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I am after some advice! We are going to be investing a substantial amout in the outdoor area but it will not be for a couple of months.

In the meantime we have had to temporarily block a pathway (sort of ledge) because it has large holes in it.

So we are left with a very uneven surface, and not a huge area. I have banned the bikes as the boys are just charging around, and until they have learnt to use them properly, we will only use them in another area.

So I have a plastic sand tray, will eventually have a large one built juct above the ground so children can climb in,

we have brio waterway system but with the uneven surface it goes everywhere....

we have tents and shelters with books, masks, etc

and blocks as well as one large game we can play. We have also started putting out binoculars, bug viewers, magbifying glasses and a markmaking table with home made books etc.

The other thing to put out was a tuff spot with construction and small world.

Has anyone any other simple or cheap ideas we can use until we can get our climbing apparatus. Something for gross motor, etc

I would appreciate any ideas



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I would suggest using 'everyday' items and natural items.

Try to find a recycling unit that specifically collects items for schools/clubs etc. They are brilliant - you will get lots of inspiration and ideas as you walk round.

I just managed to get hold of some parachute material for which I'm discovering many uses - I've cut different coloured sock shapes for outside matching and pegging onto a washing line (can be used in all weathers).

Also made some kites with numbers on which hang from trees, the children can peg on 'bows' to match the numbers and pull the tail to make bells ring.

lengths of ribbon/raffia in a bowl close to something they can weave into - we've got an old small fridge shelf (again recycled).

Lengths of guttering which the children can roll balls, cars, conkers, pine cone downs - in managable lengths so that they can work out optimum angles, what fits and what doesn't.

Bowls with natural items in for sorting - shells, pinecones (you may have realised I love pinecones), pebbles etc.

Area with a selection of sheets, twigs to enable den making (may need support and help,suggestions initially).

piles of leaves and a couple of small rakes and wheelbarrows.

A musical washing line - hang a variety of recycled and household pots from a washing line with some suitable banging tools. Sheets of perspex (recycled again) for children to paint on with builders paint brushes.

Stick numbers on the ride on cars with numbered 'parking bays' to match car to.

The children in my nursery especially love digging in the mud so I would recommend an area just to dig in.


Have fun.



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large cradboard boxes, a few rolls of unwanted wall paper and some rolls of masking tape - cheap and cheerful - our children play for ages, making their own roads with the wall paper, using the masking tape to stick things together and sitting in the boxes as cars.

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Worth speaking to your milkman too, ours kindly gave us 60 milk crates and the children have had more fun (and used them more imaginatively) than any bought equipment we have!! :)

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