Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.4: Contribute to enabling play environments
Learning outcome: Understand how the characteristics of an enabling outdoor play environment meet the age, stage and needs of children
Assessment criteria: Describe how an enabling outdoor play environment meets the age, stage and needs of children
When creating an enabling outdoor play environment for children, it is important to take into account their age and stage of development.
For younger children, the environment should be stimulating, with plenty of activities that promote physical exploration and movement. Resources can include ride-on toys, balls and areas for sand or water play,
Older children may need more challenging activities on both a physical and cognitive level. This might include activities that help to develop their balance coordination and gross motor skills, such as running or climbing.
The space should also provide plenty of opportunities for socialisation, such as group games like hide and seek.
Enabling environments should also cater for the unique needs of each child. For example, if children can move between indoor and outdoor environments as they wish, the same opportunity should be available to a child that uses a wheelchair. This may mean adaptations to the environment, such as the installation of ramps and the widening of doors to accommodate their needs.
By creating an enabling outdoor play environment tailored to meet the age, stage and needs of each individual child, practitioners can ensure that all children feel comfortable while learning through play.