Little Willows Day Nursery is tucked away in the heart of Bath. Considering its central urban location, Little Willows is blessed with a large garden which was well used but in need of rejuvenation. The garden was mainly laid to grass and this limited how often the outdoor space could be used during the wetter months. In addition, the ground sloped away to one side, creating very muddy unusable sections.
Whilst the team at Little Willows were full of enthusiasm, they were hindered by the sites issues and looked to dbdplay to help guide them to maximise the useful space. Surfacing was a critical part of the re-design of the outside area. They wanted artificial grass throughout the main play area to enable them to use the space all year round. The range of outdoor equipment needed to encourage EYFS development in terms of activity, imagination and socialising. The outdoor space needed to support curriculum led activities and of course provide maximum opportunity for free play fun!
Working with Little Willows we created a space that can be used all year round and utilises every part of the available outdoor space in a constructive way. We removed all the old play equipment and unusable existing surfacing and turf, as well as moved soil on site to reduce the impact of the slope, creating more usable space for play. The levelled surface was then overlaid with artificial grass including full base preparation to ensure a smooth surface finish.
A bespoke design was created with an age appropriate climbing Timber Tower including slide, ramp, fireman’s pole and bridge. We designed and installed a Horizontal Spider Web which can be used for climbing but also sitting or lying down.
In the corner of the playground a Performance Stage was installed for singing, acting and imaginative play with a range of seats that double as stepping stones and balance beams.
Interactive play was a key request, so we designed a Mud Kitchen and Bug Hotel within a bark surfaced nature area, along with a Water Wall at one end of the main playground.
Increasing the children’s opportunity to socialise was also very important so we included a Teepee for quiet play, talking, reading and listening and a Table with Seating for picnics and drawing.
"dbdplay have been absolutely fantastic in helping us envision, plan and develop our fantastic new garden! The children (and adults) have had so much fun exploring the bug hotel, performing on stage and getting tangled in the spider web! Our garden is now truly an all year-round place to learn, explore & play. Thank you so much to everyone at dbdplay."
Sally Sutton, Nursery Manager.
Originally published Oct 27, 2021 12:58:54 PM
, updated July 18, 2022