Free-flow play for children in early years allows them to play and explore opportunities inside and out without doors preventing them from making their own choices. The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) for schools, pre-schools and nursery settings actively encourages settings to enable children to move freely between play spaces inside and outside the building.
Offering a range of easily accessible internal and external play areas to give children the richest possible learning environment is not without challenges, though. Keeping a door constantly open brings many problems, such as requiring adult attention to open/close the door can prevent many children from moving as freely as free-flow play calls for. Free access to gardens and outside play spaces dramatically benefits a child’s well-being and ability to assess risk. Allowing free-flow play allows children to decide where and how they play.
Free-flow play allows children to make their own decisions, learn about the consequences of making these choices, and develop an understanding of changing environments and surroundings at their own pace.
Extending Your Play Space
Adding a free-flow curtain to the door space allows access to the outside without compromising the temperature or indoor environment. It will also act as a sound barrier to stop noisy outdoor play from interfering with the quieter, calmer environment inside. Another big plus is the curtain’s barrier to reduce the number of flying insects finding their way inside.
Free-flow strip curtains offer a choice of clear or fun rainbow colour curtains. Child-safe strip curtains can also be installed quickly with minimal fuss, as no structural work is necessary.
Childcare settings can keep cool and calm inside while temperatures rage outside during what seem to be ever-warmer summers. They can also keep the cold and wet outside when the autumn and winter chills and downpours arrive.
Benefits of free-flow curtains
- Provide a barrier to better control indoor temperatures, which is impossible with a wide open door.
- Provide an excellent sound barrier to keep the classroom quiet even when noise is outside. Children tend to make more noise when they are outside, which can disturb the peace inside. A free-flow strip door curtain is an effective sound barrier, so outside noise stays out.
- Remove the danger to children and the time taken for staff to constantly open and close doors to let children in or out.
- Allow children to move safely between areas without disruption at their own pace.
- Open up extended play areas to provide a more rounded play experience.
- Serve an educational resource in its own right if you choose the exciting rainbow colour free flow curtain strips
- Specialist propylene ‘Quickmount’ school and early years settings free flow curtain systems are lighter and safer than standard metal tracked strip curtains.
- Ultra-safe snap-on fittings and durable child-friendly curtains.
- A choice of clear or rainbow strip colours. Rainbow strip colours overlap to teach children about colours and colour mixing.
- Curtains remain flexible even in colder temperatures.
- Cost-effective and quick to install to offer a durable and long-lasting solution.
- Light enough to be passed through by crawling children.
- Easy snap-off/on single strip replacement if one does become damaged.
Give the children what they need to thrive.
The benefits of free play for children in early childhood are regularly documented, and many parents undoubtedly look more favourably at early years and school settings that embrace this ethos and child-led play culture when choosing the most appropriate facilities for their child. What better way for your school or nursery to show commitment to providing such opportunities than opening up the outdoors with a free-flow strip curtain? You don’t have to compromise your indoor facilities for those staying inside whilst maximising possibilities for children to access outdoor child and adult-led play spaces and activities.