At Willows Montessori we benefit from an extensive and fully secure outdoor area, including two garden areas at the rear of the nursery.
We have a wide range of equipment and activities and offer children the same opportunities for learning outdoors as we do indoors.
In our first garden we have a reading corner, complete with story-tellers chair, maths and mark-making areas, a construction area, music wall and a mud kitchen. This garden is on a slope and the children enjoy playing with cars and trucks and having races down the hill. We also keep hens which the children help to care for.
We have an allotment section where we have various planters for the children to grow a variety of vegetables, complete with numerous compost bins and a greenhouse.
Our second garden has a more natural feel to it and the majority of the area is covered with grass, which makes it an excellent area for the older children to run around and the younger pre-walkers to explore safely. In this garden we have a willow den which makes a wonderful house/workshop/fire station/spaceship during role play! We actively promote care of the environment and of animals and have a small pond, which is home to frogs and newts that the children enjoying observing, and a large rabbit enclosure, where the children can spend time with our fluffy bunnies, helping to feed and care for them. We also have a fire-pit which is used for Forest School sessions by the older children.
The children from the Foxes Den and the Badger Room benefit from free-flow access to our outdoor areas and the children from the Hedgehog and Squirrel Rooms spend time outside as often as possible, whether out in the garden or on a walk around the village. All children throughout the nursery are encouraged to spend time outdoors, where we continue to follow the Montessori ethos; allowing children across all age ranges the opportunity to socialise and to learn from one another.
We do not let the British weather intimidate us either; with a large quantity of waterproof clothing and wellies you will find the children (and staff) at Willows Montessori Nursery outdoors, whatever the weather!