Thursday, September 9, 2010

pretend play: outdoors

It was such a beautiful almost-spring day that we set the hospital up outside. 

It seemed a shame for the Doctors and Nurses to miss out on the glorious sunshine.

Most everything that goes on indoors can go on outdoors as well.  

In fact, moving an existing indoor activity to the outdoors can revitalize it, opening up new possibilities for stimulating children's imagination in the new environment.

You don't need to move the whole kit and caboodle outside - just a few bits and pieces and let the kid's imagination and creativity do the rest.

Preschoolers love to add their own resources and rearrange things to fit in with their play, so less can often mean more.
Sometimes we add a few elements to create a scene, and stand back to see what the children decide to use it for.  To our gazebo we added some 'nanna' curtains:  


and coloured streamers:

Over the course of the day the gazebo was transformed into a fairy house, a party house, a boy's base, a shop for the chocolate soup cooked up in the nearby mud kitchen:
and a dance school:
The outdoors is a learning environment rich in endless opportunities to inspire and invite dramatic play.  

What types of pretend play do you like to set up outdoors?


  1. WE LOVE taking the inside outside - beautiful evocative photos, Jenny - and I love your mud kitchen sink.

  2. It is always so interesting to watch how simply moving the same activity sparks new ideas! (Especially inside to outside or outside to inside.)

  3. I love how effortless it seems for you to transform or just transplant yourselves to the outside. Reading your blog always inspires me to adapt out outdoor space in more meaningful ways. We are on our way, and I appreciate all your posts.

  4. We too believe that inside and outside should seamlessly blend but we don't do outside dramatic play nearly as well as you do Jenny.
    Donna :) :)