Outdoor Play Matters Conference, April 2018

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Tipperary Childcare Committee organised an inspiring event last Saturday and I was delighted to be invited to host a workshop as part of the day. It was held in LIT Thurles on the glorious sunny day that was last Saturday.

It was so encouraging to me both as a mother and an educator to listen to Carol Duffy of Early Childhood Ireland speak with such heart and empathy about the impact being outside has on the children she works with. One stark fact that hit home with me was how common it is for some children to spend 9 hours in child care settings, 5 days a week and not have access to the outside or a window low enough that they can see out of. The children are only just up on their feet and they are being asked to spend their days sitting down again at tables and chairs. All the learning for kids at this stage of their development can be met by allowing them to move, explore, touch, smell, taste and listen to the sounds and wonders of nature.

I was delighted to have 30 or so child care practitioners attend my workshop and was keen to impart them with as many creative ideas and games that could support them in their already great work and help them feel confident to bring the kids outside. Other workshops were given by Carol Duffy( quality outdoor provision), Albert Nolan (bees and bugs), Totally Kids Tipperary, Cristina Duff ( fundamental movement skills ). A great event and well done to all !

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