YMCA Educators and families gathered for a fall day of Outdoor Play!

A young boy in a cream coloured sweater sits on the ground and smiles as he throws autumn leaves into the air. His sister and mom laugh and watch him from behind.


YMCA Educators and families gathered for a fall day of Outdoor Play!


On October 15, the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario's Outdoor Play team partnered with St. Clair College's Chatham campus to bring outdoor play opportunities to the community. The event, hosted at the new outdoor lab on campus, gave first-year Early Childhood Education students, YMCA Educators, and families a chance to experience loose parts play. Loose parts are open-ended and mobile items that children can carry, combine, line up, take apart and put back together in endless ways. Valuing all weather conditions for play as essential for children, the group experienced the joy a very windy day can bring!

The YMCA Educators from Indian Creek Child Care Centre modelled their training from the Learning and Teaching Hub to first-year students. They set up invitations and engaged families as play partners throughout the day, proving to be incredible role models and leaders in the community. Students were thrilled with the opportunity to see learning happening outside of a classroom, providing valuable insight into their practice in the outdoors. One St. Clair student had this to say about the experience: "It was so interesting to see how different children explored different materials throughout the day - making first, rolling pumpkins, balancing on the logs - they each took a different approach to the materials." 

We look forward to bringing more community events to our association and engaging families in outdoor play!

An educator observes a young boy in a red plaid jacket put together loose parts from a box outside.
A girls wearing a white toque, black vest, and pink rain boots balances on a wooden log.