Early Childhood Hub

Outdoor learning: Supporting early language and communication


This video follows childminding early education setting Bobbi’s Explorers, showing a small group of young children learning together through outdoor play. As you watch the video, notice how the practitioner creates opportunities for children to share their own ideas and interests, and values the responses they offer. Specifically: 

  • consider how the practitioner uses modelling, gestures and prompts to support and extend children’s language and vocabulary.
  • look at how the practitioner adapts the learning and responds to children’s ideas to shape the activity.  

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Right. Would you like to… should we do something from the bags? Do you want to show us what you’ve brought in your bag, [child’s name]? 


And then, [child’s name], you haven’t got a bag, so maybe you could find something for us instead. But let’s have a look at [child’s name], what’s in his bag? You’re going to find something? OK. 

You go and find something and bring it back to us. And we’ll look in [child’s name]’s bag and see what he’s brought. Oh, a stick. That’s such a good choice. OK, [child’s name], what did you bring that you wanted to show us? 


Brachiosaurus. Oh, yeah. There it is. Hello, Brachiosaurus. Did you bring anything else? 

My Parasaurolophus. 

Your Parasaurolophus. Lovely. So you brought two dinosaurs. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Shall we put them there? Can you see that, [child’s name]? Can you see that, [child’s name]? 

I’ve got two pretty donkeys. 

Whoo! Oh, yeah. You’ve got a big donkey and a little donkey. Lovely. Hello, donkey, little donkey. 

And I’ve got… 

And hello, big donkey. 


What fun things to have in your bag. So how do you know that this one is a Parasaurolophus? 

It’s got two… [inaudible]

That’s a good way to know. 

Does it… [inaudible]? 


Yeah, it does have a bit there, doesn’t it? 

But it’s got a horn. 

It’s got a big horn there, hasn’t it? Good spot. And what noise do your donkeys make? 

[makes a braying sound] 


Ee-aw. Love it. Do they want to stay out or do they want to go back into your bag? 

No. Stay out. 

They want to stay out? OK, lovely. Right. [child’s name], what did you bring in your bag? Did you want to show us something? 


Yeah, a little bugaboo. It flew away by itself. OK. I think I can guess what was in your bag. What’s that? 


Egg. Love it. Do you want to give one to [child’s name] or [child’s name]? They might like to shake one. 

[child laughs] 

You’d like to? 


Hey, she’s passed you a blue one. Can I have one to shake, too? One for [child’s name]. For me? Thank you. There’s something inside? 


Can you hear it? 

[egg shaking noise] 


Should we shake them together? You think it’s a baby dinosaur inside. I love that idea. Have you got any more in there? Is that all of them? You’ve got them all out? Is there more in there? 


No way. Shall we have a little look. Oh, yeah, a little golden one. Would you like that one, [child’s name]? And a green one. You’ve got two green ones. Shall we see if we can give them a really big shake? 

[egg shaking noise] 


Shall we shake them up high? Shall we shake them down low? 


I’ll tell you what, we could do some songs with our eggs, couldn’t we? Would you like to do some songs while we’re shaking our eggs? 


What song would you like to do, [child’s name]? 

Jingle Bells. 

Jingle… Jingle Bells? Lovely. Shall we do it? 

(singing) Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh, what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh, hey! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh. Whee! 

I heard a noise. 

You heard a noise? 


Was it the eggs or was it something else? 


It was the eggs. Oh, you’re making a noise by tapping them together. 


Oh, well, can you… oh, [child’s name]’s doing that too. Can you do that, [child’s name]? Oh, wow. That’s a fun noise, isn’t it? Shall we do another song where we tap them together? 



What song would you like to do, [child’s name]? 



Hmm, I’m not sure what that one is. 


Twinkle? Twinkle, twinkle? Oh, lovely, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We could do you next, [child’s name]. Let’s do Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and then we’ll do a choice from you. OK. Ready? I’m going to twinkle my hand as well. 

(singing) Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star… do you want to shake, [child’s name]… how I wonder what you are. 

You’re doing that noise together. That was such a lovely choice. Thank you, [child’s name]. Right, [child’s name], would you like to choose one, a song to do? Sorry? 


Which song? 


Three? I don’t think I know that one. Is there another song you’d like to do? You heard the train? 


Yeah, you can hear it from far away. Did you want to choose a song, [child’s name]? Hmm, you thinking? 

Egg song. 

An egg song? Hmm, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken? 

(singing) Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, lay a little egg for me. Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, I want one for my tea. I haven’t had an egg since Easter, and now it’s half past three. So a-chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, lay a little egg for me. 

Hurrah for your wonderful choices of songs. I loved those. 


Hurrah. Shall we put the eggs back into the bag? There we go. Thank you very much for bringing those eggs, [child’s name]. There we go. Right, [child’s name], you haven’t got a bag today, but you brought something that you wanted to show us. 

Did you find something from the forest? 

A stick. 

A stick. Oh, I love that stick. I like the way… shall we have a little look at it… excuse me… it’s got like a little bit at the end, hasn’t it? What does it feel like? It’s quite hard, isn’t it? 

Let’s wait for… 

Yeah. it’s got little bits on. 

Yeah, it’s got more little bits that go along, hasn’t it? That’s a really good one.

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