How ‘BIG Picture’ Learning is Cleverly Built into ALL Our Outside Fun
This spring we’ve been busy enjoying two of our most favourite things – ‘Big Picture’ learning and the great outdoors!
‘Big Picture’ learning is another way of saying holistic learning. It’s all about nurturing each individual child through tapping into activities they enjoy and cleverly turning them into learning opportunities. It’s more than just ABCs, this is about stimulating natural curiosity and helping each child develop socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually – all in a way that suits them best.

At Practically Family we believe there’s no better place to tap into this feel-good learning style than by embracing the great outdoors. Getting children outside and immersing them in the natural world, is the best way to truly nurture a child’s development. So, in true Practically Family style, we’ve given a holistic high-five to our outdoor learning. Here’s some of the lovely stuff we’ve been up to!


Physical – We’ve Been Developing Our Gross Motor Skills

The outdoors and physical activities go hand in hand. We know how important building good gross motor skills are for helping children to boost their confidence in lots of other areas. We’ve been shooting hoops on our basketball court and finessing our footie skills with our super-sporty POD Pal, Jordan. We’ve been finding our rhythm and getting our groove on in street dance with dancing dynamo, Rivkah, as well as completing physical challenges like balancing, climbing or working on our hand-eye coordination. Whether its running, jumping, kicking, throwing or BOUNCING, we’ve been mastering our coordination and unlocking our inner team spirit with oodles of physical fun!

child bouncing on hopper


Spiritual - We’ve Been Learning to Care for Ourselves and the World Around Us

Learning how to care not only for ourselves but for others is an essential part of bringing out our inner spiritual side. From learning about morals and values or beliefs and traditions, giving our kids the opportunity to connect to the rich, diverse world around them is incredibly important for their spiritual development. We’ve explored ways we can take care of our own well-being through activities like meditation and yoga, and we’ve created our own little green space to encourage mindfulness and calm! Whether we have been discovering the wide range of scents, textures and colours of plants as we care for them or learning about what environments let plants thrive, we know that looking after our own outdoor space at an early age will encourage our kids to care for the wider world later.

child smelling a flower


Intellectual – We’ve Been Growing Our Cognition and Creative Skills

Play is oh-so important for learning. In fact, it is one of the best ways to encourage a variety of problem solving, creative thinking and language skills. Play is at the heart of everything we do, but we’ve managed to sprinkle even more “Oohs” into our outside classroom! HMS POD (our sandpit boat) has set sail on a bounty of swashbuckling adventures whilst our Imagination Bus has been taking our PODders on wonderful journeys to exciting, far-off lands.  Our outdoor intellectual garden is simply full of nooks and crannies designed to delight and stimulate little minds. We’ve been cultivating our green fingers at our planting station, given our minds (and fingers) a workout with our lock and latch boards (super for those fine motor skills and dexterity) and immersed our creative thinking in our “loose parts” creation areas full of natural materials.  The kids don’t realise it, but with all this playtime, we’ve been acquiring learning skills by the bucket load!

children in a sandpit boat


Social – We’ve Been Interacting and Communicating

Whether your child is shy or confident, interacting with other children is a skill that always improves with practice. From taking turns in small groups to working as a bigger team, being given the opportunity to participate and build connections at playtime all helps little ones to flex their fledgling social skills. So, we’ve been rustling up delights in our mud kitchen (listening to orders and allowing others to have a turn) and checking on our *many* science experiments, feeding back the exciting findings to our group. Whether working in pairs or in group sessions, we’re doing it together and really listening to each other and asking questions along the way. From winning (or losing graciously) in sports to working together in our garden, we are always looking to understand and respect each other in the playground because we know it leads to better communication in the classroom and beyond.

children playing with water


Emotional – We’ve Been Expressing our Emotions

Recognising and understanding emotions (and being able to talk freely about them) is so important for a little one’s development. Our potting shed has been the perfect place for talking about our feelings – however big or small. Having a quiet and cosy place where kids can take a moment to think about how they feel, chat about opinions or help resolve any conflicts, has been wonderful for giving kids the breathing space they might need. Whether it’s offering encouragement, motivation or helping kids to understand how they are feeling, our wonderful little potting shed has been brilliant for helping our kids understand and discuss their emotions.

children sat in a circle at nursery in wilmslow


We know children learn best when all their needs are met, that’s why big picture, holistic learning is central to everything we do! Creating an environment (both indoors and outdoors) where kids feel truly empowered and encouraged to learn naturally and creatively, is at the very heart of of our Practically Family ethos.

If you’d like to find out more about the practical magic we can bring to your family please get in touch.
Call 07581 156684 or email