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Monday was the first day of Spring and we certainly feel like we're ready for it! As daffodils are starting to sprout up from the soil and the days become longer, it's time to get those green fingers in action and work your magic in the garden!
According to experts, the first day of spring - also known as the vernal equinox - began on Monday, March 20 and will end on Wednesday June 21. The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere can also be known as the March equinox and is called the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. This momentous occasion, when most of us can leave our winter coats behind and don those sandals, marks the moment that the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north and happens every single year.
So, what better way to mark the beginning of our favourite season than by getting in the garden and watching nature spring back to life?
You may want to get the children into the garden to gain the real tangible experience of watching a plant or flower grow from seed, nurturing its growth into full bloom. But don’t worry if you don’t have any budget left, as Playscheme can help you with that!
If you read our last blog, you'll know that we are experts when it comes to guiding you through the funding process - from writing the bid to applying for it - we can lead the way to hidden money pots and grants you may not even be aware of.
At Playscheme, we have a range of science and nature products, as well as seating and planting ones. We also have an extensive range of outdoor classrooms and shelters to make the most of that good weather.
It's important to have somewhere you can go to outside on warm days, making lessons more exciting in the open air. A base for outdoor classes and activities is imperative for many schools and nurseries, and that's why we love to design them; building them from completely bespoke plans for every specification and project. Whatever you desire, we can make.
Our outdoor classrooms and shelters let class and play time flow outdoors, whilst offering protection from the sun and rain. Combining these with our amazing creative play equipment that can fit into any design, as well as that all-important storage equipment for when you need to pack it all away, you will have a truly perfect multi-functional outdoor space.
It's the ideal time to start planting those seeds and bulbs, for flowers, fruit and vegetables ready to admire and also eat in the summer months! Our raised beds and planters are the perfect height for little helpers, so encourage them to get their hands dirty!
Our workstations are also essential when it comes to taking the classroom outside. They allow children to gather together and work alongside each other, encouraging communication and socialising while learning.
If you have some avid gardeners in your midst then it may be worth investing in all the equipment! Think about potting sheds, potting tables and cupboards to store plant pots and tools in when you're done.
All of our workstations have easy to clean surfaces, making your outside area hassle free, accessible and tidy at all times.
We have designed a number of gardening areas for schools and helped them to obtain funding towards them. This includes Fountains C of E Primary School, for which we created a planting and resource area with a potting shed. In the designs below you can see that we included a number of mini planters and a gardening shed, which the school required for their little ones to get closer to nature.
We also helped acquire a successful grant for Follifoot Primary School to help them to make use of an unusable area at the front of the school.
They were looking for ways in which to make the area look tidy, inviting and to make the school look more desirable from the outside to visitors.
Complementing the old building that sits beside it, we installed slip-resistant decked walkways and bridges across the more mature plants and shrubs, making it much easier to tend to the garden from above and making it more accessible for the children who want to get involved in pruning the flora and fauna.
This was a newly completed project in February so we have lots of images to come!
There are so many things for children to get involved in when it comes to nature and the great outdoors. Helping to develop relationships between your little ones and the environment, we love nothing more than creating an ecosystem that will come to life before their eyes. Kids love to see nature close up!
Some of our most popular nature products are the Mini Beast Trunk, which has many nooks and crevices to encourage wildlife and is fantastic for observing the miniature world of bugs. If you love bugs then the Bug Hotel is also a really great piece to have in your garden, where you can fill the cavities with different materials to enchant creepy crawlies into the spaces. Try bricks, stones, twigs and leaves as materials inside each compartment; we usually find that this is a good place to start.
Why not also look at our Bird Hide, where a class can watch and write about the animals and plants that they can see. Inside you will find benches and book rests, making for a superb interactive learning environment which is sure to help with hands on education.
Looking to get started with your outdoor projects now that spring is in the swing of things? It's never too late to contact us. We can visit your school or public play area, exploring ways in which we can help you to enhance play, gardening and educational experiences for children.
Blog posted on 21st March 2017 by Ashleigh Cleet