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How much time does your child spend outdoors at nursery?

(12 Posts)
Emmalou Fri 23-Aug-02 13:49:10

My daughter has been going to nursery for the last
20 months and we took a lot of trouble to find somewhere that met all our needs, including lots of time spent outdoors in the garden. They've recently changed their outdoor policy to 30 mins in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon, which seems much too short to me (my daughter attends 8am to 5pm 3 days a week). I'm out of touch with other nurseries policies, how much time do your children spend outdoors when at nursery?

Jendy Fri 23-Aug-02 15:02:41

I'm not sure but I'll ask and get back to you.

threeangels Fri 23-Aug-02 15:11:54

When I worked at daycares we usually took our children out 45 min in the morning and after naptime. We had them out 15 -30 min at the most depending on how hot it was. Lived in Florida for a while where its really hot along with other places. It seems anywhere from 30-1 hour is an ideal time. I do agree if its not real hot 30 min is not much time and it does go by really fast. Toddlers hate going in usually. At least all the classes I took care of did.

LKM Fri 23-Aug-02 15:14:25

As a kiwi I've been horrified at how little time most kids seem to spend outdoors at nursery here. My nursery only has a concrete area outside and I now think dd would be better off at another down the road that has no outside area but seem to have a policy of visiting the local park regularly from the amount of times I've seen their kids there. I suspect the older and more boisterous she gets the more tempted I will be to move her.

Apparently the older style LEA nursery schools tend to spend more time outside but Montessori-influenced nurseries which focus on a structured curriculum tend to regard outside play as a break to "let off steam" rather than an integral part of the learning experience. I understand that nursery teacher training in the UK these days does not have any significant outdoor learning component and IMO this is a big concern.

MABS Fri 23-Aug-02 15:14:36

My ds 22 months has 45 mins morning and 45 in afternoon. don't know if this is average.

Fionn Fri 23-Aug-02 15:58:17

My son's nursery has a policy of playing outside for at least 30 minutes each am and pm, weather permitting. That means that in the summer they're out for about 40 mins in the morning and an hour or more in the afternoon, which I think is great. I agree it's very important - in fact I once complained when it was a fine but cold spring day and they hadn't been out at all. It is a Montessori - based nursery and I was told that they'd been busy doing an activity. As they're all under 3 I thought it was more important that they got to run around. A friend of mine once worked in a nursery where the staff couldn't be bothered to take the children out at all - I'd have reported them!

PamT Fri 23-Aug-02 16:08:47

Our school nursery always have someone on duty outside so that children can play out whenever they want - weather permitting. The teachers actually try to get as many children outside for as much time as possible as supervision is easier outside and this gives more time for the staff to help children who are doing educational activities indoors. In the term before the children move up to Reception class they do spend slightly more time indoors doing specific learning work so aren't allowed out quite so much. Each nursery session is ended indoors with songs and a story in the quiet corner.

Harrysmum Mon 26-Aug-02 14:14:43

Ds' (22 months) nursery takes them outside whenever possible. They have a large back garden partly grassed, partly a play area with climbing frame, balance beams etc and partly tarmaced with hopscotch etc marked on the ground and a mini basketball hoop. They often have snack time outside as a picnic. Again Montessori-influenced and see outside as a useful way of alternative learning. They use the garden as a resource for craft activities as well and have lovely snowmen when there is enough snow in the winter. When he was a baby, they took the babies out in prams for walks round the block, but not v often. I am v happy with the amount of time he spends outside.

buttercup Mon 26-Aug-02 19:11:27

I dont know but I'd be happy if it was most of the time since my ds is definitely happier outdoors than in. Glad you brought it up though, I'm going to ask tomorrow.

GillW Tue 27-Aug-02 10:58:10

At my DS's nursery they seem to be outside whenever the weather permits it, except for mealtimes. We're lucky though that they not only have large grassy grounds of their own, but are in a rural parkland situation (so pretty well traffic free) which means that things like walks are a feasible option for them, which they might not be for a town nursery. The location and the large amount of outdoor time (they even sleep outside as far as possible) was a big factor in choosing that nursery ahead of others which on the face of it were smarter, but had little or no outdoor facilities. It's purely observational evidence, but the children there do seem to be off ill a lot less than those of friends who are using the more indoor based nurseries.

Azzie Tue 27-Aug-02 11:06:59

I don't know how long the children at my ds and dd's nursery are 'officially' supposed to be outside, but I do know that the staff seem to make the most of good weather. In the summer they seem to be outside in the garden lots (the 4 year olds even grew their own vegetables this year). The nursery is in the grounds of a secondary school, and the staff often take the children for walks around the school grounds, and in the summer they have races etc on the school playing fields. In the winter they sometimes take the children up to the school gym and get them doing obstacle courses using the equipment. My kids love it.

Bozza Tue 27-Aug-02 11:16:51

Not sure about my DS's nursery but I think probably they have a couple of sessions outside plus they are quite often outside later in the day when we go to collect him. They have a policy of not being outside between 11 and 3 in summer. Also he goes on "trips" to the duckpond, park, cricket field.

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