The natural environment
It has long since been understood that using nature and natural materials can encourage children to use all of their senses and engage in close observation. Here at Ickle Pickles Day Nursery in Iwade, we have recently been bringing lots of resources found in our outside world into the nursery to provide an interesting and changing environment that stimulates curiosity and learning. From twigs, to stones, to plants and bark, the children have been exploring and asking questions about things that they have discovered.
In the pre-school room, the children have been learning all about ants and watching an ant’s nest as it develops! Earlier this month, they also watched as caterpillars became butterflies in their butterfly garden and they sent them off into the big wide world. In all of our rooms, we have also placed bird boxes onto the windows and fill this with bird seed so that the birds can come close enough that the children can watch them safely from indoors.
You will also notice lots of plants being introduced into the indoor environment. These are being used in a variety of ways – as trees for dinosaur landscapes, to a magical space for our book corners. Not only will this bring a freshness into the nursery, but it will also be an opportunity for further exploration! Don’t worry – it won’t QUITE become a jungle!!
In our back garden, we are also trying to incorporate more nature into an environment that is otherwise ‘purpose built’. We are excited to be developing an ‘eco garden’ on the decking and will be planting vegetables and making our own compost! We hope this will be a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about how things grow and also about sustainability.