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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Issue 61, 2015
18 'Yes, all rooms are doing inside/outside play.' 'The children get to go where they want to.' 'Yes, I have seen a lot more activities and learning opportunities happening outside.' and 'Yes, we now have small pockets of play, usually child-led. More natural resources are used indoors and out.' We were also seeing a language change in these surveys, with less focus around supervision and physical play, and more focus on learning and engagement. We wanted to graph and compare the use of the words 'supervision', 'physical', 'learning' and 'engagement' in the pre- and post -surveys, and show educators the shift in focus. In the pre-surveys, the word 'supervision' was mentioned 33 times, 'physical' 36 times, 'learning' 18 times and 'engage' 6 times. Post-surveys highlighted changes in thinking with 'supervision' mentioned 12 times, 'physical' 3 times, 'learning' 27 times and 'engage' 15 times. We also listed the perceived barriers the educators had mentioned in the pre-surveys and asked if they felt these were barriers to practising indoor/outdoor play still existed. Responses included, 'We can use the wet weather as a play experience, and utilise the verandah area to cater for wet weather'. 'We can work around routines and work with the rooms next door to combine educators to cater for our routines'. 'We can do programmed activities in both environments'. It was evident that the educators were now looking at how to overcome these barriers. In the post-surveys for the children we asked them what does indoor/outdoor play mean to you? We received answers like, 'You can play inside if you want to or outside if you want to'. All the children surveyed now had an understanding of what inside/outside play was. We also asked the children where they liked to play when inside / outside play was offered. Responses included, 'I like doing both.' 'I like going outside.' 'I like both, some in and some out'. Their answers showed us how beneficial inside/outside play was for them, and how much they appreciated the opportunity to choose. Over and above the changes noted across the whole service, we have observed several positive changes in the preschool room. 'Can we do inside/outside play?' is the question we now hear instead of 'Can we go outside?' We can see that the children are now familiar with this term and recognise that they have choices. Children's behaviour has changed and is easier to manage and noise level has dropped, enabling educators and children to engage in more meaningful conversations. The children have more opportunity to follow their interests and become engaged in them for longer. Our programmed activities have become
Reflections Issue 60 Spring 2015