Category Archives: Outdoor Learning

Finger gym

The boys and girls have recently enjoyed developing their fine motor skills by picking up seeds with tweezers to plant their sunflowers so we have decided to create a finger gym area dedicated to outdoor fine motor play. These experiences help to develop the muscles required for handwriting and also helps to develop independence in things such as buttoning jackets.

We started by digging out our log peg boards. Some of these hadn’t been used in a while so we had to assess their safety. We found a few nails were a little wobbly so we very carefully tapped them back in to place. Then we realised we only had three boards and four children wanted to play so we walked around the garden to find another small log and asked our janitor, Michelle, if she had some nails we could use and created a fourth peg board. We used our pincer grip to hold the nail in place then used great hand-eye coordination when using the hammer to make sure we didn’t hit our fingers.

We then enjoyed using our fine motor skills to wrap elastic bands around the nails to create some lovely artworks. Just look at our wonderful designs…

Welcome to our mud cafe

Today in our garden we have had lots of fun transforming our mud kitchen into a mud cafe where the children served up some delicious food!

Firstly the children worked as a team to create their own menu, the children showed great writing skills and fine motor control.

After the menu was complete it was time to open for business! The children picked what they would like to eat from the menu and our lovely ‘waitress’ took their order then off to the kitchen she went.

“I’ll have the ice cream and pasta please”

The children were super creative in the mud kitchen, working together mixing the mud, water and loose parts to make the yummy food.

“I’m making a delicious cake with mud and water”

Now it was time to serve the food!

“Here you go, the spaghetti is ready’

”It’s a little hot, be careful”

The children love spending time outdoors in our mud kitchen. It offers them many benefits such as exploring sensory play, working as a team, using their imagination and of course being outdoors, as well as many more. 

All sorts of measure

Today in the garden the boys and girls enjoyed exploring measurement through investigating the size, amounts and capacity of various items.

The children used standard and non standard units to measure and compare the height of each other, plants and water.

Some of our children were able to compare size and volume using comparative language such as “tall and taller” and “ full and empty”

“Look at this they’re the same”

Why don’t you see what you can use to measure different items at home?


Blossom mud pie

The children were having lots of fun in the mud kitchen today making lots of delicious food but they needed more ‘ingredients’ so we decided to go a local walk to collect some flowers that had fallen off the trees.

Once we had collected lots of blossom, we took it back to nursery and into the mud kitchen. The children decided they would like to make a blossom mud pie, so we got to work on the recipe. The children worked as a team to collect all the ingredients, measure, empty and fill the containers before voila! A mud pie, hand decorated with the blossom.

Once our blossom pie was ready the children took it over to our ‘restaurant’ and cut it into pieces giving everyone a bit.

”This is so yummy”
Who knew mud could look so good!

Cart Mill Olympics

We have recently been enjoying incorporating jumps into our obstacle course.  To further develop the skills involved in jumping, we decided to create our own hurdles.   The hurdles were placed at three different heights to allow for differing abilities and levels of confidence. By the end of our game we were all feeling really confident and were attempting to jump the final hurdle.

As we cleared the hurdles we all clapped and cheered each other on.  Sometimes we didn’t manage to clear all of the hurdles, so we worked as a team to build them back up again.   Great team work everyone!

We discussed the importance of taking a run up first to allow us to clear more challenging hurdles. Just look how high we can all jump! Olympics here we come 😄

Making Suncatchers!

The children have been really enjoying learning about the weather whilst in the garden. With the season changing we have seen lots of different weather recently! We decided to make suncatchers and hoped this would bring the sunshine back! Instead of just using coloured paper, we wanted to add some natural materials.  We went on a walk to collect pretty blossom that had fallen off the trees and any other materials we could find!

“I’ve found some pink blossom and white!”

We used sticky clear paper to stick all our flowers and coloured tissue paper to. We then folded it over and it stuck the edges together!

“I want yellow paper like the sun!”

“Ah, it’s so sticky my fingers are all stuck!”

We cut them into a nice shapes and then used all our strength to punch a hole in the suncatchers using the hole punch.

“Look, I got it, I’m so strong!”

Finally we threaded some ribbon through the hole and hung them up in the garden!  The children had great fun making these whilst developing their gross and fine motor skills.

“They look so pretty!”

Now we are just waiting for the sun to come back to see what lovely colours and shapes our suncatchers make dancing in the sun!








Happy Campers ⛺️

Today, the children were talking about camping in tents and shared their some of their own experiences together in a small group.

”I have been camping”

”I have a tent in my living room”

“ I would like to go camping “

We decided to bring the outdoors in to the discovery room and build our own tent in our block area.  We shared our thoughts on how we could create this and what resources we would need to collect.

Some suggestions of what we could make or need for our camping experience were – ”a roof ”, “a camp fire”,  “torches”, sleeping bag” and of course “ food”

The children  gathered a variety of resources and began to build the tent using and exercising their gross motor skills. They communicated well and helped one another when building their tent. During this time they were able to problem solve together when they had to think and decide “how will the roof stay on ?” The children had some great ideas – “we could use cellotape”  “string” “blocks” and “pegs” . We decided the pegs and blocks worked the best .

Finally the tent was complete and the children were excited to get inside and begin to make a campfire using some sticks, stones and tissue paper. The children used their imaginations creating a variety of scenarios they have tried before such as toasting marshmallows, fishing, playing mummy’s and daddy’s and Going on a Bear Hunt.

” It’s sleepover time”

”I have made real life marshmallows on a fire ”🔥

”Fire is burny”

Later,  I was invited into the tent join the children and read one of our favourite stories – The Tiger Who Came to Tea before we snuggled down cosy for our sleep in our tent! ⛺️ Goodnight campers! See you in the morning!⛺️

Sunflower seeds

Here at Cart Mill we were very lucky to have received our good to grow package from Morrison’s, thank you to all the parents who supported us with this.

After having a look at the seeds the children asked to plant  the sunflower seeds.

We read about  the life cycle of a sunflower then  gathered together our plant pots, soil, trowels and seeds then set to work.

“we need to leave room for the seed”

”the seed got stripes”

After carefully planting our seeds we filled our watering can to give the seeds a drink before we very carefully carried them to the greenhouse.

“seeds need water and  sun to grow”

We are so lucky to have received a donation of sunflower seeds from Barrhead Garden Tidy team.  The team worked hard to harvest seeds from their own sunflowers which they have carefully packaged with sowing instructions on them.

We have used our excellent mark making skills to create some planting instructions and a lovely Sunflower display at our front door.  Please feel free to take a packet of seeds.

We would love you to share your photos of your sunflowers growing with us.  Why not ask the children to measure them and we can have  a competition to see who’s sunflower grows the tallest!


Planting and growing 🌱

Today in our lovely sunny garden we were super busy planting our potatoes. We had previously left our potatoes in our greenhouse in the sun to chit, so we looked to see if our potatoes were ready to be planted, they were so we got started. The children used their gross motor skills for digging, carrying and lifting the soil over to where we are growing our potatoes, they then placed them into the black bag and covered them in soil again.

The children will be taking responsibility for the care of our vegetables in Cart Mill’s garden and that we will need to make sure we are watering them regularly, especially when the weather is sunny. We discussed what things we needed to do to look after our vegetables and also that we will need to be patient while waiting for them to grow.

Spring has Sprung at Cart Mill🐥

Today we have been discussing Spring.  Some of the children were able to identify things we may see during Springtime.

“birds making nests”

“flowers on trees”

“Baby animals being born, Lambs”

“spring flowers in gardens and parks”

We have some lovely spring flowers in our playroom, the children decided they would like to paint them. We talked about the different types of spring flowers for example Crocus, Hyacinth and Bluebell.

” I seen bluebells in the woods”

“daffodils are my favourites because they are yellow and in my front garden ”

“I like tulips the best because my Mum has them at home”

We pegged our daffodils and tulips to a line and put mirrors underneath them. We noticed that we could see the spring flowers reflection in the mirror.

“I can see the purple tulip, I want to paint it on the mirror”

“I’m painting the yellow daffodils in the mirror”

The children enjoyed mixing different tones and shades for their spring flowers. They noticed the differences between the petals on the flowers.

“The shapes are different”

We discussed the different parts of the flower.

“that tulip has the longest stem”

At the end of the day the children didn’t want to throw away their creative work, so decided to print their mirror painting onto a big sheet of paper to make a spring freeze next week.

Well done, great team work everyone.