Out to Play
Early Years Residencies

Out to Play Mini Residencies engage and inspire 3-5 year olds and early years practitioners with an imaginative, play-based approach to outdoor learning. The Drama Artist provides creative stimulus, drama activities and nature themed storytelling to bring nursery playground spaces to life and promote curiosity, wonder and care for nature on our doorstep. Through the CPD element of the programme, participating staff, the ‘Out to Play Champions’ are supported to develop an arts-based approach to their outdoor learning and play practice.

Decorative figure - plant lamp

Currently, this aspect of the Out to Play programme is commissioned by Glasgow City Council, and has previously been supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. We are open to further commissions and partnerships. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

How Does It Work?

Out to Play Mini-Residencies invite early years settings to spend three full days (over three weeks) with a professional Drama Artist. The Drama Artist facilitates arts-based, outdoor drama and storytelling sessions with groups of the nursery’s pre-school children.

Each Mini-Residency also includes two CPD sessions for the designated ‘Out to Play Champions’, as well as resource packs and staff-led sessions, offering participants the chance to explore the Out to Play approach in more depth and equipping them with further skills and confidence to lead their own creative outdoor learning sessions.

“This drama project was engaging and a fantastic confidence builder for adults and children.”

Out to Play participant, 2023
Eco Drama - Early Years CPD
Eco Drama - Early Years CPD staff with OTP packs

Creative Outdoor Learning and Play in Early Years Settings

Out to Play Mini Residencies raise the profile of the arts and creativity within Outdoor Learning and Play in the Early Years. All activities covered during the three week period are inspired by Eco Drama’s Early Years Out to Play Resource Pack content, including tried and tested drama, storytelling and nature connection activities focused on themes of nature and learning for sustainability.

“The team at Govanhill would like to say a massive thank you for another fantastic programme. Saffron was amazing and the staff really benefited from all knowledge and the children thoroughly enjoyed engaging in imaginative storytelling outdoors. It was great fun and we are looking forward to continuing and progressing with all that we learned.”

Nursery Manager, Out to Play Mini Residency 2022


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For full project information and availability for the current and next academic year, please contact Schools Project Manager Suzanne Prak-Sandilands – suzanne@ecodrama.co.uk or call 0141 552 9920


“I was quite apprehensive about taking part as I am not at all comfortable with Drama within my role. I cannot express how much I enjoyed taking part in the sessions with Saffron, she made it look so much fun for the children and they were so engaged with each session it made me want to prove to myself I could do it and I am so happy I did and will continue to build on what I was taught.”

Early Years Practitioner

“I really enjoyed working with Saffron and got a new perspective on how to challenge myself when working outdoors with children.”

Out to Play Mini-Residency, 2022

“The sessions were very helpful and improved my drama practice”.

Early Years Practitioner

“The team has learned so much about outdoor provision and how to incorporate drama through literacy and imagination.”

Pied Piper Nursery

“This has been a totally energizing Continuous Professional Development experience for all of our staff and all of the children engaged eagerly.”

Head Teacher, Westercraigs Nursery
Eco Drama