The world of child care and education never stands still, that's why at Lollipops we are always reflecting and always attempting to improve whatever we do.
Our garden / play spaces use zones to turn a “space” into a “place”, each zone is managed for different play purposes:-
- - Within our baby zone there are shaded cosy corners for rest between play, a pirate ship for our babies on the go and specially chosen fencing and artificial grass for babies to cruise around and explore the outside space. Our skilled practitioners provide a variety of physical and sensory activities to stimulate young babies minds.
- -Within this zone there are milk crates, wooden planks, wheelbarrows, wooden blocks and breeze blocks, and a variety of materials for children to be imaginative and build. Our practitioners skilfully scaffold children's learning and develop their understanding of number, shape, space and measure. They also focus on large motor skills such as jumping, climbing and balancing.
- - Within this large play zone there is a trampoline dug into the ground so children can use it independently, a music stage area for children to explore making a variety of sounds, dens for children to be imaginative and a raised circle area for cloud watching, song time or a quick rest! From the shed our practitioners put out a variety of resources to meet every child's needs.
- - Our paved garden at the back provides the children with space to play with natural materials such as sand and water, paints and chalks developing mark making skills. Within the growing area our practitioners teach the children how to grow herbs and plants / flowers developing their understanding of the natural world.
Our zones provide endless opportunities for creativity and imagination: improved fitness and physical development. These countless benefits of outdoor play have a real positive impact on children’s lives. There is a freedom associated with the space which cannot be replicated inside. Our garden is the perfect place to learn through movement, with so much space and so many opportunities to move in different ways.
There are clear health benefits associated with outdoor learning. The NHS guidelines say children under 5 years need 3 hours exercise per day, and that children need daily exercise, vigorous enough to get them out of breath with their hearts and lungs working hard.
Margaret Mc Millan, the founder of the English nursery school movement in 1914, made it clear that children would be healthier and less likely to get ill if they were outside.
Another important reason for being outside is that we experience light. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and is vital for healthy bones. It does not take much exposure to the sun to ensure the vitamin D is activated, so again children need to be outside in the sun or at least in the daylight to stay healthy now and in the future.
This means that every day at Lollipops, not just in the summer, unless the weather is appalling, our children are out.