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Exercising Muscles and Minds, Second Edition

Outdoor Play and the Early Years Curriculum
Regular price £18.99
Regular price Sale price £18.99
This updated edition of the seminal 2003 text on outdoor play in early years provision taps into the major issues around nutrition, exercise and mental wellbeing in this field. Focusing on the importance of outdoor play from birth to age five, Exercising Muscles and Minds, Second Edition aids practitioners in planning for learning outside throughout the year.

Updated to include engagement with new research and practice that has emerged since 2003, the book explores the neurological benefits of exercise and outdoor play; the debates on risk; technology and indoor play; development of Forest Schools, Beach Schools and Nature Kindergartens; and rebranding and development of early years teaching methods.

Full of case studies and ideas for activities, equipment and resources, this practical guide is full of useful guidance for working outdoors with young children - whether in largest of green areas or the smallest of back yards.
  • Published: Nov 21 2019
  • Pages: 240
  • 228 x 150mm
  • ISBN: 9781785922664
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Press Reviews

  • Professor Tina Bruce CBE

    The first edition of this book, written by Marjorie Ouvry, has been well used because it was full of practical help. It has stood the test of being tried and tested, and from the beginning was supported with evidence, theory and research. This second edition, is a tour de force in which Marjorie has invited Amanda Furtado to update and further enhance the evidence in a very uplifting and inspiring way. It continues in the Froebelian tradition of early childhood education with its integration of being very practice backed up with theory and research. I welcome this book.
  • Dr Lynn. J. McNair O.B.EHead of Cowgate Under 5s Centre / Senior Teaching Fellow University of Edinburgh

    This comprehensive book amounts to more than an exercise in nostalgia, and rather than looking backwards at the phenomenon of children's play outdoors it is forward thinking in terms of children's participation and practitioner reflection. The book has been designed to invite practitioners, who may advocate different conceptions and approaches to outdoor play, to reflect and discuss diverse viewpoints and understandings. That is, it offers a plethora of ways to think spatially about the possibilities of how children play in the nursery garden. Throughout, the practice of key thinkers, who have moved between theoretical and philosophical traditions, have been offered to help shape the way that outdoor provision should be offered to children. The policy documentation, too, should help challenge some assumptions made with regards to children being outdoors in cold, wet weather -- it is perhaps not surprising that the sometimes unquestioned or unquestionable 'dangers' of playing outdoors are covered from every angle. Furthermore, common sense 'tips' are presented, e.g., encourage children to cough into their elbow...' a very useful piece of information...and there are many more suggestions throughout. The key concepts falling out of this book are that the nursery garden should be viewed as a progressive sense of place for all to enjoy in all weathers". This book is a very welcome addition to the field of children's outdoor play.
  • Dr Betty Liebovich, Lecturer in Early Years, Educational Studies Department, Goldsmiths University of London

    This is an invaluable resource, delineating the importance of outdoor play in a young child's life, illustrated through practical ideas grounded in research. The underlying passion and commitment to open-air learning is disseminated through critical analysis, ideal for new and experienced practitioners and which will now be compulsory reading for my PGCE early years specialist students.
  • Wendy Scott OBE, President TACTYC

    This second edition of Exercising Muscles and Minds is timely. Marjorie Ouvry's original text stimulated an appreciation of the value of outdoor learning. The deeply practical advice and suggestions included in this updated version are securely grounded in evidence, and offer inspiring ideas for parents and professionals.
  • Jasmine Pasch. Movement Consultant, Early Education

    If ever you hear the phrase "just playing" in relation to children's body movement and outdoor play, suggesting that no real learning is taking place, then this is the book to dispel any doubts about that.It is bursting with practical ideas, vivid examples of deep level learning, and underpinned with a sound knowledge of child development.
  • Dr Helen Bilton, Professor of Outdoor Learning, University of Reading

    This is a fabulous book and should be read by everyone who cares about young children. It is informative, accessible and grounded in child development evidence. Marjorie is one of the founding mothers of outdoor play and what she has to say must be listened to.