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Does anybody have the contact details of any companies that can develop outside areas for Foundation Stage age children? Get this - we have £10000 to spend! :o It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to get it right. Thanks

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Hi Chris -

Wow - that's some good news!


You've presumably seen the discussion in the Practice and Provision forum on Outdoor provision here? It doesn't give any specific recommendations for equipment providers though.


One I found recently can be found at http://www.timberline.co.uk - but I'm not recommending them - I haven't had any dealings with them. They do say they supply educational markets and can advise on various things.


Let me know any others you come across. I'd like to see what they have to offer!


Enjoy spending your money! :D

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Candy

Hi Chris,


I know you posted your question a while ago, so chances are that you've already started spending your money. There are loads of businesses out there that will help you part with your cash, but my advice would be to proceed with caution (but do proceed).


Sometimes the most effective equipment is not the most expensive. I've watched a group of children this year playing with a water tray, some bits of guttering and a few milk crates making an intricate irrigation system! Lots of learning happened with fairly inexpensive resources.


My advice for you in spending your money would be to ensure that your outside area mirrors and compliments your indoor area. By this I mean think of your outside as doulbling your inside learning environment. Have a reading area, a graphics area, and construction area, a creative area. Also, where possible try to establish a free-flow indoor/outdoor leaning environment. This might mean that you spend some of your money on fencing, making sure the area is safe and secure, or even on the pathways from your indoor to your outdoor area. Finally, think carefully before buying big climbing frames. Don't get me wrong, they are fun and exciting, but once in place they won't be moved, and if space is an issue you might be giving up a valuable resouce. Personally, I would perfer having a large set of "primary hollows" (there big wooden building blocks). With these blocks the children still develop gross motor skills, but also there imagination, and at the end of the day, the blocks can be put back into the storage shed (now that's something I would recommend you invest in!)


Below are a few books which should give you some ideas about good outdoor enviornments. I would particularly recomment the Lewisham book--lots of practical ideas (and not just for outside).


Outdoor Play in the Early Years--Helen Bilton ISBN 1-85346-519-4

Excercising muscles and minds--Marjorie Ouvry 1-870985-51-6

A Place to Learn--Lewisham Early Years Advice and Resource Network ISBN 090-1637106 (Telephone: 020 8695 9806)


Good luck and happy spending


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Hi Candy -

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting such an interesting response :D .


I'd agree with you about the fact that the equipment of most interest to children is frequently not the most expensive stuff. (In fact I try using this argument every Christmas with regard to my own children, but I usually get outvoted...)


We have experimented with so many different things in our outside play that are effectively industrial by products and found they cause hours of entertainment. I remember one week we got hold of dozens of cardboard boxes of various sizes and strengths - from the local supermarket - and the children were inspired beyond words.


I have a different conversation reference here which you might find interesting.


Welcome again. It's good to have you on board!


Regards, Steve.

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