In Early Years our environments have a connecting outdoor area; Dr Montessori believed that that the outdoors is a natural extension of the environment. When the weather is permitting (which is most of the time) children can choose to work indoors or outdoors; each classroom has a set of ribbons which allows a number of children to go outside. The child puts a ribbon on independently and goes outside, when they come back indoors they take off their ribbon and put it back on the hook. This way children are making their own choices and learning to wait as they may not always be a ribbon available.
We follow the same principles in our outdoor environment as we do indoors:
- A prepared environment (we offer the child different materials that they can work with outdoors, these materials are displayed in the same manner as in the indoor environment: on low shelving at their reach)
- Freedom within limits
- Child led
Children can also take an indoor material and work with it outdoors if they want. Here are some activities from our outdoor areas.