In this garden, the children have access to large equipment to play on, to develop those important gross motor skills. We have a climbing frame with slide, pirate ship and play house. This area is covered, offering protection from the sun, where a variety of outdoor activities take place. Children have access to beanbags, balls, tricycles, scooters, large construction blocks and an outdoor home corner. Chalkboards offer a large-scale outdoor mark making area whilst our stage is available for displaying all theatrical talents.
Some of our pets live in this garden too, in a secure area where the children can visit, to help feed and learn how to take care of them. We currently have our rabbit, Ella and the four quails that we hatched at Easter. It is always exciting to see if they have laid any eggs for us. The children also have access to the driveway, which becomes a racetrack for little cars and bikes, racing up and down.
We also use this area for large scale mark making with chalks and water and it is great place to play in the rain and jump in puddles
The children have access to our wooden, fully equipped shop/tea-room and house - set up to encourage role play and co-operative imaginative play. Amongst the trees the children enjoy den building, making pretend camp fires and finding their own natural resources to play games. They hunt for bugs, climb trees and use gardening tools to dig, rake and sweep. Balls, hoops, stilts, a caterpillar tunnel and slide are always available, as well as cars to drive and buggies to push.
In this garden, herbs are planted to stimulate the senses and supply our Montessori smell table. We have a pebble garden with trucks to load and our popular bucket and rope pulley system. There is also a sand table and water wall, made out of recycled materials for pouring and transferring.
The nature garden has been designed to complement the log cabin, attracting bugs, birds and pond life. This secure area is a great learning space for small groups with their key person, under strict guidelines surrounding pond safety. The fun far outweighs the risks in pond dipping and finding a big bug under a log and matching it to the poster on the wall.
Our mud kitchen is a fantastic addition, where the children are creative and resourceful at finding things to use in their play. They pick grass, find flower petals, stones and leaves to add to their creations. They mix mud and water, sprinkle sand and use a variety of real kitchen equipment to makes soups, pies and potions.
This area promotes communication and language, encourages the children to share, take turns and play co-operatively. They are using all of their senses as they mix, mash, whisk and stir, using mathematical language and their imaginations to learn a variety of skills.