This image and quote says it all... perhaps the real question is "Why not outdoors?"
Part of what we do at Inspired EC is to design outdoor play environments. We aim to create environments that are so rich and engaging that no equipment is actually necessary. This approach stems from the experiences of Tash and myself. Many years ago we found ourselves working in a centre that was clearly on a journey. The indoor environment was one of the most engaging that I had seen at that time, the documentation of learning and project/play based program was strong and meaningful. As for the outdoor space...not so great! A very large space, it was predominantly wet-pour rubber softfall. One day while playing a game of hide and seek it became abundantly clear just how much the space was lacking - there was nowhere to hide!
Over the next few years, with a lot of vision, passion and hard work that outdoor play space evolved into one that is now coveted by other services and educators. It became an environment that requires nothing more. If no toys or equipment were bought out each day the children would still be engaged. This is what is so amazing about the outdoors. By allowing nature (plants, trees, grass, rocks, dirt...) to exist in our outdoor play environments, we open ourselves up to endless opportunities for play and exploration.
Providing inspirational professional development opportunities for Early Childhood Educators