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Last term I applied to the National Lottery 'Awards for all' programme for funding for a sensory garden. We were successful in our bid and have since been awarded over £9000!!! The idea is to create a sensory garden for Foundation and Year One children. We have had a few people out to give us ideas but most of them seem to be targetted at older children/adults. Has anyone created a garden or have any ideas we could use? I've been trying to search for photographs on the web but they seem hard to come by. I would like to incorporate a bridge, water feature and some sort of willow den area. Any other ideas would be gratefully received!


Thanks in advance



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We've got a very small garden but we tried to include something for all the senses. We put up signs - picture symbols and words - saying look , listen etc.


Look at colours, shapes, patterns.

listen to windchimes, rustling grasses,

smell herbs, fragrences

touch different textures

taste herbs, fruit, veg


We have an arch with honeysuckle growing over it and wind chimes hanging from it, a raised bed with herbs and flowers, a patch of concrete with shells, beads, mirror tiles etc set into it (one of the Dads laid the concrete and the children set the bits into it while it was wet.) There's a pebble patch

to crunch on and a path with different shaped 'stepping stones'. On the fence is a net with bits tied onto it - CDs, ribbons, strings of beads. There are bright mobiles and ornaments, a short lenth of log roll to walk on, 'percussion instruments' attached to the fence.


It cost us about £2000 originally including resurfacing. We keep adding and changing bits. There's loads you can do once you start thinking about it. Have fun

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I went to an Outdoors Conference a few years ago where Wendy Titman spoke. Look her up on google, she's very inspiring and gave us lots of ideas.


Also Learning through Landscapes is an organisation dedicated to outdoor learning. You can subscribe and get all their newsletters and ideas sheets.


We developed our small nursery garden after the conference.


We have


A willow den with log seats inside

A log pile to attract minibeasts (although we have never attracted any because the logs are always being transported in the children's cars, lined up or built into a house or something!)

Fragrant herbs

We grow a small vegetable patch each year and eat the crops in our lunches

Swishy plants such as bamboo.

Sand pit

A safe baby area with shade. (Wendy Titman suggested a camomile lawn for this but our contractors felt it would become a mud bath)

Windey paths to ride along


This year we were able to develop it further (with the help of a £28,000 grant from the Council), and have some amazing wooden bespoke climbing equipment built, together with a play house, picnic table, storage shed, water feature, climbing wall.


Enjoy spending your money!



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WOW THATS GR8 please let us know how your garden grows,

i had wind chimes, mirrors, small amount of water, i too have a small garden area

im about to do up as the scaffolding has gone HAYYY! :o



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  • 3 weeks later...


you should visit the memorial garden in London that was done for Diana. It has a brilliant sensory section with grasses, rain bells and a sensory trail. They have really thought through access for all children. You need to check what times you are allowed to visit-when I went they were very strict about adults being in there. They are only allowed in if they are with a child. I think they do set aside an hour at some point in the day just for adults to wander a round when the children are not allowed in. Have a look at the website http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensing..._playground.cfm


Hope this is some help


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