We love the outdoors at Kids adVentures and are so happy to see children playing in the fresh air again now we have reopened following the easing of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here Rachel Doyle, one of our fantastic Nursery Managers, talks to us about why early-years settings should take this negative situation and turn it into an opportunity to make outdoor learning an integral part of nursery.
“The situation that everyone has been going through due to coronavirus is just dreadful and we understand that it is a difficult decision to send your children back to nursery.
“Which is why we want all educational settings to embrace outdoor learning. Each of our nursery settings has a forest school leader, and at our Prestwich site, 80% of our education is done outside whatever the weather, which is why we opened that site first. We followed with our Salford setting – which also has large chunks of the day outside, and we are assessing how this works until we re-open our Radcliffe site.
“Outdoor play has a number of fantastic benefits including building confidence and team working skills. We are committed to every child having access to lots of outdoor education whether this is in the local park, at our Forest Schools or within our nursery gardens.
“We feel very privileged to have such great facilities with outdoor provisions – but it is possible whatever your nursery set up is like. The benefits are undeniable.
“It has been hard for parents, juggling home and work life, and inevitable children will have spent more time indoors in lockdown and in front of screens. We want to take the pressure off parents and help their youngster reembrace the outdoors and interact with others outside of the home, so it does not have a lasting impact on children’s health and wellbeing.
“This week it’s been fantastic seeing the children’s joy and excitement when they see their friends again. One little girl did a little dance when she first saw her favourite member of staff again. Coming back into nursery has had a really positive impact on the children.
“We have been keeping a close eye on what other countries, like Denmark have been doing, who reopened nurseries last month, and have followed their idea of “protective bubbles” rather than strict social distancing.
“We are taking the guidance from Government very seriously and then adapting it to how we can best put it into practice in each of our settings.
“The health, wellbeing and safety of all the children and their families is of course paramount to us. But expecting children not to come into close contact is unrealistic in our nursery setting. It is a massive learning curve and we will be testing and adapting as we go.
“By using protective bubbles with small groups of children and being able to be outside could prove invaluable in the fight against coronavirus. We would love to see more nursery settings embracing the outdoors, and we could really help with that as a Forest School training provider. It is the future of learning”
Kids adVentures now has places available for new families to start in its settings, to find out more and the special measure that have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing of children at the nursery go to www.kidsadventures.co.uk