What do you do when it rains/snows?
Outdoor Play is about working with everything nature throws at us, if it’s raining we wrap up, put on wellies and carry on enjoying it as an element. Jumping in puddles is a favourite activity for children, or we may build a den and then sit around sipping a warm hot chocolate. We make sure there are plenty of spare and warm clothes to go around. If we are facing thunder or blizzards then we will retreat to our well-equipped and warm cabin – We have hot water, we have electricity and we have radiators 🙂
What about toilets?
We have two high-standard compost loos on site, which look very much like a normal toilet, and hot and cold running water. All waste is recycled at Ashfield Community Enterprise. When we are away from the site then we ensure that there is good access to facilities, which may mean creating impromptu toilets – which the play leader will do.
What about children with mobility difficulties?
We are fully committed to full inclusivity at Ashfield Outdoor Nursery. There are challenges when creating any play setting suitable for all children; but we work with parents, guardians, social services and associated professionals to make sure we can tailor and adapt our side so that nobody is excluded.
What approach do you use at your setting?
We have cherry picked what we believe to be the best bits of different philosophies, all which support a respectful approach to children’s provision. We want our children to feel enabled, supported and to be able to learn for themselves – trusting their ability to be drawn to activities rather than having them dictated. Our approach primarily focuses on a Playwork Approach but also contains elements of Steiner, Montessori and the Incredible Years framework along with our own experience working, quite literally, in the field.
Do you have funded sessions?
Not currently, but this is one of the areas we will focus on as we develop and grow as an organisation. This doesn’t mean that it is not possible now, as there are many schemes out there we are keen to be approached if you would like us to work with any particular voucher system so that we can register and support you and your child to experience outdoor play.
Can I visit before registering my child?
We encourage children and parents to visit before applying for a place. Nothing can beat first-hand experience and we want your child to come and see what happens on site, see what things we do, what happens here and engage with the setting. We will have regular open days, so keep an eye out on our Facebook feed for details!
Do you really use tools, jump in muddy puddles and climb trees?
Yes we do – engaging with the elements and learning to understand their own risk management is essential to your child’s development. We offer a supported environment with quality staff where children understand and learn their own limits – and it’s fun! Who doesn’t love jumping in puddles?
What will my child need to bring?
Suitable clothing for playing outdoors, robust shoes and a bottle of water. You will be sent a list of what they need to bring when you register, but common sense should prevail. We’ll be outside, so warmth and comfort a must. We will also have a bundle of spare clothes on site for particularly messy moments!