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The Literacy Corner June 2014

June 4, 2014

More Literacy Outdoors

Last month we looked at some fun ways of incorporating literacy activities outside and below we have some more suggestions to continue children’s  literacy journey outdoors.


Outdoor Environment


Your outdoor environment should inspire a diverse range of play experiences many of which offer literacy opportunities for children.

Think about:

  • Seating : Provide comfortable seating outside where children can have circle time,enjoy stories, rhyme and songs.


  • Dens: Is there material available to make dens outdoors – dens can be lovely snuggly places to curl up with a book, or be read to


wood seating
  • Props : Are there:
    • pens and art materials available outside – ie in the village shop to write lists,
    • paper for making signs with outdoor imaginative play, for drawing, construction plans in the large construction area, or for making menus in the mud kitchen
    • water and paintbrushes to paint on outdoor surfaces
    • access to books and comfy places to read them outdoors
    • clipboards with a pen attached in different outdoor areas ( children will think of many ways in which they can be used!)


  • Sand and Water Play – foster learning in all developmental areas.



Mud Kitchens


We know it’s summer but so far we’ve seen a  lot of rain and therefore plenty of opportunities for mud!!

 Mud kitchens provide plenty of scope for:

  • role play – articulating what they have seen other children or adults – perhaps in the kitchen at home, or in a restaurant (to name very small examples)
  • making and following recipes
  • writing shopping lists
  • using the vocabulary of measurement – how many cups?
  • using the vocabulary of maths – comparisons- longer than, smaller than…
  • co-operation and interaction therefore increased communication – language and listening




Small Worlds


Provide characters and props for children to create their own small worlds outdoors:

Small world play allows children to :


  • create stories around things they know e.g. people and animals and fantasise about experiences that they haven’t had.
  • improvise and use the appropriate use of language including fantasy language.
  • communicate their observations, findings and knowledge about their lives
  • talk and listen when playing together, interacting and  exchanging ideas.
  • Imitate and role play – not merely copying what they’ve seen but learning from what they do, and then experimenting with similar roles, behaviour and language.
  • make symbols – this involves an object representing something else eg. a stick for a fence..
  • talk about their experiences in relation to their model worlds
  • talk about their feelings and emotions
  • extend their vocabulary e.g. farm, garage, airport, zoo
  • develop a range of scenarios for imaginative play
  • use books to develop knowledge about play environments e.g. Life on the farm,Going to the Zoo
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