Outdoor play and learning

We know the benefits of outdoor learning, exercise and play for children in terms of their physical and mental wellbeing.

 As part of our commitment to extending early learning and childcare (ELC) provision from 2020, we want to increase children’s access to outdoor play and learning.

To help make this possible, we are providing funding of more than £860,000 to the Inspiring Scotland charity to work with local authorities and the ELC sector to expand outdoor learning spaces for children.

More generally, we support Inspiring Scotland to provide children of all ages with free outdoor play opportunities.

This includes the £400,000 Community Play Fund which will enable play charities to provide outdoor play opportunities in 2019 to 2020 in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

Together with Inspiring Scotland, we published Scotland’s Coalition for Outdoor Play and Learning position statement which commits the signatories to embedding playing and learning outdoors as an everyday activity and to celebrate it as a fundamental part of growing up in Scotland.  

Guidance for ELC practitioners

We have produced a guide for ELC practitioners providing practical advice on how to access outdoor spaces.

We have also published design guidance for the provision of high quality outdoor spaces for early learning and childcare and out of school care settings.

There is also a range of resources on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub to provide support for professional development in outdoor learning across the 3-18 curriculum.