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An Incredible Garden Transformation for The Cottage Nursery

The Customer

The Cottage Nursery in Swindon provides high quality childcare and has close links with the Defence Academy of the UK.

The nursery firmly believes that children should have the opportunity to play outside every day, come rain or shine. Each of the preschool rooms have free flow gardens allowing children to move easily between indoor and outdoor activities.

children build their climbing skills and confidence through play with

Their Objectives

The Cottage Nursery needed open-ended resources which would be accessible to all learners. It was important to develop children’s fine and gross motor skills whilst also providing opportunities to create, read and mark make.

It was hoped that a complete transformation of the garden spaces would help to shape children’s development and understanding of the world.

Our Approach

Expert Playground Consultant, Mark Slatter was on hand to offer advice throughout this project, helping the nursery to select the right products to suit their needs.

two children swing on the forest rollover bars

Once the space was taken back to a blank canvas and extended using Green HDPE Bow Top Fencing, surfacing work could begin. A mixture of Artificial Grass Playturf and grey and blue Funturf has created an appealing space. Pupils can now play outside safely every day with Funturf proving to be a great option for children learning to crawl and walk.

A Freestanding Timber Canopy (8m x 4m) forms a sheltered area just outside of the preschool classroom. The canopy creates a light and bright space which keeps children dry whilst enjoying the many benefits of being outside within nature. A Sand Table on Wheels is located underneath the canopy allowing children to engage in creative, messy play whatever the weather!

children sit under the timber canopy

A Pinnacle Hill Climber and Forest Roll Over Bars are brilliant additions to the main garden which allow children to develop gross motor skills. Children have been finding new ways to travel and climb on their triangular frame and love hanging and swinging using the bars to develop strength and coordination.

Our popular Get Set, Go! Blocks – The Cheviot Set includes 15 blocks which have been positioned in both garden spaces. The blocks provide an open-ended resource which creates new and exciting physical challenges. Children can jump, step and climb whilst also learning to cooperate and take turns.

children build their climbing skills on the get set go blocks

The Cottage Nursery selected:

These pieces form an obstacle course perfect for nursery aged pupils whilst providing inspiration for imaginative games.

A Hill Den creates a comfortable outdoor snug for children to enjoy their favourite read and a Giant Playhouse is an ideal den for children to engage in role play and develop social skills.

a shot of the hill den

In the garden used by babies and toddlers a Sensory Seating Circle encourages group conversation, babies adore the coloured panels and toddlers can even practise weaving and threading using the holes in the seat backs. A beautiful corner planter bench is in full bloom creating a perfect spot for children to learn about new growth and wildlife.

The nursery invested in different moveable pieces including a fence panel, chalkboard, paint and whiteboard panels. These flexible pieces allow practitioners to create different learning zones whilst providing children with a range of different outdoor mark making opportunities.

Outdoor resources are now visible and organised thanks to a Medium and Small Self-Selecting Store. Children can easily access resources and develop independence and responsibility when placing them back in the correct positions.

children build their social skills on the new playground

The Results

Nursery managers, Clare Olden and Trudi Krzywiec were very happy with their term-time installation. Our fantastic team of professional playground installers engaged with children in a friendly manner allowing learners to watch and ask questions.

The nursery gardens are now accessible to all learners from the baby room through to preschool aged children. The type and range of pieces selected allows practitioners to set challenges and adapt activities for different age groups and abilities.

Parents are very impressed with the new outdoor spaces and children simply can’t wait to step foot through the door each morning!

a shot of the outdoor play area at cottage nursery

If you would like to design an Outdoor Space for your pupils, then Contact Us Today

Or, take a look at the other Nursery and EYFS Projects that we've completed on our Projects Page