Smiles and Giggles nursery on a ‘no plastic’ mission

Plastic free fun at Smiles and Giggles

A St Peter’s nursery is calling time on plastic toys in a bid to get children to use their imaginations and discover the world around them.

It is out with manufactured toys and in with conkers, pine cones, dressing up clothes and real kitchenware at Smiles and Giggles so the little ones aged from three months to eight years old can go on a journey of real life discovery.

The plan to make the Albion Road site into a ‘non-plastic’ nursery was inspired by the belief that some toys can limit a child’s creativity.

Staff member Laura Rayner said: “As a team we felt that a child’s imagination should be the main source of their learning. We want to bring awe and wonder into a child’s learning life. We felt that plastic standard toys actually limit a child;s imagination and dictates their play with very little consequence.

“By using natural and authentic resources the children are learning consequences, if you drop a plastic cup it doesn’t break but drop a glass and it does.

 “The children are learning through risk and challenge and by trial and error, by things breaking around them they learn how to handle items with care, to be gentle and cautious. 

“We see children as our future and of great importance so we believe they should be trusted with real objects not fake imitations. 

“Authentic, natural resources consist of different weights, different sizes, detailing, different smells and textures, they allow a child to really experience the real world. So, the children go to the park and the woods and bring natural objects back to the nursery – conkers, leaves, twigs, sticks, acorns, pine cones/ They are excited by their finds and to show them to the adults who look after them and their friends and family members.”

The children are taken on treasure hunts so they can learn about the outdoors and have fun, such as jumping in puddles – especially important when children have so much ‘screen time.’

Laura added: “Our aim is to support the children in our nursery to enjoy the world around them, children find magic in everything – a conker shell that floats and can be a boat, holding a coloured glass up to the sunlight to produce a rainbow on the wall, dressing up in grown up clothes to mimic their family life and be anybody they want to be. Everything is at the child’s eye level so they can experience their learning environment fully.”

Smiles and Giggles Nursery, at 32 Albion Road, is holding an open day on Saturday, November 16 from 10am to 1pm for families to look around, join in activities and chat to staff.

Find out more by calling 01843 602115, or go to [email protected]