A whole new group of 16 toddlers in an entirely new building. That was the positive challenge for the Rainbow crèche in Denmark. However, the new facility had but a grass field for outdoor play and educational purposes. Planning an outdoor area from scratch means identifying key objectives. What educational and other purposes should the playground serve?
For the play offering, the Rainbow went for a variety of gross motor activities: swinging, climbing, balancing, sliding. A consideration of children’s need for social contact and creativity was part of the play planning: ”Even though the 0-3yearolds are mainly preoccupied with the near world, other children and social interaction are important. We arranged for a roomy sand box so that they could be together when exploring and creating with the sand,” tells Susanne.
Working closely with KOMPAN, the association The educational manager of the Rainbow, Susanne Nielsen, had an educational target to stimulate the motor skills of the toddlers first and foremost: “To toddlers, the managing of their own body and the space around them is a learning process and a fun challenge. Play is a wonderful way to encourage that learning. We made rubber-covered hills with motives that make sense to toddlers, as an additional sensory stimulation to the surrounding grass and the big sandbox. The rubber allows for bare feet play, too.