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REGULATION and RECREATION. A look at the Child Care Division rules regarding Outdoor Play. When children play in nature they are more likely to have positive feelings about each other and their surroundings.

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Regulation and recreation


A look at the Child Care Division rules regarding Outdoor Play

Regulation and recreation

When children play in nature they are more likely to have positive feelings about each other and their surroundings.

Robin Moore, “Compact Nature:The Role of Playing and Learning Gradens on Children’s Lives.”

Ccd regulations

CCD Regulations

  • Must have an outdoor area (or access to)

  • Clean and hazard-free

  • No water hazards

  • Protect against toxic plants

  • Safe and appropriate equipment and materials

  • Adequate supervision

  • 75 sq ft per child (CF,CC)

  • Fenced (CF, CC)

  • Equipped for gross motor development (CF, CC)

  • Written plan for gross motor/outdoor play (CF, CC)

  • Suitably surfaced (CF, CC)*

Suitably surfaced







Treated Wood

*Suitably Surfaced

CCD defers to the U.S. Consumer Product

Safety Commission for surface suitability guidelines.


  • Pea Gravel

  • Sand

  • Shredded Rubber

  • Wood Mulch

  • Wood Chips

The depth of the surfacing material is very important

Nature deficit disorder

Nature Deficit Disorder

Children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods, 2005

Causes of nature deficit disorder

Causes of Nature Deficit Disorder

  • Parents are keeping children indoors to keep them safe

  • Loss of natural surroundings

  • Increased draw to spend time inside

Outdoor play involves the whole child

Outdoor Play involves the whole child

  • gross and fine motor

  • senses

  • emotions

  • intellect

  • individual growth

  • social interaction

Outdoor play has positive effects

Outdoor Play has positive effects

  • reduces stress

  • improves recall of

    information, creative

    problem solving, and


  • produces positive

    physiological and



Loose parts

Loose Parts

  • Materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined-up and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways

  • There are no directions, the child is the direction

How to make outdoor play work

CCD requires…

Suitable surfaces and falls zones

Adequate supervision


Hazard free

A plan

You can…

Have nothing to fall from

Have adequate staff

Have loose parts

Be diligent regarding hazards and have adequate staff

Determine outdoor time

How to make Outdoor Play work

Regulation and recreation

“We don’t go outside. It’s too cold in the Winter and too hot in the Summer, and it’s always wet in the Spring and the Fall.”

Other outdoor ideas

Other Outdoor Ideas

  • Plant a container garden

  • Build a worm bin

  • Bird watch

  • Go on a treasure hunt

  • Take walks

  • Make dandelion crowns

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