Play Learning Life is an outdoor learning and play consultancy, offering schools and early years settings advice, support and professional development.With over 20 years experience of helping schools and settings create and make the most of the fantastic opportunities outdoor spaces provide, Play Learning Life collaborates with skilled outdoor learning and play practitioners and is able to take on projects of any size.


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  1. We are a preschool located in Daly City and we are planning to turn one of our “hills” on our campus into a outdoor classroom. We are looking for advice.

    • Hi Cynthia, thanks for getting in touch. You are pretty close to the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance and if I were you I’d get in touch with them to start with, to see if they can offer advice. I know they were successful in securing the latest Bond but not sure what that means in terms of applying for financial help. But Arden and Rachel there will be able to respond to your initial queries, I’m sure – http://www.sfgreenschools.org.

      You could also contact a good friend of mine, Sharon Danks, of Bay Tree Design in Berkeley. She has worked on dozens of schoolyard projects and written an internationally respected book on green schooyards, and may be able to come out to visit your setting. Her email is sharon@baytreedesign.com.

      for initial ideas, why not download some of the free resources from http://www.ltl.org.uk, the national school grounds not-for-profit in the UK. What you will need to do to start off with is think about what you want children to be able to ‘do’ outdoors rather than ‘have’, so start with your curriculum – how would you like to be able to deliver outdoors? Do you have a focus on say language development, or problem solving? Do you want to get children more active outdoors, or perhaps encourage imaginative or social play and skills? Your answers to this will help shape what you decide to change outdoors. If I had to list the most valuable things for a pre-school to have I’d say number one is an outdoor tap and hose, closely followed by shade and shelter. You might then think about vegetation, seating, supplying wellies and wet weather gear… the list goes on. My website has a bit more info on it but feel free to email me directly if you want to ‘chat’ a bit more about your particular circumstance.

      Best wishes,


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