We are pleased to present Kinderland’s outdoor stage open for outdoor productions and open-ended play. It provides rich opportunities to develop oral language, imagination, resourcefulness, creativity, innovation, and expression in movement.
In just a short while since we’ve had our outdoor stage we have been able to use it in all sorts of play. The list below is merely a starting place as to what you can do with an outdoor stage, but not limited to. Please add comments and share below about how you and your early learners currently use your outdoor stage or what opportunities you could provide so we can all benefit from our ideas.
OUTDOOR STAGE OPPORTUNITIES
- Spontaneous plays
- Narratives directed by students and/or educators
- Songs (song books)
- Bands (instruments, pots and pans, etc.)
- Dances (ribbons, silk scarves)
- Story-telling (oral, read alouds)
- Retelling stories
- Writing materials for story and/or song writing (clipboards, paper, writing utensils)
- Platform for building with tree blocks
- Or take away the curtains and the platform is base for any imaginative adventure. Add four tires and you have a vehicle. Add fabric and you have a boat. Add tree stumps and it’s a house. Loose parts can take your platform to a whole new level of creative play.
Outdoor stages provide a non-threatening environment for early learners to experience authentic learning rich in oral language. They afford children a laid-back and carefree environment where they can explore their ideas in an informal setting. Just last week an early learner who seemed quiet (maybe shy) his first week of school belted out “Five Little Pumpkins” to the tune of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. I’m continuously amazed at how the outdoor stage can melt away fears and even compel others to narrate, sing, play or other, something they wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
This stage was generously donated by a community member who builds pallets. We added some netting for curtains on a rope that we tied between two trees.
I have a passion for fine arts and believe that fostering art, music and dance in our early learners is of utmost importance in supporting their rich learning. Today we brought out our classroom instruments and some children wanted to use pots and buckets. We listened and watched as our early learners explored sound. They described the sounds they heard, experimented with different ways and playing their instrument, tried different patterns (as patterning has been a focus for us in math). “Long, short, long, short” was what one child said. “A, b, a, b” another called out. “Shake, shake, hit, shake, shake, hit” another said. They were excited to discover they were adept at making patterns with music and not just loose parts. It was quite exciting to be apart of cross-curricular discoveries happening before our eyes.
We’ve enjoyed seeing the sense of wonder and excitement when children have been actively engaged in playing with the outdoor stage.