'It's like the beach'

We spend a lot of time thinking about the children at nursery, what they enjoy doing and how we can support them to keep learning and developing. We had an exciting staff meeting yesterday thinking and talking about the nursery garden. We looked a pictures of outdoor areas and talked about the experiences we want to provide for the children outside. All the children share the garden together and this provides the opportunity for children in all age groups to learn together. The younger children can watch the older children doing things and learn from them. Our older children become aware of the needs of others and show care and concern for younger children.

The garden provides many opportunities for children to explore and learn in all areas of learning. At our meeting yesterday we talked about building on what the children already do and, by reorganising the outdoor space, providing further opportunities, having talked about the opportunities we wanted to provide for the children we went into the garden and began to reorganise....

We decided that the small garden provided the ideal space for the children to explore natural materials so this area now contains our sand, water and digging areas ( we are still thinking about a name for this space-discovery area? exploration area? science space?..any ideas let us know!).

We then decided to clear the playground area in the large garden to provide opportunities for children to use wheeled toys, this will also become a space for imaginative play that will support literacy as children write for a purpose and think about environmental print.

The crates have been moved up into a flat area in the woods to create a den and building area. We still have our vegetable planters and flowers growing, our swing and slide so the children will continue to learn about caring for and growing plants and to develop their physical skills.

Here is a photo of the children starting to use our digging area with one bag of pebbles..we now have 8 bags and still need to add more !  The imaginative language the children have used today has been amazing as they have pretended to walk on a beach or to be builders.  There have been mathematical opportunities arising out of the children noticing the differences between the shape and size of the pebbles. They have also helped set up the area by washing the pebbles and deciding where to put them so thinking of others and solving problems as every good learner needs to do !

Our developments continue.....

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