Big , wet and messy! Just what they all really enjoy! As part of their "under the sea" theme we made a big dark den, and painted the inside black. Some children just had to get the paint in their hair, and some parents were not amused, although the learning points were well explained! The children thoroughly enjoyed the construction, planning which big bits of cardboard should be used, using duct tape to fix them, waterproofing it with a shower curtain, painting the inside and outside, then making "seaweed" around the entrance as a finishing touch. It has survived several week of rain and still looks good!
A relatively simple adaptation to a bird table to make an upstand can give you the opportunity to plant the roof. You need a water retaining mat and an 'off cut' of Sedum roof 'turf'... (if you can get it! ) otherwise you can just plant the Sedum yourself! Children can help you do this, measuring the timber edges, learning to use a saw, screwdriver etc. as well as doing the planting. Happy birds.
I love the huge spider made with the children in Reception as a 'sign' for the big hunting zone. Hessian body and twig legs!
This is a great example of children involved in a real construction project.
They worked in teams to prepare the clay mix and then fling it at the wall and beat it down! a very energetic job. ...watch this space for the finished article!
How about this as an example of an alternative to a fully enclosed fence where defined spaces are needed but where children can chose to cross the boundary. A low fence here takes into account a favourite old tree trunk, which can be climbed over and/or used as a base for small world or imaginary play. This can be a type of 'one way valve' where younger children on one side can chose to join the older ones on the otherside (as I understand this to be the case here) but the older ones are asked to keep their exuberant play on "their" side of the boundary or to play with the younger children "at the stump". A lovely example in my view, of non-prescriptive design that affords a variety of interpretations.