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Why outdoor learning is so important for pre-schoolers

Posted by Michael MOE, 12 April, 2022

When it comes to outdoor learning and Forest School education we like to think of ourselves here at the Ministry of Outdoor Education quite the experts. But do you know why outdoor learning is so important for pre-schoolers? Read on to find out and then do have a look at our extensive range of outdoor learning resources via our website or new catalogue. We’ve also picked a few of our bestsellers right here to kickstart your search…

It is essential that young children of all ages, including pre-schoolers, get regular opportunities to explore and learn in an outdoor environment. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, which covers children aged from birth to the end of the Reception year, became statutory in September 2008 in the UK and includes a huge emphasis on the importance of daily outdoor experiences. These have been included specifically to help enhance children’s learning and development because…

  • Having access to a learning curriculum outside of the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles. Children thrive exponentially when they have opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, Outdoor experiences also promotes well-being.
  • Learning outside the classroom provides children with a connection to the natural world. Being outside offers unique opportunities for experiencing all kinds of weather and seasons. Outdoor learning never needs to be limited to good weather days!
  • Having access to play equipment that encourages physical movement helps children to develop their strength, motor skills, and fitness levels.
  • Playing outside and being engaged in outdoor learning through discovery activities helps children foster an understanding and respect of nature and the environment. It also provides fantastic learning opportunities when it comes to plants, animals, birds, insects and life cycles.
  • Young children learn through their sensory and physical experiences which in turn supports brain development and the creation of neural networks. Being outside offers the space to develop these areas of learning potential as well as the opportunity to learn through active movement.
  • Outdoor play provides endless scope for children to flex their problem-solving skills, develop their physical skills and also nurture their imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.

Here at MOE we love being outdoors as much as possible ourselves, so our outdoor equipment has been designed by experts to be the perfect addition to all outside spaces. Whether you’re looking to revamp your garden or wish to add to your outdoor learning spaces in a commercial setting, we have something for all kinds of children and all kinds of areas, including:

Outdoor Tuff Tray with Stand & Lid: This Montessori-inspired resource is a versatile Early Years product that can be used for non-stop creative, messy, sensory and imaginative group play activities. It’s been carefully designed for easy emptying and cleaning purposes: the sturdy wooden stand securely supports the durable plastic tuff tray which has a handy plug hole. There’s also a useful wooden tuff tray lid to keep things spick and span when not in use.

9-Section Climbing Frame: Our giant 9-section climbing frame features a low ridged climbing slope, tunnel, lookout towers with chalk boards, wobbly bridge, sloped ridged ramp, ladder and 2 slides which makes it a fantastic resource for your gardens and outdoor spaces.

Large Corner Kitchen plus Mud Kitchen Kit: For the ultimate in mud kitchen play we think you’re going to want to know about our new Large Corner Kitchen. Featuring 2 x sets of hobs and 4 x removable bowls, this unit also benefits from an upper and lower storage shelf for pots, pans and other resources. As well as this wonderful child-led play resource the set also includes 3 x Fruit Play Stones, 3 x Vegetable Play Stones, 2 x Play Eggs, 1 x Mud Kitchen Cards, 1 x Mud Kitchen Stones, 1 x Stand-it-Stones, 1 x Rustic Bowls, 1 x Adventures Outdoors – Mud, 1 x Adventures Outdoors – Puddles. Endless outdoor fun guaranteed!

Wooden Scavenger Hunt: Take your toddlers and pre-schoolers on an exciting scavenger hunt with this beautiful, hand painted, Birchwood set. Designed with Forest School activities in mind, children will be able to hone their observational skills while being on a child-led adventure in nature.

Outdoor Kinder Gym: Not only does our Outdoor Kinder Gym encourage physical development but this open ended structure can be used for a variety of activities and role play. Built from Scandinavian Redwood, this resource has been sanded and created to perfection to ensure safe, sturdy, endless play.

Climbing Frame Playset: Our wooden Climbing Frame Outdoor Playset is a multi-level, practical and high-quality garden piece combining play, learning, creativity all year round. Children will love getting active with climbing and sliding adventures as well as keeping watch from their lookout tower. As standard our climbing frame features a Slide, Rock wall and Cave, but you can also add on (additional costs apply) a Rope Wall and Monkey Bars too.

Seated Sandpit: Bring the beach to your backyards and learning spaces with a resource created for team work and tactile play in mind. The seats on this handcrafted resource also double up as a lid for when not in use making this product fun AND practical.

Mini Beast Hotel: Get your outdoor learning and play spaces all ready for plenty of child-led activities in the fresh air with new, freestanding Outdoor Mini Beast Hotel. Providing endless scope for STEM and learning through discovery opportunities, this is always a big hit with children and adults alike!

Outdoor Balance See Saw: Children will enjoy testing their balance skills on this sturdy, wooden see saw as they walk across the wooden beam. An excellent resource for boosting co-ordination, collaborative play and physical development.
Do get in touch with our friendly MOE team if you would like to discuss any of these resources or to find out more about our extensive outdoor range. Now, go outdoors and have fun!

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