Big chunks of time for free experimental play in an outdoor space with loose materials that they are free to use as they please supports the development of the children's social learning beautifully.
When kid's play outdoors with loose materials just try to stop them creating large scale constructions and imagining complex socio-dramatic themes - and whey they do they collaborate, share ideas, solve problems, follow, lead, persevere and work together towards a common goal.
These boys worked together like a well oiled machine to construct their tyre ramps:
Building their own obstacle course using loose parts has become a popular activity that requires team work to gather materials and plan the layout:
By providing large chunks of time for free play outdoors we are giving children the opportunity for sustained shared thinking and collaborative learning.
Learning to work as a team - another reason to value outdoor play in early childhood settings.