New natural play area at The Ryleys Pre-School

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Following the opening of The Ryleys Pre-School Nursery in September, the school has now transformed its outdoor play area, igniting the imaginations of its Nursery and Pre-School children, who use the space daily.

The Ryleys School embarked on this exciting project with natural play company, Cool Canvas, which has been featured on Channel 4's 'George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.'

Included in the new and natural play environment is a Texture Kitchen, an area where children can experiment with textures, colours, touch and smell. To celebrate the opening of the play area, the Nursery and Pre-School children were treated to a perfume making workshop, where they enjoyed a hands-on experience of chopping, grating, mashing and stirring to make lemon and herb scented perfumes.

Also included in the new play area is a secret woodland garden. Entered via a Hobbit style door, the children can explore the secret garden with its bark floor and log seats, perfect to step across or sit on as they enjoy a story under the trees.

The children also have a new Water Wall which they can use to pump water up through a tube and watch it cascade down a series of pipes. Whatever the weather, the children can listen to a story in the great outdoors as the giant's chair is the perfect place for the staff to sit and read books to the children.

Children love to play hide and seek and if they are looking to make a den or sit and observe, then the patchwork shed will allow them to do this in a fun way. Accessed through a small door at the side, it's lined with faux grass and is full of books and bean bags so that the children can sit and relax.

Children who wish to dig and transport can do so in the raised bedding area. With small world diggers, the children have already created a miniature construction site, loading and unloading soil into their digger buckets.

Nature and the outdoors is now even more accessible as the children enjoy looking after the plants, herbs and flowers in the raised beds. Whether they are choosing plants to use in the texture kitchen or watering, or digging, there is every opportunity to get hands-on and explore different varieties of plants.

Head of Pre-School and Nursery, Mrs Sally Kirkbright, said: "It has been an absolute delight to see the children discover and explore their new outdoor play area. From the outset, it was our aim to create an outdoor area that facilitates each child's learning experiences and encourages their active and curious minds. Watching the children in their new play area, we can see we have definitely achieved this.

Children can start in The Ryleys Nursery from the term in which they turn two and then progress into the Pre-School where they will stay until they start school at 4 years old. For further information, or to book a personal tour of the school, please contact the school reception on 01625 583241.

The Ryleys