“There is no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing”
We believe fresh air and exercise has developmental and therapeutic benefits for children. It is fun, helps to keep children healthy, helps develop an awareness of risk and danger and is important for building social, emotional and life skills. The outdoors is half of the learning environment, whatever the age of the child. Many children find the outdoors a more engaging place then indoors. Little Explorers will encourage children of all ages to explore and enjoy the open environment and all children will be able to access the outdoor area throughout the year.
Children need resources outdoors that stimulate and encourage them to engage in all areas of physical, social and cognitive learning. Natural materials such as sand, gravel and pieces of wood offer high play value. When a child fills a wheelbarrow with pebbles and transports it across the outdoor area to use as food for a picnic, many aspects of learning have taken place.
With this in mind the garden has been designed specifically to stimulate the sense of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. We have features such as:
Block paved area
Approx 50 m². This area is used by the children to ride their tricycles and cars giving children opportunities to develop role play situations such as a two way road system, a pelican crossing, traffic signs and cones and to encourage steering and balancing skills using wheeled vehicles. This area is also used for messy activities such as water play etc. Part of the patio is shaded by a canopy to allow access to the outside in all weathers.
Approx 100 m². This area provides a good transition from the hard paved area to a soft play area where children can run around and play outdoor group games in safety. A small hillock has also been incorporated where children can have fun climbing, rolling and sliding.
Approx 25 m². This area contains a climbing/activity frame which gives the children a chance to experience challenging activities at different levels, be physical, to experience imaginative, pretend, fantasy role play and adventures in climbing and sliding etc.
Contained in a circular island of shingle, the bamboo forest gives the children an exciting yet safe place to play hide and seek and to go on their adventures.
The bamboo island is linked to another island containing hollow steel tubes. This area is used by the children to run in and out of, play hide and seek and provides a contrasting texture from the natural bamboo.
This area consists of a circular area made out of wooden posts with tree stump seating where children can read books, draw and colour and act out role play. The timber and natural surrounding of the area absorbs noise and provides a relaxing area to sit and contemplate.
Our two story play house provides endless stimulating and imaginative role play activities. Role Play can be one of the most important activities for young children, it not only stimulates their imagination but can help with their social development, literacy, numeracy and other curriculum activities.
Our seating area incorporates a hand carved Totem pole of the three wise monkeys where the children can gather and socialise.
Creepy crawly area
This area incorporates a composter and a specially constructed minibeast home where the children can explore with their magnifying glasses and bug catchers and learn about all the interesting and varied beasts that inhabit our garden.
This area is maintained by the children to grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers and gives children the opportunity to explore the living world such as digging, sowing, watering, nurturing, harvesting and ultimately cooking the vegetables they have grown. The children have had brilliant success with Strawberries, runner beans, dwarf beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, corn, spinach, squash, sunflowers.
This area is planted and maintained by the children who have the opportunity to grow various herbs to enhance their senses (smell, touch and taste).
Row row your boat
Our nautical area incorporates a rowing boat with other nautical equipment to stimulate and promote the children’s sense of adventure on the open seas.