outstanding outdoor spaces

Little Robins Day Nursery, Warwickshire

Little Robins Day Nursery in Birmingham wanted to create a playground that gave access to their beautiful gardens and stimulated the children’s play. Owner Jackie Howse tells us how their new playground encourages outdoor play all year round.

Why did you want to develop your playground?

Within Little Robins Day Nursery we have separate Pre-School and Birth-to-Three units. The old Birth-to-Three play area had a concrete floor surface and was totally unsuitable for the young babies that were using it. We wanted to develop this area so that the babies could access all areas of the garden, rather than just the small, grassed area amongst the concrete.

What were the key elements that made Playforce stand out from other providers?

When we approached Playforce with our requirements, they understood exactly what we were trying to achieve and, even more importantly, what we wanted to achieve for this age group. Other providers we spoke to only designed gardens suitable for the Pre-School age range, something that we weren’t attempting to develop at this stage. Playforce also had a good knowledge of the EYFS. That reassured me their team understood exactly what we needed to provide for the children, to ensure they would get the most out of the garden.
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One of the biggest benefits of our new playground is being able to use the garden all year round. The large canopy and the quick drainage of the soft play surface means the children can enjoy educational play outside, whatever the weather.

How are we using the space to deliver outdoor learning & educational play?

The soft play surface allows the children to access all areas of the garden safely and with the large covered area we can provide activities in the sun and rain. The undercover area also allows us to hang sensory items from the beams. This provides additional opportunities for children who have special needs and attend the setting to enhance their learning experience.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen for the children?

One of the biggest benefits of our new playground is being able to use the garden all year round. The large canopy and the quick drainage of the soft play surface means the children can enjoy educational play outside, whatever the weather. The new outdoor space is much safer and ensures that risks are minimised for this particular age group. The Baby Room children can now access all areas of the garden, however the covered sandpit is proving to be the most popular!

Can you share any best practice insights you’ve gained?

The best thing we learned from developing our playground is to prepare for rain and shine. The weather in Birmingham is far from predictable so it is great that we can continue to learn and play outside in all weathers.
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