At Merry Go Round Preschool we have a very strong belief in the importance of learning through play, particularly in the outdoors. Being in the outdoors has all sorts of benefits for mental health and wellbeing, as well as utilising the natural environment to encourage creativity, exploration and discovery.
Merry Go Round is extremely lucky to have a fantastic garden, thanks to the amazing support and generosity of the team behind the Big Garden Makeover which took place in Summer 2019! It has been beautifully and carefully designed by Matt Leigh to offer our children a variety of challenges, tranquil spaces, and experiences that involve all of the senses. The garden includes a substantial outside canopy area, a jungle-themed play area, a beach style outdoor sandpit, a mud kitchen, a summer house, vegetable plot and a variety of nature-loving plants, all of which can be enjoyed whatever the weather. We are also grateful to The Naturesave Trust who specialise in funding environmental, conservation and community renewable energy projects throughout the UK, who provided funding for our existing pond area.
Merry Go Round is lucky to have our own Forest School Leader who runs a weekly Forest School programme which we use to boost the personal, social and emotional development of children from the age of 3. Forest School involves being outside in the woods exploring, playing and learning through seized opportunities and experiences. These experiences gradually challenge the child, building on his / her abilities and knowledge, opening new doors to the world outside, releasing creativity, curiosity and awareness of others. This helps children to become more confident, balanced individuals who are motivated by the joy of learning and discovery. Children are welcome to join Forest School as soon as they can manage tramping across rough ground whilst they are wearing full waterproofs.
We are fortunate to have access to a local site nearby to use for our sessions. This means that the children gain the experience of an exciting outdoor environment, and allows us to run our Merry Tots Toddler Group back at the setting. During the summer months we make use of our stunning local coastline by including some Beach School sessions in the programme.
Forest School sessions are different to other kinds of Early Years provision, and your child may well come home a little muddy. This is usually a sign they have had great fun!
Merry Go Round is very proud of its Forest School provision, and the genuine and unique play and learning opportunities that arise from spending time outside with skilled practitioners. If you wish to attend a session with your child, or become a regular volunteer, you are very welcome to give it a try – just get in touch.