At Abacus Day Nursery, the 'Foundation stage' for all children from aged 3 - 7, has moved away from table top activities and into child led activities and more in the garden.
The garden is to be used by all ages, and the red room (pre school) children for as much of the day as possible, including wet/ cold weather. Everyone should have the necessary clothing and get out there. There should never be a day when all rooms including babies, toddlers and pre-school, don't 'go out'.
We have gathered together a host of activities and things for the children to do, which will mean a lot of interaction for staff and children.
A book corner has been created near the kitchen window, and there is a story box (same as a story sack but in a box to keep it dry), in the shed. We have new toys for the sand pit, and lots of different 'scenes' to go with them.
The Wendy house can be changed to a fruit and veg. outlet, dentist, cafe, ice cream parlour, space station, garage etc, adults join in too, for the children to get the most out of it. We also hae six shop fronts and the necessary equipment, tills etc.
We have also gathered together science resources which can be used alongside / instead of the environmental resource, in our environmental area, staff work in this area too.
We have built a 'pram park' under which we store the water play equipment including down pipes, tubing, water spray and the children have access to the hose and outside tap. We have another similar covered area at the bottom of the garden under which we keep milk crates, planks, steering wheels and boxes for building. We also have several tarpaulins, tents, sleeping bags etc for imaginative play.
Play dough is out everyday, along with our mark making area. We have lots of resource boxes which are used on a regular basis, wash day, artist, beach, tool box, and decorators.
Bikes and ride on toys come out occasionally, these are used in the 'garage' for mechanics to investigate, we have lots of road signs for road safety awareness, and the bikes are made into pizza delivery bikes, hospital transport etc.
We don't have climbing frames, swings or slides as they are very labour intensive and we do think parents can take them to the parks for these.
There is less time for falling out if they are not competing, and more chance of co operation between them if there is enough for them to discover!