We fully refurbished the nursery garden in October 2017, adding a large grassed area, paving and digging and planting areas. Our aim was to limit the need for bikes and trikes and vigorous play, while aiming to capture the children in hands on experiences such as planting, digging, mud kitchen and water play with low level tap. The style of play that now takes place is much more focussed, with children using their increasing social skills to make new games and rules with less adult support. The language skills of the children began to increase and the children were able to develop new skills all the time. Staff appreciated the ‘blank canvas’ that the refurbishment gave us and we were able to plan an outdoor space that felt like a garden, not just a playground.
With a separate area for the babies and toddlers, they are able to experience the same resources and opportunities as the older children but in a confined and safe space where necessary. The babies and toddlers are still offered time to explore the main garden with their older friends to enhance their learning.