The Clifton Children’s House Montessori

This design provides a natural play landscape filled with lots of planting, loose materials and interactive play elements. The gravel surface with sleeper path ensures the whole space is useable in all weather conditions, whilst helping with the drainage and providing a loose material for the children to play with. A variety of dens and structures provide opportunities for a range of play and social functions, along with having a focus on climbing, balancing and coordination to maximise the physical potential of each child. The woodchip area with mud sink and digging corner creates a designated area for getting messy. A large lean-to shelter provides a large covered area, whilst still allowing lots of light to get through. Underneath the canopy a large storage cupboard was built to house wellies, play equipment, coats and other useful bits and bobs as well as a hand wash area.

Since re-developing our outdoor space with Green Play Project the children have been able to explore and enjoy the outdoors in a myriad of ways. Having a covered patio gives us access to the area all the year round, and the improved storage and shelving means that the children benefit from greater freedom of choice, which in turn leads to higher levels of well-being and involvement.

We particularly wanted the children to have opportunities for climbing, and the Green Play Project have cleverly provided this with steps, clamber logs and a tunnel, and we notice how the children are enjoying the challenges and risks inherent in these. The new covered sand pit and permanent mud kitchen provide areas where materials can be explored and combined, and the textured surfacing of pea shingle and bark also provide sensory experiences.

We have found Green Play Project to really understand what children enjoy and need, and how the outdoor area can be fully utilised. They have also shown sensitivity to our wishes to provide an environment in line with our Montessori ethos and that helps us work towards being an Eco-School, eg. in recycling water in the mud kitchen, putting in a water butt and areas for insect-friendly planting. I do not hesitate to recommend Simon and his team who not only understand children and their needs, but also create structures and spaces that are beautiful and very well crafted.

Mary Lazo, Principle

gravel safety surface - Teepee Den
Coloured perspex windows - raised den
Nursery garden - natural playground - children playing in mud
Logs - painted - seats
Nursery garden - loose parts play - den - early years natural play