All About the Outdoors
Reviews of Siren's DVDs on Outdoor Provision
The three DVDs provide spectacular insights into the opportunities that the outdoor environment offers for children in their earliest years. At a time when budgets are restricted spending choices have to be made carefully. These high quality resources are a must for any trainer to purchase.
The images depict a world of wonder for these babies in ordinary, everyday events outdoors. Stunning photography draws attention to tiny aspects of interest for babies both in the natural and man made environments, for example the image of Ko's view of the stone surface under a wooden bench.
The commentary draws attention to salient points of the baby's development and also highlights important ways in which mum and the key person support. Comments and observations are straightforward and authoritative but offered in a gentle low key manner which serves to emphasise and interpret significant messages rather than detract from them. The length of this commentary is just right, giving plenty of time for students to view the footage and listen to interactions.
The observations of 5 babies ranging from 6 weeks to 12 months makes the audience aware of different stages of development and the extended observations of Bobby over four months vividly highlights the rapid pace of change at this very early stage in his life (given the right conditions for this to take place)
However I also found the shorter sequences absorbing. The brief but delightful clip of 6 week old Miles draws attention to the benefits of him waking up gently outside with his mum close but having access to a rich source of sensory experiences. This clip in itself could provoke some useful discussion about the relative benefits of providing different environments for babies to sleep.
The structure of each sequence ends with a clear and informative summary of the main points in each baby's development. This serves as a helpful memory aid for students
By filming babies from different nationalities and heritage this DVD demonstrates the universal steps in child development and the common benefits to each baby of being outside and having close attachments.
Each sequence includes messages about the baby's particular stage of development. We learn that at 3 months Bobby's hearing is her most developed sense and two months later she begins to babble when interested and relaxed. Complex theories such as 'joint attention' become clear when we see Bobby at 7 months moving her attention between an object of interest and her mum's face.
Like other Siren films this DVD is relevant and important to a number of audiences.
There is often little awareness of the value of an outside environment for young babies and how the close adult can bring the outside world alive. This DVD makes the case so well, simply by showing the possibilities of what can happen and as such it is an essential training resource. New parents will find these clips invaluable and students at all levels will enjoy the case studies and inevitably learn.
This beautiful DVD shows six children in their second year of life enjoying playing outside and making new discoveries. Each of these toddlers is unique but the rich outdoor arena provides for their different needs and interests
All of the sequences emphasise the importance of sensory stimulation, body movement and, over time, increasing investigation and independence for the toddler's learning and well-being. Eighteen month old Yasmine is utterly absorbed, enjoying puddles, grouping and categorising objects and mixing messy materials. The importance of having space and different ground surfaces and levels for children to move up and down at different speeds is exemplified. There are also many messages about the role of the key person who is seen acting as a close and loving play companion, following the child's movements and getting down to the child's level. Above all the fun and exuberance shared by the adult and child shine through.
Two Year Olds Outdoors
Two year olds can offer a challenge as they have moved on from being a toddler but are not yet understanding and behaving as nursery age children. This is an important stage of development in its own right when there is an explosion of language, imagination and social abilities. This DVD presents convincing evidence of how the outdoor environment can meet so many needs of this fascinating age group.
The six very different children are shown moving energetically, extending their schematic interests for example in trajectories and enriching their imaginations in play and song.
The clip of one child who has learning delay is particularly memorable. Leila, with help from her key person accesses nutrition outdoors for all aspects of her development. She is helped to walk but encouraged to balance and support herself. She is challenged by the impact of a strong wind in the garden and is helped to reach with a stick to knock wind chimes. She joins in with other children dancing and singing. This clip alone offers an inspirational example of the scope of the outdoors to motivate and encourage young children to reach out to new things.
The booklet is clear, beautifully written and packed full of information about the development of two-year- olds. It is a very valuable resource for tutors and managers leading training at all levels.