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The SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning

The SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning

First Edition
Edited by:

Play | Play

August 2017 | 706 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
There has been a growing academic interest in the role of outdoor spaces for play in a child's development. The SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning represents a coordinated and comprehensive volume of international research on this subject edited by members of the well-established European Early Childhood Education Research Association Outdoor Play and Learning SIG (OPAL). Chapters written by authors from Europe, North and South America, Australasia, and Asia Pacific countries are organised into six sections:
  • Theoretical Frameworks and Conceptual Approaches for Understanding Outdoor Play & Learning
  • Critical Reflections on Policy and Regulation in Outdoor Play & Learning
  • Children's Engagement with Nature, Sustainability and Children's Geographies
  • Diverse Contexts and Inclusion in Children's Outdoor Play Environments
  • Methodologies for Researching Outdoor Play and Learning
  • Links Between Research and Practice

Tim Waller, Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsér, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Libby Lee-Hammond, Kristi Lekies and Shirley Wyver
Olivia Saracho
Chapter 1: Theoretical Framework of Developmental Theories of Play
Jane Waters
Chapter 2: Affordance Theory in Outdoor Play
Doris Bergen
Chapter 3: Technology and Outdoor Play: Concerns and Opportunities
Robyn M Holmes & Kristen E Kohm
Chapter 4: Outdoor Play in Recess Time
Shirley Wyver
Chapter 5: Outdoor Play and Cognitive Development
Sara Knight
Chapter 6: Forest School for the Early Years in England
Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Helen Little, David Ball, David Eager and Mariana Brussoni
Chapter 7: Risk and Safety in Outdoor Play
Tim Gill
Chapter 8: The Evolution of Policy on Risk Management in Outdoor Play
Susan Herrington, Sara Brunelle, Mariana Brussoni
Chapter 9: Outdoor Play Spaces In Canada: As If Children Mattered
Kwi-Ok Nah
Chapter 10: The Rise of Outdoor Play and Education Issues in Preschools in South Korea
Pelusa Orellana & Maria Francisca Valenzuela
Chapter 11: Outdoor Play in Latin American Early Childhood and Elementary Schools: A Review of the Literature
Susan Solomon
Chapter 12: How to Revitalize American Playgrounds
Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsér & Anette Sandberg
Chapter 13: Early Childhood Education for Sustainability. The Relationship Between Young Children’s Participation and Agency – Children and Nature
Sarah MacQuarrie, Clare Nugent
Chapter 14: Considering Children’s Opportunities for Exploration of Their Local Environment and Engagement with Nature
Olav Lysklett
Chapter 15: Nature Preschools in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway: Characteristics and Differences
Eva Änggård
Chapter 16: Places for Symbolic Play in Nature Environments
Antje Luchs
Chapter 17: Assessing Free Play Behavior in Urban Play Spaces
Claire Warden
Chapter 18: Nature Pedagogy – An Exploration of the Storied Narratives Which Illustrate Its Application Across Spaces Inside, Outside And Beyond
Sue Elliott
Chapter 19: An Australian Perspective: Seeking Sustainability in Early Childhood Outdoor Playspaces
Libby Lee-Hammond
Chapter 20: Belonging in Nature: Spirituality, Indigenous Cultures and Biophilia
Ylva Jannok Nutti
Chapter 21: Along Paths of Movement: Sámi Children and Early Childhood Student Teachers as Wayfarers
Feyza Tantekin Erden, Zisan Guner Alpaslan
Chapter 22: Gender Issues in Outdoor Play
Theresa Casey
Chapter 23: Outdoor play and Learning in the Landscape of Children’s Rights
Georgianna Duarte, Greta Freeman
Chapter 24: Multilingual Development and Outdoor Play
Mary Caroline Rowan
Chapter 25: Thinking with Land/Working with Elders: Accessing Indigenous Knowledges in Early Childhood Education Through Outdoor Experiences
Bernhard Koch, Kari Emilsen
Chapter 26: "Men and Women in Outdoor Play – The Gender Perspective"
Angeliki Bitou, Tim Waller
Chapter 27: Participatory Research with Very Young Children
Philip Waters
Chapter 28: Developing the Pedagogic Method Narrative Journey
Natalie Canning
Chapter 29: Take Two: Using Video as an Analysis Tool for Outdoor Play
Shirley Wyver
Chapter 30: The Importance of Randomised Control Trials as an Evidence Base
Libby Lee-Hammond, Yeshe Colliver
Chapter 31: Indigenous Methodologies in Education Research: Case Study of Children’s Play in Solomon Islands
Josefina Prieto
Chapter 32: “Naturalizar Educativamente”: The Chilean Quest for Introducing Outdoor Learning and Play in Early Childhood Education
Dr Amanda Bateman, Professor Margie Hohepa, Tim Bennet
Chapter 33: Indigenising Outdoor Play in New Zealand
Kristi Lekies, Thomas Beery, Jed Brensinger
Chapter 34: Investigating Children’s Collecting Behavior Outdoors
Dr Valerie Huggins
Chapter 35: Enhancing the Outdoor Learning Spaces for Pre-Primary Classes in Western Ethiopia
Judy Van Heerden, Marie Botha
Chapter 36: Outdoor Play and Learning in Preschools in South Africa
Kristín Norðdahl, Jóhanna Einarsdóttir and Gunnhildur Óskarsdóttir
Chapter 37: Early Childhood Teachers’ (Pre- and Compulsory School Teachers) Use of the Outdoor Environment in Children’s Learning About Living Beings
Kari Jorgensen
Chapter 38: Storied Landscapes: Children’s Experiences and The ‘Sense’ of Place
Merete Lund Fasting
Chapter 39: The Magic of Outdoor Play: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Approach
Sachiko Kitano
Chapter 40: What Children Are Learning During Outdoor Play Activities? Examining the Free Play Activities

Waller et al have given us a remarkable book that presents the impact of globalization on outdoor play around the world, skillfully bringing together local research, pedagogy and policy in the context of global “playgrounds” or outdoor play spaces. Diverse worldviews on outdoor play are examined along cultural values such as spirituality, gender roles, age veneration, sustainability, and children’s rights which, together with a section on research methodology for studying young children’s outdoor play, make it especially relevant to the field. This book is a must read for all early childhood educators around the world!


Amita Gupta
Professor, School of Education, The City College of New York

This is a really valuable international collaboration. Presenting wide-ranging evidence for the importance of playing and learning outdoors, it also demonstrates how much research into children’s outdoor play is maturing. Crossing research, policy and practice, the collection shows the depth and breadth of current research areas and methods in this field, and how research paradigms and approaches are themselves being pushed by these studies. Drawing from cultures and approaches across countries and regions alongside useful critical reviews, the handbook also offers contexts to frame further enquiry – and there are a great many questions waiting to be explored!

Jan White
Consultant for Outdoor Provision in the Early Years

This international handbook will provide a fantastic resource for all those interested in how outdoor play and learning can act to benefit our children and our environment. The wealth of different perspectives brought together by these experienced and highly respected editors in the field offers an eclectic and coherent insight into both research and theory about outdoor play and learning.

Sue Waite
Associate Professor, Plymouth University

This SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning is a much longed for resource. Evolving the field of environmental education, this collection of research combines the outdoors and issues related to a sustainable lifestyle with play and learning. Everything is so much easier outdoors, the drive, flow and grit permeate play and explorations, in short the time outdoors is well spent and fun. Bring out your rubber boots, a snack and this book and enjoy!

Ingrid Engdahl
Associate Professor, Stockholm University, Sweden

The SAGE Handbook of Outdoor Play and Learning is an impressive collection of interdisciplinary, multicultural and global knowledge about children's outdoor play, written by internationally acclaimed scholars. Contrary to the publishers' modest opinion (p. 16), I think this handbook is very comprehensive! The book provides a vast amount of in depth knowledge covering a wide range of relevant issues, including critical perspectives. I hope the book will find a large circulation; it is exceedingly relevant for students, teachers and educators, teacher educators, researchers as well as authorities and politicians who are concerned about children's upbringing, play and leaning.

Thomas Moser
Professor in Education, University College of Southeast Norway

With a 10 year background in research and dialogue each chapter offers great depth to those studying the benefits of outdoor play and the problems caused by a world that has largely forgotten children. This is a comprehensive book that, at over 700 pages, has much to offer those studying or researching this area of early education

Neil Henty
Early Years Educator
Key features
- Authors from around the world, considering outdoor education in different countries/societies gives the book international appeal and coverage. 

- A large theoretical basis that covers theory, research, practices and policies in outdoor play.

- A consideration of different styles of outdoor learning and the importance of considering alternative methods of developing specific skill sets (including expedition based learning in Inuit cultures). 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 31 - Case Study

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