Making a splash! Council invests in outdoor water play for nursery children

Forty nurseries and early years centres in Edinburgh are benefiting from an investment into garden water features to give young children the opportunity to experience natural, active play outdoors.

£68,000 has been set aside to support improvements to nursery grounds for water play over the next few months as part of the Outdoor Play and Active Learning programme that over the last two years has made significant enhancements to the outdoor play experience for children.

Twenty nurseries and early years centres will work with a children's play consultant in order to develop their ideas and implement their plans. Another eighteen establishments will be given funding to design their own imaginative water play environments and support will be provided by the Council's outdoor play and learning staff.

Garden water features have already been installed in the grounds of both Spinney Lane Nursery School and Gilmerton Child & Family Centre in recent months as part of the project.

Councillor Paul Godzik, the city's Education Convener, said: "We firmly believe that young children should have the best available play environments and we want more children to experience outdoor, natural play during their time with us. The investment will benefit young children for many years to come and put this Council at the forefront of delivering high quality nursery provision for the city's children."

Spinney Lane Nursery School was the first nursery to have a water feature installed as part of the project and it has proved an instant success with the children. The design features a dry river bed and hand pump that allows pupils to interact with the installation.

Gilmerton Child & Family Centre have also benefited from a new outdoor water play space for the children that was installed earlier this month.

Depute Manager, Nick Reynolds, said: "The children have loved the opportunity to experience outdoor water play. The feature has opened up a whole range of new opportunities for the nursery garden - a place to find materials for bridges and dams or a simple fishing rod. It's been fantastic to watch them invent so many different ways to use it."

The Council is committed to enhancing the outdoor play environments of children as part of the Early Years Strategy launched two years go. Officials visited Berlin last year as part of a study trip with the Grounds for Learning scheme to examine the different approaches taken to enhancing outdoor space in kindergartens.

The programme has helped make small grants available to the council's nurseries and early years centres, as well as helped train teachers in how to bring more natural and outdoors play into the learning environment.

Nurseries/Early Years Centres:

Bonaly Primary School Nursery
Cameronhouse Nursery School
Clovenstone Primary School Nursery
Corstorphine Primary School Nursery
Cowgate Under 5s
Craiglockhart Primary School Nursery
Craigourpark Primary School Nursery
Craigroyston Primary School Nursery
Dalmeny Primary School Nursery
Duddingston Primary School Nursery
Flora Stevenson Primary School Nursery
Fort Child & Family Centre
Gilmerton Child & Family Centre
Gracemount Primary School Nursery
Granton Primary School Nursery
Greendykes Child & Family Centre
Gylemuir Nursery
Hailesland Child & Family Centre
Hope Cottage Nursery School
Leith Primary School Nursery
Liberton Primary School Nursery
Liberton Nursery
Lochrin Primary School Nursery
Longstone Primary School Nursery
Moffat Early Years Centre
Newcraighall Primary School Nursery
Queensferry Early Years Centre
Sighthill Primary School Nursery
Spinney Lane Nurser
Stanwell Nursery School
Stockbridge Nursery
St Catherine's Nursery
St Davids Primary School Nursery
St John's Primary School Nursery
St Joseph's Primary School Nursery
St Mark's Primary School Nursery
St Ninian's Primary School Nursery
Tynecastle Nursery School
Tollcross Gaelic Nursery
Viewforth Child & Family Centre

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