Back to the Garden Childcare, located on Sinderland Road in Broadheath, is embracing and celebrating Outdoor Classroom Day today (Thursday 21st May).
The children will spend the day in the nursery’s stunning garden, enjoying various activities that all highlighted the importance of being outdoors in the natural elements and going back to nature.
Within the garden at the nursery is a fabulous tipi, a permanent outdoor classroom all year round for the children, where storytelling regularly takes place, as well as yoga.
From making nature crowns using anything they can find in the garden, such leaves and twigs, to decorate, to mud kitchens and playing with clay, the children love being in the fresh air, being creative and playing freely. They have already been on a Bear Hunt, utilising the garden and their imagination to travel through grass and water and across stepping stones.
Zoe Bowring, deputy manager at Back to the Garden Childcare, comments: “Connecting with nature is at the very heart of our nursery, as our name suggests, so we jumped at the chance to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day.
“All year round, regardless of the weather, we actively encourage outdoor learning as the benefits for children, from wellbeing and health to personal development, are extraordinary.”
A global movement, Outdoor Classroom Day aims to inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning at home, nursery or school. Over nine million children have taken part so far.
This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Outdoor Classroom Day was a little different from previous years and focused on the theme ‘Playful Nature’.
With schools and nurseries currently closed, except for children of key workers, children are spending more time in front of screens. Playful Nature was introduced to allow children the opportunity to reconnect with nature through play, helping with their wellbeing.
Zoe adds: “Outdoor Classroom Day positively promotes the many benefits of children being outdoors learning through play, and it would wonderful if, due to this movement, more educational settings incorporated the outdoors in their curriculum. Indeed, as the Government and educational bodies try to come up with a plan for safely reopening nurseries and schools, outdoor learning could soon become an integral part of school life, allowing for effective social distancing schooling.”
Back to the Garden Childcare is currently open, supporting the children of key workers. On Monday 1st June, the nursery, following the Government’s guidelines, will start to welcome back other children gradually over the course of the coming months.
With space for 120 children, aged from three months up to five years old, Back to the Garden is an innovative child-led, active learning environment with an emphasis on outdoor play in a stunning garden setting. Its philosophy of allowing children to be children to explore their environment, experiment with the outdoor playscape and harness their own imaginations allows for a natural approach where each child develops at their own pace.