What is Baltic Bairns?
We are the Early Years team from Baltic Street Adventure Playground, a child-led adventure play space for children aged 6-12 in Dalmarnock. As the Early Years team we are working in partnership with local nurseries to get younger children aged 3-5 involved in outdoor play. Every week we take children from Parkhead Nursery, Helenslea Nursery, Bridgeton Family Learning Centre, Silverdale Nursery and Greentrees Nursery to local parks such as Tollcross Park, Cunningar Loop and Glasgow Green. We also run two family sessions on Mondays at Tollcross Park and Baltic Street Adventure Playground for families with children aged 3-5. Whilst out with the nurseries we work with nursery staff to facilitate and supervise play and encourage the children to take risks and learn to manage risk for themselves, we build dens, cook on a fire, go “fishing” in the burn, explore the natural environment through looking at the animals and plants we see in the park, and most importantly – we play! The sessions are run as free-play sessions which means the children can do whatever they want to do and we will help them in any way we can to support their learning and engagement.
Why outdoor play? Why can’t they just stay inside?
Children who play outside have been proven to be more resilient, sociable, confident, they have a higher level of fitness, and a better ability to concentrate and think through tasks. Playing outside allows children to develop muscle strength and coordination, flexibility, fine and gross motor skills and develop a wide variety of physical skills which are transferable to many different tasks they face in life.
Why not just take them to a swing park?
By taking the children to local parks and not taking them to your standard swing park we are giving the children space to imagine what they want to play on/with every day. The space can change every time they are out, whether it’s building a swing one week, and the next week deciding a mud slide would be fun instead, we’re giving the children the opportunity to make their own choices and lead the play themselves instead of playing with what has been prescribed to them by whoever has built a swing park. By being in a wooded/grassy area we are also encouraging the children to assess risk in everything they do. Nothing is padded and nothing can be assumed to be safe, the risks are more obvious and so the children learn to look for them more. In activities such as tree climbing the children are encouraged to be aware of when they feel safe and when they feel unsafe, to make sure that no matter how high they climb, that they know how to get themselves back down again without being lifted out of the tree by an adult, this improves the children’s problem solving skills, physical awareness and gross and fine motor skills. If the children want a swing, slide, den or anything else they help us build it, tying knots, finding the resources needed to build and working out the best or most interesting and fun way to make whatever they want!
How to contact us
Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on 0141 554 4077