This presentation will look at supporting children’s emotional health through outdoor play. It will consider the benefits of outdoors and the needs/rights of young children. Through a focus on outdoor play it will allow you to reflect on the importance of being connected with nature and natural learning. Aspects of sensory, physical and personal, social and emotional will also be shared in relation to resilience, independence, challenge, staying safe, time and space. The session will be supported by lots of photographs and some video too.
Kathryn Solly… has spent her career in pursuit of extending young children’s play, learning and connections with nature and the world around them. With a first degree in Rural and Environmental Science she has shared her passion and interests with children, families and practitioners in a wide range of settings and schools including some in Papua New Guinea and Albania. Her role as the Headteacher at Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre for 17 years gave her the opportunity to widen the horizons of a diverse, vulnerable and inclusive group of children and families with the world of outdoor learning in nature, gardening and cross curricular learning. The importance of outdoor play to holistic child and physical development in particular was enhanced through the garden of this school which was started by the pioneer Dr Susan Isaacs in the 1920’s. Through building over 40 different and sustained business and community links and connections Kathryn was able to widen their experiences and opportunities still further. She carried out her MA research on this area and has since written about it in her book “Risk, Challenge and Adventure in the Early Years” and she is now writing a second book “Leading Learning Outdoors from Birth to Seven.” As a national and international speaker, Kathryn is also a Froebel Trust Travelling Trainer, a leading member of Keeping Early Years Unique and an Associate for Early Education. Kathryn continues to provide a rich array of training, speaking, writing and consultancy on this subject.