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Blog posted on 3rd August 2017 by James Green
We recently completed a project alongside Kids Play Childcare that encompassed every aspect of fun you can imagine, from a Hobbit House to a Fire Escape Walkway.
We were asked to provide a proposal by Kids Play's director Paul Sharp to design a new outdoor space for their new build nursery in Milton Keynes. They were very happy with the initial proposal and decided they wanted to work with us developing the design to fit their vision of what their new build should look like.
Kids Play’s ethos is all about nature based play, providing stimulating environments and activities to encourage learning, and as that's also what we're all about, we were happy to work in conjunction with them. Their teams provide the highest quality nurseries, pre-schools, early education and care for children from 6 Weeks to 12 Years.
Our favourite and probably one of our most popular products that we build is the Hobbit House. For this exciting project we bespoke built a Cedar Shingle and timber Hobbit House to exact specifications which was covered in Cedar Shingle cladding to give it that rustic finish that was desired. The house featured different zones that focused on areas of stimulation for young children.
With a timber internal and a polycarbonate roof, the building will remain long-lasting throughout the years and in all types of adverse weather. On the exterior, we fitted a balcony with extended posts for den making and decoration, as well as he added a touch of elder writing around the door that we created using our CNC machine.
We used slip-resistant decking throughout so that small children can be safe from slips and trips, which is a huge feature for any piece of children's timber play equipment. Inside the hideaway Hobbit House there's also a bench seating area which also doubles up as storage, so if there's toys or books to be kept in there, then they will be safe and dry.
Leading out from two doorways in the building is the most exciting escape we've ever seen, creating a real feature which doesn't look out of place and leads out and down to the Hobbit House perfectly.
This walkway is also made with slip resistant decking and also has a cedar shingle roof to stop children getting wet on their walk down to the Hobbit House. At the end of the walkway you are met with a grand gazebo which underneath sits stump seating for storytelling time or just a place to relax in the peace and quiet.
On the roof we created a massive 15m x 4.8m timber shelter which we had a lot of fun building. Due to the scale of the build a structural engineer was used to sign off the work, and it was important that we got it right to make the best impact overall.
The roof itself was made from polycarbonate sheets which offer UV protection to the children using it; it's also good to have on rainy days so no one gets too wet!
The best part of the canopy is that an animal themed design was printed onto translucent laminate, which created a unique sensory space, projecting different colours down onto the seating below.
We installed a stainless steel slide into the Playscheme to create the ultimate fun factor. This lead from the top of the roof to the playground below. We know that the kids wil love this one. Well, who doesn't love a slide?
This particular area of the play scheme is educational, as we wanted to find a way to teach children about where their food comes from. For this, we designed an area where children can grow their own vegetables in the two timber planters that we have installed. Now if this isn't amazing enough, we also built an area where children can prepare their own pizza, which is then cooked in the pizza oven.
This area also includes sand stone paving and a palled fence and gate so that the pizza oven is sectioned off when an adult is not present. This just saves from any accidents when there is no supervision.
We've absolutely loved every single bit of this project, from conception to design to building and installing. It was one of our biggest projects to date and we are so happy with the end result.