Outside Play and the Natural World

At Upper Knapp Farm we place special emphasis on the importance of the natural world in shaping child development. Direct experience of the complexity of the natural world involving smells, sounds, textures, colours and visual beauty help instill a sense of connectedness and well-being so important in childhood.


We have created several different spaces for children to engage with and challenge as they develop:

  • The Barn Garden, specifically designed for the Under Twos. In this garden, there are several different ground levels, enabling the children to develop their physical skills and confidence. You will also find their mud kitchen with herbs nearby, allowing the children to explore their senses, as well as a range of baby friendly resources to investigate. 
  • The Courtyard Garden, where the children have a variety of resources to use, such as the Urban Noise Maker, the sandpit, the large scale painting tools and the wooden building blocks. Here, you will also find equipment to support the children's physical skills such as the footballs, tennis rackets and hula hoops. 
  • The Woodland Walk, a hilly path that leads from the Courtyard Garden to the Willow Garden. You may even find some fairies living here!
  • The Willow Garden, named after our gorgeous willow tunnel that the children love to hide in and explore. In the Willow Garden, we also have a mud kitchen with various kitchen equipment and bottles to create our own potions. We also have a wonderful story telling area, enticing the children's imagination.
  • The Allotment, where the children grow many types of fruit and vegetables- right from sowing the seeds to harvesting them for the Kitchen staff to cook for our meals. We also have two large pear trees nearby that the children adore picking for their snacks!
  • The Wild Garden, our newest addition to our outdoor area. In this garden, you will find the bug hotel, magnifying glasses and binoculars to investigate the wildlife around us. We also have a large mud pit with lots of diggers!