Fysisk lek i barnehagens uterom. 5åringers erfaring med kroppslig fysisk lek i barnehagens uterom.

Bjørgen, K.
Nordisk Barnehageforskning 5(2), 1-15.


The purpose of the study is to examine how Norwegian five-year-olds react to physical play activities in the daycare facility’s outdoor areas. The researcher specifically focuses on examining the following four questions: 1) What bodily experiences do five-year-olds have with physical play activities in the daycare facility’s outdoor areas? 2) What kind of physical play activities do five-year-olds prefer when playing outdoors - and why? 3) What bodily experiences do children have with different kinds of physical play activities? 4) How do the children experience the role of the adult when outdoors? The researcher wishes to examine how the children’s experiences can influence planning of physical play activities, both in relation to the role of staff and in relation to the surroundings.


The study shows that the majority of the 36 children would rather play outdoors than play indoors because vigorous activity and loud voices are not allowed indoors. Outside, the children are allowed to shout, scream, run and jump. When asked what kind of activities they preferred outdoors, they answered that this depended on the season. In wintertime, many of them preferred to go tobogganing or skiing, whereas in the summer football, cycling, climbing running and picking flowers are favourite activates. The children explain that they enjoy these activities because of the movement, speed and excitement. The children are very precise in their descriptions of their bodily experiences with regard to what it feels like when they are active and playing. For example, they describe that when they are jumping on the trampoline, they can feel their heart beating and it feels like they are flying into space. According to the researcher, this shows that the children are conscious about what is going on in their bodies when they are being physically active. When asked whether the adults like to play, most of the children answered that adults do not know how to play, and the study shows that children have very little experience with outdoor physical play activities with adults. Despite this, the study also shows that when adults do play with the children outdoors, the children greatly appreciate playing with them.


A total of 36 Norwegian five-year-olds participated in the study; 18 boys and 18 girls. The children were chosen from six different daycare facilities. The researcher interviewed the children in groups of three, and each interview lasted between 30 and 45 minutes. The interviews were recorded on video. In addition to this, the researcher interviewed managers in the six daycare facilities to learn about the outdoor areas at the facilities and the spatial possibilities. The study applies a phenomenological perspective; the aim is to emphasise the children’s own experiences and view these as meaningful, concrete relationships on the basis of specific situations in specific contexts.


Bjørgen, K. (2012). Fysisk lek i barnehagens uterom. 5åringers erfaring med kroppslig fysisk lek i barnehagens uterom. Nordisk Barnehageforskning 5(2), 1-15.

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