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Outdoor Showcase in Cork

June 28, 2016

Early Childhood Ireland was delighted to hold an Outdoor Showcase at the Bessborough Centre Cork, on Saturday last June 25th. This was an opportunity for the settings involved in the Early Childhood Ireland Outdoor Research Circle an opportunity to showcase the innovative and inspiring work they are doing with young children, in outdoor spaces. Nearly 40 people attended, testament, yet again of  the passion for outdoor play that our members have!




Carol Duffy set the scene, thanking Bessborough for hosting the Showcase and then by talking about the importance of being outdoors for children. She had lovely photos of how children develop positive dispositions for learning as they play, explore, experience challenge and risk and can lead their learning in the most emergent way possible.


Mag Coogan, from the ABC Club, Dunboyne followed. Mag explained how her outdoor space has grown and developed over the years and how children now spend most of the time outdoors. She had wonderfully inspiring video clips showing children jumping in puddles, balancing on planks and building with small concrete blocks and all kinds of other loose parts and open-ended materials.


Karen Deasy from the Wise Owls Afterschool, Cork was next up. She had a wonderful presentation showing how they brought their Afterschool Children, in small groups, out and about in the city and environs, recording their journeys, the places they went and the people they met with their cameras. We even had a blast of ‘The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee’!


Triona, the Crèche Manager at the Bessborough Centre was the final speaker. She outlined how over time, the crèche has used the amazing parkland and gardens more, and this led to the staff creating a separate Outdoor Curriculum.
We then went to explore the wonderful space that the children can play in and explore nature. Keep an eye on our Early Childhood Ireland Outdoor Play and Learning Group page and our new blog where we will share more wonderful examples from a great day.

Huge thanks to all the settings that showcased their work, and to those who came to the showcase, many from Cork City and County, but also some from Wexford, Galway and Meath!

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