Outdoor kindergarten environments

Opportunities and limitations are sometimes referred to as affordance, be it in connection with places, texts, media, etc. In the video below, Byfjordparken kindergarten’s outdoor environment is presented. The ground-level outdoor area at this kindergarten presented great limitations, but architecture and pedagogy created new scopes of opportunity. In the video, you will hear designer Ketil Dybvig present assessments, choices and explanations in the preparation of the kindergarten’s outdoor environment. What he says about the outdoor environment can be seen in light of the teaching programme about indoor kindergarten environments. In addition, you will see – and investigate – selected areas through the 360° simulator. The academic text 2 ‘The kindergarten’s scope of opportunity’ and the 360° simulator will together contribute to professional understanding and expand the prerequisites for analytically investigating and academically reflecting on issues related to outdoor kindergarten environments as ‘the third teacher’.

Video 1: The outdoor environment’s composition and dynamics

Reflection questions: Name at least two things from this introductory video that grabbed your attention. Is there anything you would like to know more about?

Video 2: The outdoor environment’s interspace and scope of opportunity

Watch the video and read text 2 ‘The kindergarten’s scope of opportunity’ before moving on to the associated challenge of exploring Byfjordparken kindergarten’s outdoor environment.


The 360° simulator below gives you access to explore large parts of Byfjordparken kindergarten’s outdoor environment using your mouse cursor. By clicking on various hotspots, you can also investigate some of the solutions a little closer. The associated reflection questions found by clicking the ‘reflect’ button will contribute to academic and analytical reflection individually, in groups or in a combination of these work methods.

Click here to view in fullscreen

Video 3: The kindergarten’s outdoor environment as the third teacher – some general considerations.

Watch the video and also familiarise yourself with the Ministry’s guide for the design of outdoor kindergarten environments. It can be found under the ‘Theory and public documents’ tab in the upper right corner of the webpage. Here you will also find the article Universal design of kindergartens and schools (Udir, 2021, 8 January).


If possible, the assignment should be carried out in groups.

Based on an imaginary kindergarten, the knowledge you have acquired about outdoor kindergarten environments through ECTE – DigiTools and the associated theory, you must plan and develop a model for an outdoor area adapted to an age-specific group of children. Feel free to use natural materials and work outdoors if the weather permits. Further reflect on the ways in which your choices address the needs of the chosen age group and promote, or possibly inhibit, their development in relation to themselves, each other, the employees and the physical environment. Feel free to take a picture of the model and note down the most important points from the reflections for use in joint reflections and sharing with fellow students.

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