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Outdoor fun in July

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By Rose Joyceaccredited trainer and facilitator at Learning through Landscapes.

July is an excellent month for the children to be outdoors, and babies can sit for longer periods in their buggies or on a blanket on the ground without fear of them getting too cold

Incy Wincy Spider

istock_000002216749medium.jpg Invite two children to re-enact ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ outside. Tie a piece of drainpipe to a fence post using a piece of string, and put a small bowl at the bottom of the pipe. Give one child a small jug of water and the other child a toy spider that will be small enough to slide down the inside of the pipe. Ask the first child to make the spider climb up the outside of the spout as they sing, ‘Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout’. As it reaches the top and peers over the edge, encourage the second child to pour the water into the pipe as they sing, ‘Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out’. The spider will end up in the bowl at the bottom. Take it out and give it a shake before he climbs the spout again. The water in the bowl can be recycled by pouring it into the jug for the next child to have a turn.

Flower power

os38063.jpg Help the children to name any living plants, trees and flowers in your outdoor area. Photograph and laminate ten images of items such as shrubs in your sensory garden; flowers in tubs; dandelions and daisies in the grassy area; and so on. Show the images to the children and ask them to find one in your outdoor area that is the same, then put the image by the real object and name it. Invite one child to retrieve the dandelion image, another the lavender image, another the silver birch image and so on, each time repeating the name as you check with the group that the correct image has been brought back.

Touchy, feely

os38082.jpg img_left Spread a plain piece of fabric on the ground in your outdoor area. Place a selection of different materials such as smooth pebbles of different sizes, smooth-edged colourful oyster shells and pieces of sanded wood on the fabric. Sit a baby on the fabric within reach of the materials for them to explore. Watch the baby closely at all times to ensure their safety, encouraging them to look, touch and smell. Talk about what you see and feel as you explore the objects. Talk about their different colours, shapes and textures. Do they feel cold or warm? Is the sun making them warm?

Thirsty days

stockxpertcom_id614788_size2.jpg Always try to have a jug of water and some strong cups or beakers outside on a tray so that the children can help themselves to a drink whenever they need one. First, show them how to carefully pour the water from the jug into the cup, spilling as little as possible. This is a good opportunity to talk about the importance of saving water. At the end of the session, encourage the children to pour any remaining water on to plants or shrubs in the area.

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