Taking 2-year-olds out

It is important to remember that the world of a 2-year-old is very different to ours. They are hugely fascinated by the things that we might find mundane and ordinary, such as stones, fallen leaves, drains, and people they see regularly. They enjoy being active and refining their developing physical skills.

When we plan to take this group of children out, it will be important to remember what interests them. They live in the now and find sitting in buggies for, in their eyes, long periods of time frustrating. It is therefore best to use the very local environment for outings for this group of children. Getting to know their immediate locality will help them to feel connected to the area and develop their confidence. For young children, the journey is often the most important aspect as it provides so many rich opportunities to explore and develop their thinking relating to the real world.

It will be important to establish behaviour expectations, so that the children can be kept safe but also to experience some independence. It will be important to have consistent expectations between all the staff. It is going to be important to give the children ample time to wander and wonder.

It is worth thinking “if I had a 2-year-old at home with me, what would I do with them?”  We live in increasingly busy worlds where children are ferried from place to place by car and time is short, especially in working households. Children are often told to hurry, be quick and be careful often. Giving them time to explore in their own time frames is important. Therefore, remember, to take a deep breath and enjoy making the discoveries together.

We know that young children learn best through first-hand experiences, so getting them out and into the local environment will allow them to learn about gradients, the weather, the properties of materials, and features etc in a meaningful way.

This age group love to feel that they are being helpful so taking your letters etc to the post-box and posting them will give them a huge sense of maturity and usefulness. Helping bring the deliveries in, like in the case study on the what constitutes an outing page, is another great way of experiencing this. What jobs delivering or collecting could your 2-year-olds do with you?

It will be worth thinking about completing the mapping activity to see where you could take your 2-year-olds.

Further reading

Overcoming barriers

An early task for the Exploring the Wider World project was to identify the barriers to taking children out and about beyond the setting. Only

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Taking risks

Risk is a natural part of our existence, as we look to explore and make sense of the world around us. What is key is

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Planning trips out

This page brings together all the key project elements of thinking through a trip or a visit in one handy place, with downloadable resources for

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Your resources

Meaningful learning opportunities relating to understanding the world rely on rich and stimulating resources. Consider what you have Rich and well thought out resources make

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Taking 4-year-olds out

Most 4-year-olds can walk faster and further than their younger counterparts. This means that they can venture further afield than the three year olds in

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Using social media

Social media is a powerful tool for sharing examples of good practice and celebrating achievements – but there potential pitfalls, particularly relating to consent. We

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Cultural capital

This article by Early Education Associate Anni McTavish explores the term “cultural capital”, and what it might mean for early years practitioners and their settings.

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Transition is part of the maturation process. Most children and their families find moving from one stage to the next seamless. Transitions need careful planning and will

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