A Natural Environment at St. George’s Nursery

It’s a very exciting time here at St. George’s Nursery as we are taking a new approach within our nurseries by using more natural resources and less traditional ‘toys’. Our staff have been thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative ways to source and use more and various different types of raw and natural materials with the children.

Why Natural Resources?

Using different types of natural resources in our nurseries allows the children to explore different textures. It allows the children to use their imagination as to how they can turn authentic resources (real life items) into opportunities for curiosity and play. This helps the children to explore, encourages them to think for themselves and helps them to build confidence without the need for so much guidance & input. A variety of everyday resources, which can include anything from kitchen utensils to storage baskets and trays, can be used in numerous ways.

Using such materials and everyday items gives children the opportunities to use their creativity, imagination, critical thinking, problem-solving and more to teach themselves and become more independent, mirror what they have seen adults do with these resources, as well as helping them to spark interest and engage different senses.

What areas of development does this improve?

• Creative and critical thinking
• Independent thinking
• Imagination
• Language and verbal communication
• Lifelong learning
• Risk taking
• Respect for resources and the natural world
• Stronger non-verbal communication

Why we are steering for natural resources?

As technology has developed more and more, children have become used to using gadgets such as tablets, phones, TV and so forth. This has led to some children having a tunnel vision from so much screen time, that they are losing their creativity and imagination. We want our children at St. George’s Nursery to use the best of their imagination and explore their interests. We believe by changing our environment and by incorporating more natural, authentic and everyday resources for the children to play with will encourage using more of their creativity and imagination.

How can you help?

We want to make our environments constantly interesting and ever-changing for the children. Do you have anything that you could bring in to nursery to help with this? If you have anything lying around at home to help us keep improving our natural environment, please do let us know! Thanks in advance. Some ideas are below:

  • Kitchen utensils – potato masher, ladle, tongs, whisk, large spoons
  • Wooden items – bowls, spoons, boxes, chopping boards, wooden animals
  • Cooking items – muffin tray, wire rack, saucepans, sieve
  • Storage – baskets, dishes, bowls, mats, trinket boxes, trays
  • Other bits and bobs – coasters, massage rollers, tea strainer, bangles
  • Treasures – feathers, pinecones, leaves, shells, rocks and stones, wool and other natural fibres