What does a day at one of our Nature Nurseries look like?

During the first few weeks, your child will develop a strong bond with all of our grown-ups. Over time, they'll usually grow attached to one or two in particular, often because there's a sense of familiarity, personal connection or something similar. We call these important grown-ups Key People

Key People carefully observe how, when, and why each child thrives. With this information, they give sensitive and tailored support to guide each child so that they are at their happiest and most engaged.

Each day comes with a whole new set of possibilities. We all know how wonderful a child-like imagination can be, so we let that, with some gentle guidance from our Key People, steer their adventures.

That said, we offer a huge variety of activities to choose from, and each nursery interacts uniquely with its environment.

Here's a little preview of what to expect...

 


Lymington

On arrival, the children independently place their bags and jackets in the cloakroom area and get ready to explore.

While one child finds great pleasure in building a huge tower in the outdoor area, another is in the classroom experimenting with instruments from around the world. In the creative area, children are discussing the different shapes their paint brushes make as they collaborate on an enormous piece of art.

In the garden, there's a small group searching for insects in the deadwood pile. Once they're in bug pots, a grown-up encourages them to identify what they've found on picture cards. In the kitchen, some children are putting the finishing touches to the fruit scones the've been baking, with another group washing the carrots they just picked from the vegetable patch.

A few start to get the tables ready for when food arrives. Time to have a delicious organic lunch!

After, in the Pylewell Estate woodland, a group of children are exploring and discovering nature first-hand. As they return, they excitedly show the others the hair moss, cushion moss and feather moss they found, before counting out the different leaves they've collected to see who found the most. 

In the garden, some are practicing mindfulness with the help of a teacher, who shows them relaxation and breathing exercises and the fulfilment of feeling calm. In the farm, some of the children are helping to collect eggs, while their friends help to feed the pygmy goats. Just as things are getting fun, it's back to the classroom to get ready. It's home time!


Marwell Zoo

At Marwell, you'll see children planting seeds and tending to the veg, building large-scale masterpieces in the super-sized sand pit, and working on a whole host of curious, and mindful projects. All of this rests under the watchful gaze of the giraffes and penguins, peacefully going about their day.

On a daily basis, the children become Mini-Zoologists, and learn about the different animals around the zoo. During this unique and exciting activity, Marwell's team of grown-ups teach the children about the animals' behaviour, habitats, and social interactions. When it's time for the animals to get some rest, the beautiful woodland Nature School lets the children learn about the plants and wildlife that thrive there.

Indoors at the Learning Centre, Marwell’s teachers show the children how to identify animal skins and skulls, and observe and carefully handle small mammals, reptiles and insects. They'll learn about their habitats and the importance of caring for the world.

When all's said and done, the children get creative with a variety of natural materials. Everything is designed to help children develop. For instance, you'll find tools for building fine motor skills, activities such as threading, pouring and sorting, and things which help to provide an understanding of size, shape and dimension. They'll also start to learn about the concept of number and sound.

Stories in the cosy book corner and regular music sessions help to bring about early reading skills. And, if they're feeling a bit peckish, twice-daily baking sessions, and self-made organic lunches and snacks keeps hungry tummies full until they're ready to go home. 


Durlston, Swanage

With a gorgeous panoramic sea view, and the scent of fresh sea air in their lungs, the children will grow veggies in the garden, collaborate in the enormous sand pit, and learn the importance of caring for a fire at the pit and den. Big scale construction, den building, water play and endless creative projects will develop their inquisitive minds even further.

Indoors, creativity continues to flourish, as local artists teach the children to use a variety of clays, paints, pencils and crayons.

Beyond the nursery in the great outdoors of the Country Park, the children will connect with nature. This is something we like to call an Explorer Session.

Here, they'll experience the seasons and learn all about the changes in weather, roam the fields and woodlands, and discover everything they can imagine about the animals and plants of this stunning habitat. It really is the complete learning experience for your child.

Like all of our nurseries, children will help to make their own organic lunch and snacks when they start to feel hungry. They'll also have the chance to bake bread twice a day.

Every indoor activity helps to build upon a child's developmental pathways. At any time, a child may learn to build on their fine motor skills, engage in activities such as threading, pouring and sorting, as well as things which help to provide an understanding of size, shape and dimension. They'll also start to learn about the concept of number and sound.

The book corner and music sessions will help to fuel early literacy skills, and ensure they're relaxed, just in time to go home.


Avon Heath

Set within a beautiful country park, with purpose-built classrooms, over an acre of secure garden and the great outdoors just a few steps away, every day is extraordinary at Avon Heath.

The children will grow veggies in the garden, collaborate in the enormous sand pit, and learn the importance of caring for a fire at the pit and den. There's chickens, and a nursery dog called Wilber to nurture their love and understanding of animals.

The garden is ready for big-scale construction, den building, water play and endless projects to develop the children's inquisitive minds even further. A local artist even teaches them to get creative with a variety of materials, and also to build highly expressive sculptures.

Every day, the children, their teachers, and a ranger set up base in the woodland Owl House. Here, they'll experience the seasons and learn all about the changes in weather and the environment. They'll also discover everything they can imagine about the animals and plants of this stunning habitat.

Like all of our nurseries, children will help to make their own organic lunch and snacks when they start to feel hungry. They'll also have the chance to bake bread twice a day. Many outdoor experiences can be refined back in the classroom. A child may learn to build on their fine motor skills, engage in activities such as threading, pouring and sorting, as well as things which help to provide an understanding of size, shape and dimension. They'll also start to learn about the concept of number and sound.

The book corner and music sessions will help to fuel early literacy skills, and ensure they're relaxed, just in time to go home. When you come to collect there's always a new and unique story of yet another extraordinary day to be told.