Especially useful and informative have been the outdoor play items. Many of our children play enthusiastically outdoors. The most popular area is water play. There are various containers, plastic drain pipes and guttering between different-sized water troughs. With waterproof dungarees, acquired from an advert in the magazine, wellies and plenty of water, the children play together for the whole time allotted. They experiment with the water in such ways as to cover numeracy and science. Above all, they are being sociable.
Children also enjoy digging in a special area. They have small garden tools, wheelbarrows and plant pots. Snacks and drinks are taken as a picnic and the children sit and chat together.
Chalkboards attached to the fences give the children a chance to practise number formation. There are laminated numbers with string attached for pulling over the fence, and foam jigsaw numbers that make a hopscotch game.
Twenty-four plastic bottles are filled with water and food colouring, numbered and stored in a milk crate. We use them as skittles. After knocking them down, the more advanced children total up their scores and write them on white boards.
We are having great fun outdoors. The children are less disruptive and thriving on the calmer atmosphere.
* Irene Russell, Foundation Stage teaching assistant, Cheriton Primary School, Folkestone, Kent