Outside woodland area
Snuggling nicely between our outer and inner fencing is our wooded area, home to lots of different plants, shrubs and trees. Here the kids can walk safely around the perimeter of Sandcastles whilst safely guarded from the road. The children and staff have planted many different flowers successfully, cherry blossoms, willow and sunflowers (most of which grew much taller than the children).
The pre-school room have painted bird houses, now proudly displayed feeding our local bird families Late winter sees the snowdrops peeking through the ground and early spring sees the daffodil area springing to life with yellows, creams and whites.
At Sandcastles we believe in using the outside area to help develop their awareness and the beauty of nature around them and encourage a love of gardens and greenery.
We also have a resident squirrel that arrived when the builders were here 7 years ago and throughout all the years including the cold blast, has never left. We call him Sammy.
Here at Sandcastles we also have an additional 2 playgrounds; a general large playground to the rear of the building, and an additional one adjacent to the Toddler room. This allows us to facilitate all the children to be able to play outside whilst keeping the age groups separate enabling them to have their own age specific toys and a safe area to run about without the risk of the older and faster children bumping the younger ones.
These playgrounds are essential to the children to allow the development of their physical and gross motor skills and are closed in to facilitate their privacy and safety.
The main attraction outside has to be the garden. This massive grassed area houses climbing frames and also allows for ample running about to help in their physical development.
As well as providing an enormous area for all the fun stuff, part of the garden is being developed to allow the children to grow their own vegetables. Radishes, tomatoes and strawberries are among a few of the produce the children are growing from seed. Look out for their eco-friendly, home grown potatoes, broad beans, cucumbers and courgettes on the menu next season!
A wildlife garden is on the way to attract the many species of butterflies, birds and mini beasts we have in this part of the province. Our garden is secure, safe and very private allowing our children to have fun, explore and work in their vegetable and wildlife gardens away from the public eye.
This year brings our first season of growing our own fruit, vegetables and flowers. The afterschool children have enjoyed learning about different types of vegetables, flowers and fruit and how best to grow them. While we have battled with the elements (our greenhouse quite literally blew away in the storms) we have none the less grew our own broad beans, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, herbs and selection of flowers.