At Stepping Stones we have four, well presented, separate, secure and enclosed children’s outdoor play areas. Each play area has been devised with the children’s needs in mind and is directly accessible from the children’s play rooms.
PLAY AREA 1 - (Yellow Room and Red Room)
This area has a range of equipment appropriate for the babies and toddlers including a seesaw, slide, home corner, sand/water trays, balls, mega blocks, trucks, trikes, car and tunnel. We also have planters attached to the walls for the children to grow and learn about different plants etc. The playground has an absorbent safety surface.
PLAY AREA 2 – (GREEN ROOM 1 and GREEN ROOM 2)
This play area has variety of resources and equipment which are appropriate for the children’s age range including a climbing frame and slide, wooden blocks, a playhouse, bikes, balls, and a sand/water tray. There are planters in this area for the children to be involved in planting and watching things grow. The playground has an absorbent safety surface.
PLAY AREA 3 – (PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUND)
This large playground has been developed by Playforce one of the leading educational designers/suppliers that are registered with ROSPA, all of the play equipment and safer surfacing conforms to the British and European Playground Safety Standards. Activities include a play cabin, sliding lid sand pit, water play basin, rollover bridge, musical instrument panels, a wall mounted chalkboard and magnetic whiteboard. There is also a planter box in this area for the children to watch, learn and grow plants and herbs etc. The playground has an absorbent safety surface. There is a theatre section within the play ground for the children to use their creativity skills.
PLAY AREA 4 – (PRE-SCHOOL GARDEN)
The large garden has also been developed Playforce all of the play equipment and safer surfacing conforms to the British and European Playground Safety Standards. The garden has a natural woodland corner with logs, rocks and soil for the children to bury, dig, explore and investigate for bugs etc, there is also a worm world discovery place, planter boxes for herbs, vegetables and plants which the children can be involved with, seating and story telling areas, a timber trail for balancing with a suspension bridge, play tower, play house, musical panels, log forest posts for den making, a magnetic white board and chalkboard.
The garden has an absorbent play surface and approximately half of the area is grassed, the way that it was designed and laid out enables all of the equipment to be used all year round.
Being outdoors has a positive impact on children’s sense of well being and helps all aspects of children’s development through the six areas of learning, it offers opportunities of doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors.
Both of the Pre-School play areas are designed for other age groups to use with the range of equipment provided. The children can be as physical, imaginative or creative as they like. The six areas of learning are promoted in many ways for example the natural areas /planter beds can help the children learn more about living insects and plants and gain knowledge and understanding of the world. The timber trail and play tower and track area are great for developing the children’s gross and fine motor skills and core development to help provide an active healthy lifestyle. The forest log posts, the play cabin and the musical panels let the children express their creativity and can encourage role play/social play and interaction.
In all of the outdoor play areas we encourage an indoor outdoor experience for the children whereby the toys, equipment and resources that are used indoors can be taken outdoors.
The outdoors gives children first hand contact with weather, seasons and the natural world.
Outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active and exuberant. A rich and varied environment supports children’s learning and development it gives them the confidence to explore and learn in a secure and safe yet challenging outdoor areas.
The outdoor areas and equipment are checked daily and the results documented prior to the children using the outdoor areas, we are always striving to maintain and if possible improve on our high standards and regularly replace and update any equipment when required.