Childcare with a focus on natural play and learning
Rangers Natural Play and Learning fills a niche in Tower Hamlets for parents looking for a more free-range, child-led approach to childcare. Offering places to children aged 1 and upwards, Rangers Kindergarten occupies a small building and gated outdoor space in a shady corner of Bethnal Green park. Under the supervision of watchful staff, children roam freely in the outdoor space, which offers a mud kitchen, rope swings, allotment and even a campfire. The nursery has also just been given a fire license, and children are taught to take care within the ‘fire circle’ of log seating.
Staff offer a gentle and non-confrontational approach to learning that enables children to take risks, and which encourages imaginative play within a natural environment. Most meals are organic and are taken outdoors, but when the British weather gets too much, a charming indoor space offers toys and activities in a welcoming environment. The ethos is holistic: children plant and grow vegetables, make bread and even churn butter for their own meals, with activities geared towards both utility and beauty.
“Naturally, at this year’s summer festival, an annual event put on for parents by staff and children, we ate biscuits decorated with edible flowers made by the children who wore crowns made from flowers they’d grown in the garden. We left with a handmade bee mobile made by staff and children.”
In all, Rangers Natural Play and Learning offers an antidote to London living for children who may not have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at home.
by Christina Franks
Funded places available for 2, 3 and 4 year olds
The middle of Bethnal Green Garden next to Bethnal Green Library.