Time to play, time to think: meaningful moments in the forest

Hattingh, L (2024) 'Time to play, time to think: meaningful moments in the forest.' European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 32 (1). pp. 22-33. ISSN 1350-293X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2023.2221419


This paper reports on a study carried out by tutors and students on Early Childhood Studies degree courses at a University in England. The research explored perspectives of three to six-year-old children’s outdoor play in Danish forest kindergartens with the aim of troubling and informing approaches to outdoor pedagogy. Inspired by Somerville and Powell’s ‘deep hanging out’ ([Somerville, M., and J. Powell. 2018. “Thinking Posthuman with Mud: And Children of the Anthropocene.” Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (8): 829–840. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2018.1516138, 1) with data, researchers visited the kindergartens for a full day at a time during annual week-long field visits. This provided opportunities to notice the children’s journeys and possibilities over time. Findings showed that, given time and space to play in the forest, children were able to pursue their interests, engage in extended periods of concentration and thinking while working together as they played and explored with each other, with the educators and with the materiality of their surroundings. Implications for practitioners highlight the need to provide uninterrupted time for children to develop their curiosities and enjoyment of the outdoor environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: deep hanging out, time, outdoor play, possibilities, children’s right to play
Divisions: School of Education
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Early Childhood (REACH)
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2023.2221419
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2023 15:41
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 19:55
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/15391
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