Search
Close this search box.

EYFS: Street Furniture Hunt

What are the things on our street for?

Introduction

Children will have encountered features of the outdoor environment as they move around their local spaces. They are likely to understand the uses of some street furniture, such as a post box, but might not know about the function of other items that they pass every-day. This activity helps children to notice features and connect them with their uses to the local community, people and jobs. It enables children to gain a sense that humans add items to the environment for different uses.

 

Links to Understanding the world

  • Frequency and range of experiences increases children’s knowledge and sense of the world around them
  • Learning about local area and community
  • Observing features in the environment

 

Links to other areas of the EYFS

  • Communication and Language: This activity provides opportunities for interactions, back and forth exchanges, encouraging use of new vocabulary and speaking.
  • Expressive arts and design: Imaginative play opportunities.
  • Physical development: Using numbers and print in the environment, for example on road signs.

 

Starting points

You will need:

  • Access to an outside space or photographs of a familiar street

 

Activity idea: ‘Going out’

With a small or class group of children, talk about what the word ‘furniture’ means and that ‘street furniture’ has a similar meaning but outdoors, where objects are put in the environment by humans to make the environment easier to use or provide something we need.

 

Show some examples and decide what their uses are — why are they there? A PowerPoint file with some starter examples is available here, but the discussion will be more valuable if you can use images that represent the children’s local area.

 

For each picture, some example questions to choose from could be:

  • What is this?
  • Have you seen one before?
  • What is its use, why is it there?
  • Do you like it — why or why not?

 

Explain that you are going to go on a street furniture hunt in your school grounds or outside area. Ask the children to think about what types of street furniture might they see. Link to jobs and the community: who uses the bin and who empties it? Who fixes the lights if they break? How is the post box used? Why is this a good spot for a bench?

 

Some ideas of what to look out for:

  • Road signs
  • Litter bins
  • Post boxes
  • Fire hydrants
  • Benches
  • Railings
  • Streetlights
  • Cycle racks or shelters
  • Bus stops
  • Play equipment
  • Grit boxes
  • Planters
  • Information signs

 

How to make this successful

  • Use examples of local places the children are familiar with.
  • Involve families and carers — can the children spot street furniture on their journey to school?
  • There is a lot of new vocabulary here; think about what words will be most useful for children to learn.
  • Children could construct items of street furniture to map where they have been and use in the small world or construction areas.
  • Some children may benefit from pre-teaching of vocabulary to support understanding.

Ideas to build on knowledge

  • Link to road safety, how is this environment designed to keep people safe.
  • Organise linked visits from people who work in the community.

 

Primary Geography/Teaching Geography/Geography articles

Owens, P. Rotchell, E. Sprake, S. and Witt, S. on behalf of the GA Early Years and Primary Phase Committee (2022) ‘Geography in the Early Years: Guidance for doing wonderful and effective geography with young pupils’, Primary Geography, 109, pp. 19-22.

Morris, R. (2020) ‘Adventures of local place with Digimap’, Primary Geography, 102, pp. 10-11.

 

This Teaching Resource was written for the Geographical Association by Sarah Sprake.

Your Resources

Save this resource to your Dashboard

View any Online Teaching Resources you have saved

Journals & more

Find out more about the GA’s three journals and the GA magazine

GeogPod

GeogPod is the GA’s podcast, each episode discusses a different geographical topic

Want to access all our
Online Teaching Resources?

Many of our Online Teaching Resources are only available for GA members.

Find out information about our different types of memberships and join the GA today to view hundreds of resources on a wide variety of topics

We have much more support and guidance available including a wide range of events, publications, teaching resources and ways of getting involved with the GA that you also might be interested in.

More from GA

Explore our wide range support from the GA