Detailing

A Planted roof for a bird table.

A Planted roof for a bird table.

A relatively simple adaptation to a bird table to make an upstand can give you the opportunity to plant the roof. You need a water retaining mat and an 'off cut' of Sedum roof 'turf'... (if you can get it! ) otherwise you can just plant the Sedum yourself! Children can help you do this, measuring the timber edges, learning to use a saw, screwdriver etc. as well as doing the planting. Happy birds. 

bird_table
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Boundaries

Boundaries
How about this as an example of an alternative to a fully enclosed fence where defined spaces are needed but where children can chose to cross the boundary. A low fence here takes into account a favourite old tree trunk, which can be climbed over and/or used as a base for small world or imaginary play. This can be a type of 'one way valve' where younger children on one side can chose to join the older ones on the otherside (as I understand this to be the case here) but the older ones are asked to keep their exuberant play on "their" side of the boundary or to play with the younger children "at the stump". A lovely example in my view, of non-prescriptive design that affords a variety of interpretations.

boundary
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The practicalities of water outside.

The practicalities of water outside.
We all know how important water is, but access to water is often cited by teachers and early years practitioners as a problem that inhibits their use of outdoor spaces for enriching learning and play. (Growing, science, maths etc.)  Here are a couple of examples of a permanent supply with the added safeguard of a secure adult control to ensure it is not left running! It's fun of course for children to access self regulated water supplies, transporting it around for themselves  with all the engagement and learning that goes along with it. There are lots of ways to provide temporary water supply, from butts to water rollers, however where a permanent supply is possible these examples are a practical solution to a universal problem.

tap2simpletap
stoptap
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Sculpture with a difference.

Sculpture with a difference.

These logs/seats/climbing structures are at Kew, and represent magnified stems (with explanatory text)  - great fun as well as educational.

climbinglog_seat
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