Hearts and Minds is set in three quarters of an acre of green belt land, which all children access on a daily basis. The garden contains a variety of mature trees and assorted terrain, which provides a variety of sensory opportunities. The garden is accessed by a secured gate at the front of the setting. The children are provided with puddle suits to explore the outdoor environment in all weathers. Parents/ carers are asked to provide wellies/ waterproof footwear.
Within our outdoor environment we have a covered space allowing children to be creative, relax and investigate along with an extensive sand pit the children fondly refer to as the ‘beach’, where they can sit in deck chairs, build sand castles or go fishing in the pretend rock pool. Outside we have lots of space for children to move freely and there are logs to balance along, ladders attached to the climbing frames to climb and lots of areas to explore. Our practitioners have worked together to create exploratory spaces, including the mud kitchen, music wall, construction area and water wall.
The children love spending time making ‘delicious’ mud pies, watching the birds on the feeders, greeting our neighbour Ruby the horse and spending time together as they explore our stimulating environment. The children also enjoy planting seeds and watching flowers, fruits and vegetables grow. We allow the children to harvest their produce and incorporate, and prepare it as part of our healthy menu. All areas within the garden are fully secure, monitored by our CCTV system and children are supervised at all times.
“We are simply blown away by the new look garden. It is simply outstanding. So much thought has been put into it and it is lovely to think of our child having so much fun and learning within it.” – S.Casey