An Environment to Thrive In
Since our extension in 2017 we are hugely proud that we are able to offer each age group their own dedicated sensory room. This enables us to provide the children with a tailored environment. Sensory rooms are a magical place and the children love them, fully of interactive equipment using sound, light and texture, such as bubble lamps, light boards, LED lighting, fabrics, music and mirrors our sensory rooms can be hugely stimulating but also very calming and peaceful depending on the needs of the children at that time. Sensory rooms were originally designed for children with autism or other learning difficulties or behavioural challenges, however, they are wonderful environments for all young children. By altering the light/sound/textures around them we can manipulate the sensory experience for the children, or they can do it for themselves, to create an environment that is encourages them engage in and explore their environment in a very different way to standard play spaces. As well as being great fun we find that these rooms can provide a calming and peaceful environment it is perfect for even the smallest babies to explore and enjoy. We find that they can be wonderfully calming environments if a little one is feeling distressed or anxious.
“The outdoors offers young children essential experiences vital to their well-being, health and development in all areas. Children who miss these experiences are significantly deprived. Outdoors, children can have the freedom to explore different ways of ‘being’, feeling, behaving and interacting; they have space – physical (up as well as sideways), mental and emotional; they have room and permission to be active, interactive, messy, noisy and work on a large scale; they may feel less controlled by adults. The real contact with the elements, seasons and the natural world, the range of perspectives, sensations and environments – multi-dimensional and multi-sensory, and the daily change, uncertainty, surprise and excitement all contribute to the desire young children have to be outside. It cannot be the same indoors, a child cannot be the same indoors – outdoors is a vital, special and deeply engaging place for young children.” Jan White, ‘Natural Play’
Children love to be in the fresh air, to run around, to investigate the natural world and to generally get dirt beneath their nails! Our garden is a wonderful learning and sensory journey that starts with our environmentally friendly all weather surface. We are one of only a handful of sites in the UK, and the only setting in Hampshire, to be using the ground-breaking Nike Grind play surface. Created from recycled Nike trainers it offers a play surface that is fun, vibrant, practical and safe. Awarded a critical fall height of up to 3 meters it is resistant to abrasion and slipping. It also helps us to demonstrate to the children ways in which we can all recycle in the usual, and unusual ways!
Our large, bespoke, sandpit and construction area gives yet another space for the children to explore and learn. There are plenty of digging and building facilities including a sit on sand digger!
Our Forest Area
Our forest area is a wonderful place to build a den, to hunt for Gruffalos, to make a camp fire (at least a pretend one!), to hunt for mini beasts to study, or to simply to sit beneath the trees in the shade and enjoy the pleasure of being outside.
The Baby Garden:
The baby garden has been specifically designed for even the littlest Blueberries so that they can have plenty of fresh air and their own outdoor experience in safety, even when the more mobile children are out at play. We have a large sun shade to ensure that the children are able to spend lots of time outside whatever the weather. The Blueberries and Strawberries are welcome to use all areas of the garden but here they have a space all to themselves.
The Growing Area
The growing area is fundamental to our ethos at the Mulberry Bush. We believe passionately in providing children with delicious, nutritious food and also helping them to learn about where their food comes from. They will have the opportunity to grow their own crops of fruits and vegetables, to harvest them and then hand them over to our cook to supplement their meals. Our growing area is a thriving plot that the children help to take care of. The children help with all aspects for growing from planting seeds and transferring seedlings, assist in watering our plants everyday throughout the summer and then helping to harvest our crops as they ripen. The food that we grow is taken to Carol in the kitchen to be included in our meals whenever possible, or sometimes, in the case of strawberries and raspberries, simply eaten straight away! To see our healthy choices click here