of noise!

baby outdoors

Creativity outdoors

Make use of the space available outdoors in which to create large works of art, perform and make loud noises. Ensure that resources can be easily transported using trollies, accessible shelving, trays or boxes.

When planning activities, consider the light and weather conditions, safety, noise and mess. Provide adequate clothing – not just aprons but also clothing for all weather conditions, so that even in winter, for example, a child can spend time creating a collage.

Use digital cameras to record the children’s work, as due to their large scale and nature, cannot usually be kept for any length of time or sent home.

Give the children plenty of time to explore, engage with and get deeply involved in their creative activity.

Suggested resources

Large pieces of thick, plastic sheets; plastic shower curtain and hooks; pieces of transparent corrugated roofing; ready-mixed paint in small bottles with holes for squirting; old bed sheets and pegs; decorator’s brushes in various sizes; shower; mop; loofah for applying paint; chalks; lining paper, felt-tipped pens; blow pens; water spray bottles; musical instruments; blankets and sheets; torch; ropes; soft toy animals; cardboard boxes, transporters such as wheeled vehicles; bags; suitcases; backpacks; buckets; dressing-up clothes and props.

1 Musical story-trail

Use musical instruments to enhance a story

Creative Development

Creating Music and Dance

Development matters: tap out simple repeated rhythms and make some up (30-50 months); explore the different sounds of instruments (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: recognise and explore how sounds can be changed, sing simple songs from memory, recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns and match movement to music.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Small bags; favourite story about a journey, for example, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury (Walker Books); range of real and home-made musical instruments, such as tambourines, claves, maracas, jingle bells, triangle, Indian bells, drums, block scrapers and shakers; squeaky toys, horns and whistles; elastic band guitars; beaters.

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