Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Training: Naturalising your Outdoor Space on a Shoestring Budget

Monday 26 November 2018 @ 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm

Naturalising your Outdoor Space on a Shoestring Budget

There is now plenty of research that suggests that children need and enjoy playing in natural spaces. A well-planned and designed natural play space can provide experiences that:

  • Improve children’s physical development;
  • Enable children to think and play in creative and imaginative ways;
  • Promote positive physical risk taking within a framework of safety;
  • Help children learn more about the natural world and increases children’s knowledge about nature;
  • Provide a valuable context for developing life skills including literacy and numeracy;
  • Create a calmer outdoor space which is more restorative and enables children to better focus.

This course explores how Nicolson’s Theory of Loose Parts and Gibson’s Affordance Theory can be utilised to create simple changes to your outdoor space. In doing so, the biodiversity of your outdoor space will be improved and it becomes a better place not just for learning and play but for wildlife too. The emphasis is on low-cost and doable ideas that don’t involve digging up the asphalt.

Participants will be expected to undertake a range of work in between the twilight sessions which is likely to include:

  • Background research and reading about the benefits of natural spaces and to summarise findings;
  • Undertake an audit of the outdoor space;
  • Using the information and practical tips gained on the courses to naturalise their outdoor space;
  • Observe how the children at their establishment use their spaces before and after the changes have been made and comment on the impact of changes made;
  • Creating a maintenance plan and using it to ensure the outdoor space is cared for, so that the improvements are sustainable.

Expected outcomes for the participants:

  • To improve their knowledge and understanding of loose parts and affordances and demonstrate this through the changes made to their outdoor space;
  • To increase confidence at making small scale, simple changes to the outdoor space to improve nature play opportunities;
  • To develop a shared sense of ownership of the outdoor space and the changes made which have positively impacted on children’s experiences within this space.

Trainer: Juliet Robertson, Creative Star Learning

BookingBooking form required

Juliet Robertson

Juliet is one of Scotland’s leading education consultants who specialises in outdoor learning and play. She works at a national level delivering training, giving keynote speeches, leading and supporting innovative outdoor projects and writing content for websites, documents and case studies. She is passionate about enabling schools, play organisations and early years settings to provide quality outdoor learning and play opportunities for children and young people.

Juliet also works at an international level providing inspiring and engaging presentations and training everywhere. In the past two years alone, she has toured Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. She provided the kickstart training for the first outdoor nurseries in Lithuania and worked with universities and schools in Spain and Belgium.

After years of ghost writing and public blogging, Juliet is now an author of Dirty Teaching: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Outdoors (2014) and Messy Maths (2017).


Monday 26 November 2018
4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, ,


Aberdeen City Council


Ashgrove Children’s Centre
Gillespie Place
Aberdeen, AB25 3BE United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01224 482293