Jan White Natural Play

Natural Play, Natural Growth, in the Early Years


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Articles on Physical Development (part 2)

In December 2011 and then again in April 2012, I contributed to the Nursery World conference on the ‘National EYFS Review: successfully implementing the revised framework‘.  My contribution was looking at Physical Development – why it had become a ‘prime area’ (hooray) and what really effective outdoor provision for physical development would include.

This led to me being asked to write several articles – for Nursery World’s equipment special on Physical Development, published in Spring 2012 (article in previous post) and for Early Years Update, published in Summer 2012 (2 paired articles in this post).  I’ve also now been invited to write on this subject for Exchange magazine in the USA (part 3 to follow).

This has become a key part of my work and I’ve become something of a crusader for children’s need to MOVE and BE PHYSICAL.  I’m going to be facilitating a new Post Graduate Certificate [MA in Education (Early Years), double module 60 credits] in Children’s Physical Development from birth to Seven in collaboration with paediatric physiotherapist Sue Heron of Tatty Bumpkins, at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) in Birmingham.  This will run alongside my module Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood which ran successfully this year.  Both courses start mid-October – contact CREC for further details.

Early Years Update is published monthly and is available by subscription from Optimus Education.

37 EYU Physical Development in the Revised EYFS p1 copy

37 EYU Physical Development in the Revised EYFS p2 copy

38 EYU Creating an Enabling Outdoor Environment for Physical Development p1 copy

38 EYU Creating an enabling Outdoor Environment for Physical Development p2 copy

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Mudlark Finds *3: A First Book of Nature

Mudlarking is the ancient practice of digging in the mud of the Thames to find treasures.  It still goes on today, uncovering and recovering some amazing artefacts from the life of London city through the centuries.  Click on this link for more information about mudlarking.

images
Futurelab – Projects Archive – Mudlarking in Deptford

With this section of my website, I want to share some of the many wonderful treasures I dig up while researching and supporting outdoor play for children from birth to seven. I hope they inspire you too, and help you to create motivational, meaningful and satisfying outdoor play experiences for all the children you work with.  Mudlark posts will be brief and to the point.

Mudlark Find number 3 is a truly beautiful collaboration between children’s author and biologist, Nicola Davies, and natural history artist and illustrator, Mark Hearld.  In writing the book, which presents many lovely aspects of our natural world by each season, Nicola says that ” I cast off my grown-up self, and found the me I was at five or six.  Inside that younger self I could see the world as I saw it first – not just the sights and sounds of nature, but the feelings and thoughts about it that ran through me, strong as the tide.  This book comes to you from that little girl who stood in a barely field at dusk and felt the world turning.”

A first book of nature

Make sure that you linger over the images created by Mark Hearld and let the way he has caught so much of what nature feels like grow on you.  Although it’s hard to choose, I think my favourite pages are both of birds in winter: starlings (such a common bird while I was small and now a struggling species here) and ‘patchwork pigeons’.  For me, he has really captured feelings and thoughts – and the movements and characters of his animals.  If, like me and my daughter, you are captivated by this artist’s work, you might also be interested in Mark Hearld’s Work Book, also available on Amazon.


Leave a comment

Articles on Physical Development (part 1)

In December 2011 and then again in April 2012, I contributed to the Nursery World conference on the ‘National EYFS Review: successfully implementing the revised framework‘.  My contribution was looking at Physical Development – why it had become a ‘prime area’ (hooray) and what really effective outdoor provision for physical development would include.

This led to me being asked to write several articles – for Nursery World’s equipment special on Physical Development, published in Spring 2012 (article in this post) and for Early Years Update, published in Summer 2012 (articles in next post).  I’ve also now been invited to write on this subject for Exchange magazine in the USA (part 3 to follow).

This has become a key part of my work and I’ve become something of a crusader for children’s need to MOVE and BE PHYSICAL.  I’m going to be facilitating a new Post Graduate Certificate (MA in Education [Early Years], double module 60 credits) in Children’s Physical Development from Birth to Seven in collaboration with paediatric physiotherapist Sue Heron of Tatty Bumpkins, at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) in Birmingham.  This will run alongside my module Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood which ran successfully this year.  Both courses start mid-October – contact CREC for further details.

Nursery Equipment 28th May 2012: Introduction –  Action Points by Jan White can be found on the Nursery World archives website – search under the title of the article.

35 NW Action Points p1 copy

35 NW Action Points p2 copy


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Mudlark Finds *2: Forest Childcare Association

Mudlarking is the ancient practice of digging in the mud of the Thames to find treasures.  It still goes on today, uncovering and recovering some amazing artefacts from the life of London city through the centuries.  Click on this link for more information about mudlarking.

images
Futurelab – Projects Archive – Mudlarking in Deptford

With this section of my website, I want to share some of the many wonderful treasures I dig up while researching and supporting outdoor play for children from birth to seven. I hope they inspire you too, and help you to create motivational, meaningful and satisfying outdoor play experiences for all the children you work with.  Mudlark posts will be brief and to the point.

Mudlark Find Number 2 is a great new initiative and resource, The Forest Childcare Association created by Kay Woods of Kids To Go, that is designed to encourage and support home-based childcare practitioners and settings to get out and make the most of their local environment, especially the more nature-filled locations.  This is such a good idea!  Kay has provided a really thoughtful, well-researched and comprehensive membership pack, consisting of an introductory booklet, business tools, self certification and a booklet of 50 crafts and activities for forest childcare – all written in a down-to-earth style that is very accessible.  Membership is a realistic £15 and all transactions are done simply online.

Forest Childcafre Association screen shot

Kay makes the case that embedding this as a core part of your provision is a sound business enhancement that parents will choose for their children.  She is a passionate advocate for connecting young children with the nature in their locality and using this as the great learning resource that it is, and clearly has lots of personal experience and expertise in this area.  In the forthcoming second edition of my book, Playing and Learning Outdoors (due out in Nov 2013), I have added a seventh ingredient for high quality outdoor provision – that of harnessing the locality and community immediately around your setting.  So this resource resonates strongly with my new campaign to reclaim the streets for young children and harness this as a super-rich additional layer of everyday outdoor provision!