Busy Bees Nursery, Warndon – Worcestershire
One of the sites in the Busy Bees Nursery group, this nursery occupies a purpose built 2-storey building and caters for children from 3 months to 5 years.
Wardon Nursery had very limited pockets of outdoor space, much of which was overgrown.
The brief was to create distinct play areas to satisfy the different needs of the age groups. The Nursery had identified two possible sites but upon visiting the site, the Play Garden representative identified a further site which was previously not considered.
Playgarden created three separate play areas. The first, Sand & Water, is the largest, and has a pump, sandpit, raised grass stage, timber play house and sensory planters. An artificial grass mound surrounds the sandpit, encapsulating the water and sand and providing a natural boundary for the activity. There is also a ‘Shade Sail’ to provide much needed protection from the sun at the hottest times when the children are naturally attracted to the water. This area offers children high educational, social and textural value, as well as being great fun. The moveable features of the playground give children a wider range of scope for play – building, transporting shaping and drawing. A playground offering sand and water increases its play value significantly.
The second area was developed specifically with babies in mind – providing a safe and stimulating area for the very young. Using a crawl ramp, young children can access the space independently, exploring the synthetic grass mound and sand pit and enjoying the sensory garden as it changes through the seasons.
The third area used the overgrown space to create a Secret Woodland Area, the perfect space for calmer and quieter activities and a contrast to the adjoining Sand & Water space. The focus of this area is to aid the development of the personal and social skills, build friendships and explore the delights of this tactile and sensory space. Stiles and a kissing gate add to the journey into this magical playspace.
Planting has been used to great effect throughout the 3 play areas. Each plant has been chosen specifically to not only add colour but also to provide a range of perfumes and fragrances. A mixture of deciduous and evergreen plants have been used, and plants with contrasting flowering cycles selected to ensure there is always some colour. As the planting matures the play gardens will attract the local wildlife, enhancing the space further.
Equipment: Play Pump, Mini beast trapdoor, log seating, mushroom table & seats, kissing gate, 2 stiles.
Landscaping: Sandpits, grass stage area, sensory planters, raised mounds, sensory and wildlife focused planting, boulders, woodfibre path, willow arches, cobbled path.
What the client said…
“The children have really benefited from the new learning experiences on offer. Activities are being planned by staff to encourage and enhance further learning of the outdoor areas. The resources are of high quality and allow the children to become stimulated and engaged in their own independent learning. The children have particularly enjoyed learning about mini beasts and have loved exploring the hotel trapdoor. Pre-school as a whole enjoy sitting at the mushroom stools and are enthralled by stories with an outdoor theme.”