Jan White Natural Play

Natural Play, Natural Growth, in the Early Years


Mudlark Find *16: ‘Exploring Play’ free online course from Sheffield University

Playful adults know the importance of play in children's lives

Playful adults know the importance of play in children’s lives

Mudlark Find Number 16 is a quick heads-up to let you know about a new MOOC (don’t ask me what that stands for) from the Education Department of the University of Sheffield.  ‘Exploring Play: the importance of play in everyday life’ will be launched on 29th September 2014.  Take a look at the trailer at the futurelearn.com website.

With the subtitle ‘understanding the nature and value of play through the course of our lives, across cultures and communities’, and covering such things as the history of play, outdoor play spaces in towns, cities and parks, play as the subject of serious study, and current debates about how the nature of play changes, it looks like a wide-ranging and valuable addition to our current need to argue the case for play in learning in childhood.

Applications are currently open (until end September) for the two Masters modules I tutor at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) in Birmingham. Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood and Children’s Physical Development from Birth to Seven (the latter run in collaboration with paediatric physiotherapist Sue Heron of Tatty Bumpkins) are both Post Graduate Certificates (double modules carrying 60 credits at level 7) and contribute towards an MA in Education (Early Years).  Both courses start mid-October – contact CREC for further information and dates for the 2014-15 courses.

Thanks to Marc Verkamp, of Veldwerk, Netherlands for the image, taken (by me) on an international study visit at Auchlone Nature Kindergarten, Scotland in April 2013

With this section of my website, I 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.