KCCC Focus on Outdoor Play - Week 3

Last week we shared the experience of Early Days Montessori.


This week’s service is “Hillhouse Preschool” based in Naas. “Hill House is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to support the role of parents as the primary educators of their children and offers a programme of parenting, family, faith formation and cultural activities as well as mother-and-toddler groups and a pre-school facility”.

Read their story and enjoy the Photo Video Gallery……….


Hillhouse Preschool

Outdoor Play and Learning at Hill House Preschool

At Hill House Preschool, situated on Tipper Road, Naas, Co. Kildare, we appreciate the benefits of having outdoor play central to our daily routine. The children are at their happiest and most energetic at outdoor play. We see it as an extension of the classroom which compliments indoor learning. It is the children’s favourite part of the preschool day.


At Hill House Preschool we are extremely fortunate to have such an expanse of outdoor space, which allows physical movement for the children on a grand scale. It encourages exploring, creativity and imagination. It gives them the freedom to shout and make noise that they could not do indoors.

Hill House Preschool is a Country House setting. This makes it the most interesting outdoor environment to play and learn in. The children enjoy nature walks on its private grounds amid mature trees and interesting hedgerows. They get to live the seasons, connect with nature and respect, love and care for the environment. We have snack outdoors on fine days. The outdoors satisfies all their senses.

The children plant flowers and vegetables, adding colour to their outdoor space and learning where food comes from. The three classes do outdoor play together and so the children cross the divide of the classrooms and build on these friendships each day.

Hill House Preschool provides the children with a wide range of valuable outdoor experiences. They play in sand, water and mud. They search for insects and explore plants. The children build and construct. They jump on logs, chase bubbles, draw with giant chalks and play in tents/houses. Basically, they run, skip, hide, carry, pour, plant, dig, and play ball. They take turns and take risks with new things such as ride- ons, cars, trikes scooters and slide. They co-operate, share, problem solve, follow game rules and direct their own learning and play.

We were very enthusiastic, therefore, about getting involved in the Outdoor Play Day with Kildare County Childcare Committee. The children were so excited at doing the entire morning of preschool outdoors. A lot of planning went into the day. Tables, chairs, kitchen play areas, book areas were moved outdoors. The children never looked to go indoors throughout the morning. It proved to be an invaluable experience as the children moved between the different areas of play and learning. We realised there is nothing in the preschool routine that can’t be done outdoors. The visit from Kildare County Childcare Committee on the day, provided us with some great new ideas to add to our outdoor play going forward.

Year round the parents feel the value and appreciate the benefits of daily outdoor play at Hill House Preschool and they see how happy and fulfilled their children are as a result.

Written by: Valeria Larkin, Manager





If you already acknowledge and support the benefits of outdoor play for young children and participate in outdoor play on a daily basis, then this is a day to celebrate what you are doing and inspire other services to get involved.

If your setting is new or needs to develop more outdoor learning opportunities for the children, then use the Outdoor Classroom Day to act as a catalyst for more time outdoors every day.

It’s easy to get involved and there is something everyone can do!  Help build a movement that gets children outdoors to play and learn every day!

Sign up to be part of the Outdoor Classroom Day movement today! 

Sign up here: https://outdoorclassroomday.org.uk/