New for 2024! Castle Lane nursery is delighted to announce the completion of its new playground facility, now open for everyone attending the nursery to enjoy.

Replacing a previous huge expanse of concrete is a brand new bespoke outdoor space designed to encourage everyone to have fun outside, whatever the weather.

The old playground at Castle Lane

Designed and built by award winning playground specialist Pentagon Play, this outdoor area represents more than five years planning and saving. But the end result is more than worth it, says nursery Co-owner Harriet Gray.

Harriet added “This new play area is open to everyone attending Castle Lane, from the baby room right through to the After School and Holiday Clubs. It’s all about having fun, learning new skills and encouraging confidence. There’s something for every child, whatever their interests.”

The importance of outdoor play

Outdoor play is widely recognised as critical to a child’s development, with Early Year’s Alliance noting that “not only does it act as an integral part of a child’s learning opportunities, but it can help massively benefit children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.”

They go on to add that ”Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on both mental and physical health at any age, so it’s important that we encourage it from a young age” before summarising the following benefits for children being allowed to play outside:

  • Encouraging essential physical fitness 
  • Provides a break from the everyday 
  • Helps to reduce anxiety and stress 
  • Aids in topping up vitamin D 
  • Supports emotional and social skills 
  • Facilitates discovering the natural environment 

How does the new Castle Lane play area fit with the EYFS curriculum?

Castle Lane works hard to ensure that every activity undertaken by the children fits in with the Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. And this new play area is no exception. It is designed with several interactive areas to appeal to everyone.  

Divided into specific EYFS areas, there is a music and stage area, with drums, a glockenspiel and a xylophone to encourage and develop confidence and presentation skills.

music area
wooden stage

A mud kitchen role play area, complete with a sink, pots and pans, encourages the acquisition of fine motor skills, allowing children to get muddy and messy whilst they play.

Whilst those looking for a quieter space might prefer to head to the snuggle area in the trees, which offers more of a sensory den, complete with stories.

Children can drive diggers through the sand pit, watch water run down the water wall or clamber into the wooden car and head off in their dreams.

A climbing frame, complete with climbing holds and a slide, in the centre of the playground lets even the most energetic burn off steam.

And a covered area with tables and chairs offers protection from the sun’s rays or a spot of light drizzle, allowing the children to take part in activities such as mark making.

New lighting has also been installed, which means that everyone can play outside safely in the late afternoons during the winter. Castle Lane has even commissioned some bobble hats so everyone can feel cosy as they explore this space, whatever the weather!