What to expect at Nature Nursery
“It was like exploring a place that you have seen in a dream, where everything is just where you expect it and yet everything is a surprise.” Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
Although there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day at the Nature Nursery, structure is important.
Children arrive dressed ready for a day in the outdoors. Children arriving before 9am (times to be confirmed) will have access to the yurt, aka ‘The Badger Sett’. Children are welcomed by their key person who greets parents and supports children to settle in and engage within the endless opportunities with their natural environment.
Children have their own dry space for their belongings and special items. Badger’s Garden is a secure, enclosed outdoor area, so when your children arrive you can be happy in the knowledge that they’re safe and sound.
To start the day, children gather around the log circle in Badger’s Garden where staff introduce activities and skills, with singsongs and stories. Adults lead activities with children that follow the early years curriculum, using the natural world as a teaching tool. Children are gently encouraged to build their skills, confidence and knowledge.
Children can also access the enclosed Lamb Meadow and Orchard area to carry out the activities of the morning that may include digging and planting areas, celebrating cultural festivals, harvesting seeds, den making, story nook and painting. Adults observe, extend, support and enhance children’s experiences sensitively.
Throughout the morning, children can prepare a simple lunchtime treat or meal cooked on the fire using produce harvested by children from the garden, when available. There will be warm drinks provided on cold days and fresh water available at all times. At lunchtime, children can eat their lunch and choose where to sit from several places such as around the log circle, under shelters, on picnic blankets or in the outdoor kitchen. Children are involved and supervised in the lighting of the fire, preparation and cooking of food, composting of scraps, and clearing up after lunch.
Children continue to spend time exploring the orchard and groups are taken to Stable Wood, within the nursery grounds, accessed by a bridge for adventures in the forest.
Here, children continue to lead their own learning, developing physical skills through climbing trees, making dens, digging mud pits, and threading rope and hammering nails.
Increasing social and emotional skills by trying out risky play and succeeding, for example walking along a log and making it to the end with a sense of pride, developing relationships within a relaxed environment, caring for a wiggly worm, or working with a friend to create something wonderful.
Reading stories, crunching through leaves, making up rhymes and learning new words whilst collecting treasures found on the forest floor, not knowing they are in fact developing their language and communication skills.
During the afternoon, children who require a sleep are able to bed down in a cosy, warm sheltered ‘nest’ outside, or under a shelter. At the end of the day, children are all encouraged to care and look after their environment, by carefully putting things away and completing daily jobs such as watering the vegetable patch.
Once gathered round the log circle, children are able to share stories, songs and anything they have made or found.
For further enquiries please call: 07730 217262 or email email@example.com
Abbotts Hall Farm, Maldon Road, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ