The 2018 Spring Summit on Children's Outdoor Play and Learning

The Summit is now over, but you can still buy the recordings by clicking the button below...

Or get any of the previous summit recordings in the Online Store.


Spring 2018 Summit

  • New ways of incorporating maths into your outdoor play
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    The role of active, open and quiet spaces in the natural playspace
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    How to Unlock the learning potential of the outdoors 
  • How good outdoor design can improve your outdoor space
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    The benefits of "resource-free" play outdoors
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    Appreciation of the full range of opportunities that an outdoor space can give

  • Different ways that outdoor play can empower children
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    The enjoyment and learning opportunities of unrestricted play outdoors
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    The design elements that make an effective outdoor space for all ages

Alice

Nursery Owner, Canada

This was the easiest, most comfortable, convenient form of education I have ever been involved in! My daughter also participated in the Early Years Summit and introduced this concept to me which I absolutely loved. We have educated and cared for children for over 25 years may I say it was magnificent to meet and hear of others in our field all over the world! Kristal and I have picked up a few ideas from the summit introducing the ideas to our children and families have proved to be most successful and FUN!

Just want to tell you how much I am enjoying the Summit ... I have been introduced to some new things ... and have already looked into training to be an INPP as a direct result of your summit (I did not know about this role beforehand, and seems to be the missing link that I have been looking for all these years)!

M.G.

Early Years Professional


Our Host

Kathy Brodie

Our host for the Summit is well known Early Years author and expert, Kathy Brodie.

She’s the author of multiple books on Early Years childcare and is the founder and organiser of the Early Years Summit– the leading free online CPD resource for Early Years Practitioners and Educators globally.

She’s also created a number of online training courses covering Observation Assessment and Planning, Sustained Shared Thinking and Schematic play. 

Our Expert Speakers

Dr Sue Elliot

Dr Sue Elliott

Natalie Canning

Natalie Canning

Julie Mountain

Julie Mountain

Julie Ann White

Julie Ann White

Angela Hanscom

Title  Angela Hanscom

Juliet Robertson

Juliet Roberston

Jan White

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Kathryn Solly

Toni and Robin Christie

Terri Harrison

Claire Warden

Menna Godfrey

Erin Kenny

Michael Follett

Liz Edwards

Proudly brought to you in association with Early Childhood Outdoors

Being at home outside

Early Childhood Outdoors

The National Centre for Outdoor Play, Learning and Wellbeing

Early Childhood Outdoors (ECO) is a social enterprise seeking to increase the amount and quality of outdoor experience for young children across the UK, through collaborative and enabling work with  a wide range of development, teaching, research and design organisations providing support in this field, in order to maximise impact. 

With the vision of more children thriving outdoors, more often and for longer, benefiting from richer and more meaningful environments offering authentic, rewarding and satisfying experiences, it aims to connect organisations and individuals, to build support capacity, and to deepen the pedagogy of being, playing and learning outdoors.

Samantha Mihajlovic

​Samantha Mihajlovic

Kindergarten Teacher

I just wanted to very quickly pop you an email to say how very much I am enjoying the Early Years Summit! For practitioners like myself who work in settings outside of the UK our opportunities for quality CPD can be very limiting. Having access to such a range of professional experts in the field of Early Years is quite a treat!!

Thank you! The interviews have been thought provoking and inspirational. I will be taking a great deal back to my setting.

Jackie Young

Jackie Young

Early Years Professional & Pre-School Manager

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The Summit Broadcast Schedule

Each interview will be posted on the day, as per the schedule below, and then available to watch until the end of the Summit on Sunday 1st April

Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL)

  • Find out how a culture change in schools can ensure that EVERY child has an amazing playtime EVERY day
  • Top tips for creating meaningful AND fun social spaces outdoors
  • Learn the 4 key principles in the design of rich play spaces

Michael Follett

Outdoor Play and Learning Strategies

  • How you can use the sand tray as a microcosm of good practice
  • Easy ways to incorporate maths, and mathematical thinking, into all outdoor activities
  • The link between dinosaurs and maths

Juliet Robertson

Juliet Roberston

Natural Playspaces and Sustainability in the Early Years 

  • How to make natural play spaces that promote collaboration
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    Creating natural playspaces that support language, risk management and social dynamics
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    The role of active, open and quiet spaces in the natural playspace
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    The role of children as active participants in sustainability and critical pedagogy

Dr Sue Elliot

Dr Sue Elliott

Nature to Nurture 

  • How to play outdoors 'resource-free'
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    Ideas and practical tips for taking children outdoors in all weather
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    The type of outdoor play that will improve behaviour, listening and attention skills
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    The role of children as active participants in sustainability and critical pedagogy

Julie Ann White

Julie Ann White

Arts and Outdoor play

  • How understanding the art process can improve your practice with children
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    Appreciating the opportunities that being outdoors gives
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    Effective interactions and activities outdoors

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet


Outdoor play and its role in empowering children

  • What does empowering children look like and the benefits
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    How the environment, and being outdoors, can support children's empowerment
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    The role of the practitioner in empowering children outdoors

Natalie Canning


The Timbernook Philosophy

  • Learn how Timbernook's philosophy supports all areas of children's learning and development
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    ​How unrestricted outdoor play makes for strong, confident and capable children​
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    ​Tips and strategies for improving outdoor play for children

Angela Hanscom

Learning from outdoor expeditions

  • Learn about the benefits of outdoor expeditions
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    ​​Top tips and strategies for planning expeditions, wherever you are 
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    Supporting children's unique and individual needs 

Kathryn Solly

Designing Play Spaces that meet children's needs

  • Learn about the three basic considerations of good design 
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    Find out about different play space design around the world
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    Learn about the essential elements of outdoor design for infants and toddlers

Toni and Robin Christie

Children's resilience

  • Discover the difference Nature Nurture is making to children in Aberdeen and how this can help you 
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    Examine the 'Formula for Resilience' 
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    Learn about the role of the outdoors in promoting and supporting resilience

Terri Harrison

Nature Pedagogy in the UK and around the world

  • Learn the meaning of Nature Pedagogy in practice
  • Compare and contrast nature pedagogy around the world
  • Discover the driving force behind the International Association of Nature Pedagogy (IANP) 

Claire Warden

Puddle Play, Mud Kitchens and Spirituality

  • Find out how versatile and full of learning a puddle can be  for children
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    Learn about the essentials for a Mud Kitchen and how to have one in any size setting
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    Consider the spirituality aspects of children's learning and development

Menna Godfrey

Making the most of your outdoor space

  • Identify areas in the outdoors that could be better used 
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    Discover strategies and ideas for maximising children's learning using 'playable' resources and spaces
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    Learn how childminders can access many different areas of the outdoors - not just the back garden

Julie Mountain

Julie Mountain

Unlocking Learning Outdoors

  • Find out about the 12 Keys - the vital areas of provision and practice - needed to unlock the learning potential of the outdoors 
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    Discover how different aspects of the outdoors are interrelated 
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    Learn about how parental engagement is more powerful than parental involvement

Jan White

Muddy Faces

  • Discover the learning that goes on in mud kitchens
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    Learn how to use resources in the mud kitchen to their best advantage
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    Find out how you can introduce a mud kitchen into your setting, whether you are a packaway, a beach school or a larger setting

Liz Edwards

Cedarsong Nature School

  • Explore the philosophy of the Cedarsong Way and the links with compassion
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    Examine 'risk management' and what this means in an outdoor setting 
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    Learn strategies for supporting children's learning outdoors  

Erin Kenny

Our Sponsors



Connect Childcare offer an established software package for managers, practitioners and parents. Nurseries choose us not because of the extra features in our software, but because they know they can trust us.

After 13 years in the industry, we offer more than just software. Our knowledge and experience is unrivalled and we understand the differences in the way childcare settings are run, as well as the challenges faced on a daily basis. We work closely with industry experts, like Kathy Brodie, to continually build on our knowledge of child development to ensure our tools really make a difference.

Connect Childcare’s award winning software takes advantage of modern technology whilst adhering to safeguarding guidelines. Our innovative approach has transformed the way childcare providers engage with parents, with over 180,000 parents now using the ParentZone app.

Nurseries choose Connect Childcare because they trust that it is the best choice for their future.


First Discoverers is brought to you by Wesco.
Wesco has been supplying high-quality child care equipment for over 40 years to more than 50 countries worldwide. 
We’ve made the early learning and development needs of children our priority, so we only supply the best educational resources, toys and furniture to nurseries, childminders, preschools, leisure centres, therapists and, of course, parents.
Recommended by childcare professionals, our knowledge paired with our professional expertise allows us to constantly develop innovative products combining quality, safety and design. Discover our fun and colourful world.

Where Early Years Means Business

Childcare Expo is a popular show for all those working in the early years sector, from nursery to primary and everything in between.

Are you looking to top up your CPD?

Source new play equipment?

Discover new ways to engage and interact?

Network with the outstanding community?


The show has been tailored for you!



The leading specialist advisor for buying and selling businesses in our sectors



Inspired by nature. Designed for Adventure.

As an award winning, family run business, our vision is to bring the wonder of the natural world into play spaces in every Early Years setting.

Our bespoke, hand-crafted play installations overflow with natural resources allowing children of all ages the opportunity to explore, imagine and create. Using a wide range of natural products, we aim to design and produce outside areas that give developing minds and bodies the freedom to learn through unrestricted play.

Our unique artist-led design approach ensures that Early years staff and children can be part of the planning for their outdoor space. Our recent installations have included texture kitchens, fallen log climbing structures, wildflower turf, living walls, dry river bed water play, water walls, workshops, weighing tables, outdoor classrooms, willow structures, fire pits and outdoors quiet spaces. 

Follow the link to see how we can help bring natural play to your Early Years setting.

Here's Why You Should Attend the Early Years Summit

Attend from the comfort of your own home or setting 

There's no travel or hotels to book, saving you money and avoiding you having to take time off work and arrange cover to attend, and spending time away from your family.

All the expert interviews can be viewed from home, your setting, or anywhere with an internet connection.

Watch at your convenience

The expert interview videos will be available online so you can watch them at your own convenience. Each interview will be live from the time it's broadcast to the end of the summit. You can watch the interviews completely free at any time during that period.

And if you get the All-Access Pass, you’ll have access to all the interviews for a full year.

Once-in-a-lifetime speakers

You won't find such an incredible lineup of expert authors with in-depth knowledge at any other conference. 

We've hand picked speakers to make sure you get the full breadth of coverage on outdoor play and learning. You'll get insights from seasoned practitioners, leading-edge thinkers and the latest research.

High quality training for your continuing professional development - FREE! 

For many practitioners it's so hard to get access to high quality CPD at a reasonable price. The Early Years Summit has leading experts who will make a real contribution to developing your understanding.

The insights and practical ideas from our experts will help you become a better practitioner and most importantly, deliver better outcomes for your children.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How do I access the expert interviews?

How long will I have access to the interviews for?

Can I share the interviews with my colleagues and friends?

Do I need any special equipment to watch the videos?

What if I have problems accessing the videos, my recordings  or transcripts - or any other problems with the summit?

Get Access to All Our Expert Interviews Completely Free

Each of the Expert Interviews will be free to view during the summit from 26th March - 1st April.
Or you can buy the recordings to watch and learn at your own pace.