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Early Years Outdoor Learning Environment
Our Messy Play Zone!
We wanted to give our EYFS children an inspiring outside area that would push their creative abilities and promote imaginative play. This particular playground development has been named the ‘Messy Zone’ because there’s no better way to enhance a child’s senses and sensory development than through messy and tactile play.
For the ‘Messy Zone’ project, we met with Pentagon Play - a Leading School Playground Company, to create the area and ensure it would develop children’s creative skills and also improve their overall communication, interaction, gross motor development and understanding of the world. The equipment needed to have a group focus so that children could work and interact together when taking part in activities.
The plan was set into motion and our school now has an EYFS playground to be proud of. The area contains a Mud Kitchen which will be thriving with young chefs taking it in turns to cook up delicious mud pies and cakes for everyone to enjoy. We also have a Rope and Pulley Materials Mover that will help us connect different areas of learning and develop children’s team working skills – “Quick, the Mud Kitchen needs more mud and leaves, who’s at the pulley system to pass them over?”
The Mud and Sand Table were two other great additions as they develop children’s sense of touch and act as fantastic stimulators for imaginative play. Children will create fictional worlds and communicate with each other to bring them to life. The fact they are both tables allows for more fluid movement and enables children’s play to be more inclusive and cooperative.
To promote creative writing, we installed outdoor Mark Making Boards which included a Paint Station, Chalkboard and Whiteboard. Simply being in the presence of the great outdoors will inspire our children to draw amazing creations and actively develop their literacy skills.
To add to these amazing developments, we finished off the area with our very own Play Cabin which acts as a great storage area whilst having the ability to transform into the perfect open-ended resource. The design is perfect for role play opportunities to give our children a better understanding of the world… one day it’s a bakery while on another day, it’s a travel agents - the possibilities are endless.