Outdoor Learning and Play

Outdoor Learning and Play (Updated May 2021)

This section contains a range of resources to inspire and support the creation of new or develop an existing outdoor learning and play space. Outdoor learning and play is beneficial for children's overall development and at present will support current National Public Health Strategy of being outdoors.

  1. Ideas for outdoor area development
    • Bernardos - The Benefits of Outdoor Play
    • Cheeky Cherubs: Cork

      Cheeky Cherubs, Ballincollig, has been providing an outdoor preschool for 11 children for several years. It is a space shared with full day care children, within an urban setting. So, design and layout are of the utmost importance. Each group (pod) have opportunities throughout the day to explore, work and play, around the vegetable garden, the art area, the bikes or in the geodome, fire hut and newly built treehouse. In Cheeky Cherubs, Bishopstown, we completed an outdoor classroom, which was designed with the children at the heart of everything. In each setting the children have direct outdoor access to toilets and handwashing facilities. We have enclosed our covered areas creating warm dry spaces as well as installing bright and soft artificial grass. Ironically, it has been the pandemic and lockdown which provided us with the opportunity to invest in the outdoors, enabling us to enhance the spaces as well as the safety of our children and their educators.

      Click on vimeo links to view:

    • New Adventures Outdoor Preschool: Bawnmore, Woodford, Galway

      In 2020, Gerardine Fahy made the brave decision to change her practice, after 14 years operating an indoor service Gerardine decided to move her entire service outdoors. The recently renamed New Adventures Outdoor Preschool is a sessional service that caters for a maximum of 11 preschool children and includes an outdoor toilet and hand washing facilities.The newly constructed cabin is a cosy area with storage for children’s belongings, wet gear and a sit down area for lunch/snack time.At a time where our environments are more restricted, Gerardine wanted to create a safe place where children are free to explore, discover and make sense of the world around them.

      Click on vimeo link to view: New Adventures Vimeo video

  2. Examples of learning stories based on outdoor learning and play
  3. Resources