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Hi there

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to post some pictures or give ideas of their outdoor areas. We are investing in a Foundation Stage area of Play, to be used for nursery, P1 & P2 and I am looking for some inspiration. We are going to hopefully put down soft surface over the whole area, and other ideas I had were to add a sand area, water, seating area, place to paint and be creative, maybe a wooden pirate boat or train etc. Plus to develop prop boxes for imaginative play, such as Shop, Builders, Painters, Dancers etc.


Not sure of budget yet, but I think it might be quite substantial. I have looked at a few local websites (N.I) and a few school websites that have posted pictures, but if anyone has anything which their children love, I would love to see it if possible.


Thanks in anticipation.



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I would highly recommend getting hold of this book;


Outdoor Play in the Early Years by Helen Bilton, published by David Fulton Publishers.


It is full of good ideas for equipment and activities as well as the boring bits like staffing and planning an outdoor area.


I got a copy from my local library recently.


Don't forget willow structures - if you help put one in you'll know how to build more from pieces you take off the original.


Small squares of decking make great stepping stones.


A flowerbed is a great place to dig and make mud. Best not to try to grow plants in it!


Loads of big sheets and pegs to make dens and old cushions (from parents ?)to use inside.


I could go on forever......


Have fun!

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There is a foundation and primary school outdoor area near me which I just love! It has a little gardeners area with a compost pig (big tin thing the children put the compost in and it rolls around to mix it up (I think!?), veggie boxes, a wild overgrown jungle area with stepping stones guiding you through - It is fab, if that provides any inspiration? x

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  • 6 months later...

Thanks for the Timotay Landscapes recommendation - they have just built a new sandpit in our Foudantion Stage garden. It is fantastic. The company are really organised, the sandpit was built quickly, they didn't arrive until they had all the materials they needed to do the job properly. Really impressed!!



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We are looking to do this too but awaiting funding from the capital grant. Would you mind posting a picture of the sand-pit so we can see? Also would you mind saying how much it cost.....you can do this privately is you wish by sending me a personal message.


My manager is also an improvement advisor for our LEA and one of her colleagues has asked if she could develop our garden as a forest school project. Our garden area is quite small but behind some bushes and shrubs lies a long strip of ground with trees, more shrubs and bushes and we have received permission from the school for this to be developed....yay!! :o

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