At Nought to Five we pride ourselves on our natural elements of the outdoor learning environment. Backdrop of established trees, shrubs, garden beds, rocks, grass areas, edible gardens, digging patch and sandpits offer opportunities for open-ended imaginative play and a variety of sensory experiences. These opportunities allow children to strengthen their sense of agency and gain understandings about the natural world. Sustainability is promoted in the outdoors not only through the focus on natural elements and using natural objects wherever possible, but also on how Educators re-think, re-use and purchase equipment made from recycled materials. The compost bin, worm farm and vegetable garden beds are used to intentionally teach sustainable practices with the children.
Our large playground is shared by the Toddler and Pre-school children and we have a smaller playground especially for our Baby Room, that ensures all children feel safe, secure and confident to explore. Our large open softfall areas, covered with retractable shade awnings, promote physical activity and gross motor skills. We also have specifically designed spaces for children to slide, swing, ride tricycles, investigate and explore with sand and dirt, as well as use their imaginations in creative role play.
The spacious undercover verandah areas allow for shaded play spaces as well as open space that is utilised during wet weather. Although, in wet weather children are also encouraged to explore and take advantage of the natural aspects of puddles with the provision of wet weather clothing and gumboots.
Educators are responsive to the age, interests and needs of all children when planning for our outdoor environment. An important part of the planning process is the critical reflection Educators undertake, looking at the children's responses to the space and resources, then using this information as a basis for the next fortnight's program.