Find out how The Treehouse Club members are settling in at the new Preschool in Great Totham!

It’s been just over 4 months since we opened our new Treehouse Club branch in Great Totham and our team members have loved meeting and welcoming brand-new faces at our preschool.

The Treehouse Club Approach For Great Totham

The Treehouse Club is unique to other Nurseries and Preschools in Essex, as we prioritise providing children with a Forestry Education. Due to the specific locations of each branch, we can teach children with a hands-on experience in our natural settings, meaning they can develop their confidence and self-esteem through play.

Based at the heart of Great Totham, in the local village hall, the preschool provides a safe space for children to play, develop and grow in a naturally light space filled with natural toys. We encourage our children to be outside as much as possible by exploring the local area and access to our secure outdoor play area.

Local outdoor adventure visits to stimulate growing minds!

St Peter’s Church:

The children love their walk to the local church they observe road safety and the local wildlife, and are often greeted by ponies, horses, goats, and sheep in a smallholding. As the church is always open, our team takes the children inside to look at the beautiful stained-glass windows and quietly talk about what happens at church.

Field Walks:

The local fields provide a great opportunity for our children to hunt for mini-beasts, and collect natural materials to make crafts, such as spiders out of twigs.

The Quarry Park:

Another popular spot for our treehouse club members! The children thoroughly enjoy the freedom of running around a large field that also has an adventure playground with a zip wire, which is a firm favourite for all the children!

Cricket Field:

Being near the preschool, the children frequently visit the grounds of the cricket club. In the surrounding area, there is a conker and acorn tree, the children have enjoyed collecting conkers and acorns this autumn, and discussing what acorns need to grow while planting them in induvial pots back at The Treehouse Club.

Nature Created The Greatest Classroom, The Outdoors

We believe it is vitally important for children to have as much access as possible to the natural outdoors environment and for lessons and play to be delivered outside as much as possible. This allows them  to connect with nature in a fun, friendly, and stimulating way. And so, when we were looking to expand The Treehouse Club, we dedicated time to research the local area, to find outdoor spaces that already existed that we could utilise. The Great Totham area provided us with an opportunity to set up our new Forestry preschool in a rural area and a village filled with a community dedicated to preserving their local area.

Alongside the children’s trips out at Great Totham, this type of learning is also encouraged through their daily activities. For example:

Integrating Nature Into Learning

  • Natural materials are used as part of crafts projects.
    • Conker rolling: the children roll their conkers through their chosen colours of paint to create their own artistic creations.
    • Landscape: The natural resources are also used to create a backdrop on their tuff trays, for the Zoo, Farm, and Minibeast.
  • As a group activity, the children collected a large quantity of leaves, twigs, acorns and using PVA glue, they collectively made a large ‘Autumn Wreath’.
  • Leaf bracelets are a favourite activity of the children, by treading wool through each leaf and joining them up to create a bracelet.
  • To encourage fine motor skill development, we collect twigs on our walks to create twig mobiles, using different colours of thread/wool/beads, the children hang the beads on the thread from the twigs to create the mobile.

These types of activities done independently and, in a group, help a child’s learning and development being tied to natural recreation.

Each day, our team takes the children outside as much as possible, as there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! On top of this, we have a qualified Forestry Instructor, Amanda, who visits all our settings on a weekly basis. She teaches and shares a more in-depth understanding of the wildlife and outdoors with the children.

Our parents at Great Totham have been enjoying the new setting too have a look at their testimonials so far for Great Totham!

“We are really happy, Axel seems to have progressed and settled well. His speech has come along leaps and bounds and we feel the setting is nurturing for him, he is certainly very tired when he comes home after his busy days at preschool!”

The Treehouse Club: The Best Out of School Club in Essex!

The results are in…The Treehouse Club is incredibly proud to announce that we have won the Best Out of School Hours Childcare/Club award in the Essex Mums Awards 2022.

We pride ourselves on providing first class care for children aged 5-11 years at our before and after school programmes and holiday clubs, giving those children a fun-packed, forest-school based adventure.

Our before and after school club at Norsey Woods, Billericay is unique to any other setting. The before school club commences with breakfast, and provides children with the opportunity to socialise with their friends or join in with one of the morning activities before being safely escorted to school.

Our after school club starts with our club children being safely escorted from school by The Treehouse Club professional staff by minibus, car or walking bus before getting stuck in to a variety of fun activities.

Whilst our holiday clubs provide children with an action-packed adventure throughout the school holidays at either our Norsey Woods, Billericay setting or Thriftwood Scout Camp, Brentwood setting.

Activities Include:

• Team building, sports & outdoor activities
• Forestry activities & uncovering wildlife
• Arts & Crafts
• Wide range of activities
• Healthy Homemade Meals
• Meet new friends
• Ideal for Busy Parents
• Strong links to local schools
• Conveniently located to train stations & transport links
• Open all year round with holiday clubs during term times

Ways you can support your child’s Early Years learning progress at home

We’ve already covered you with a checklist for primary school readiness, but when it comes to the link between what your pre-schoolers are doing in their classrooms, and the learning potential there is to continue that process at home, we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves. We know here at The Treehouse Club that parents play a critical role in supporting little one’s learning journeys, and that trajectory should begin from a young as age as possible. By sharing your own enthusiasm for diverse learning opportunities and encouraging an early learning environment at home, this can have a hugely positive outcome for your children. To help with that Early Years learning progress at home we’ve come up with tips to help…

Make Sure Your Child Has All They Will need

From a sun hat to colouring pencils, a water bottle to a book bag, make sure your child has what they need every day before they head off to pre-school (and primary school when the time comes). By paying plenty of attention to these details you are showing your child how important their education is, and having the things they need will help reduce their anxiety and give them peace of mind when it comes to the class schedule each day.

Ask Your Child How Their Day Was, And Discuss It With Them

You sent them off fully prepared for their day, but when they get home make sure you spend time talking with them about their day. Ask about their friends, their teachers, and what they did that day.
By validating their day you are showing them that their accomplishments (and their disappointments) matter to you.

Help Them Become More Independent

Work on basic but essential self-help skills at home including:

  • Self-feeding  
  • Independent dressing (including buttons, zips, etc)  
  • Hygiene and toileting 
  • Helping with daily chores such as picking up toys and setting the table.

Implement Visual Timetables And Routines At Home

Understanding the passage of time can be tricky for some children, so visual timetables that your child can interact with a great way to build positive routines into a little one’s daily life. Routines can help children feel safe, develop life skills and build healthy habits for all round success.

Get Busy With Learning Through Play Activities At Home

Try learning games, basic phonic programmes, pre-school science experiments (making slime, etc) and make plenty of noise turning saucepans into musical instruments! There are so many fun activities you can try at home to enrich those sponge-like minds with positive learning experiences. Mud pies, counting clouds, mixing paint colours, building dens in the forest: it all counts!

Now You’re All Set…

Of course there are no hard and fast rules to how to help your curious little learners at home, but we hope these tips help with ideas to point you in the right direction. If you are also keen to enrol your little one into a pre-school that has a successful school readiness programme as well as a nature based, child-led curriculum then do get in touch with our Admissions Team to find out more about The Treehouse Club.

The benefits of Tuff Trays and why we love them at The Treehouse Club

Here at The Treehouse Club we love implementing our learning through discovery ethos with a sensory-packed Tuff Tray activity! If you too are looking to add this child-led activity to your adventures at home, then this is just the blog for you.

When Is My Child Ready For Tuff Tray Play?

Typically, the best time to begin your Tuff Tray activities are when your child is around two years old. This is the perfect stage of development whereby they can use their gross and fine motor skills well enough to see, touch and engage with their Tuff Tray investigations. At this age children are also able to more effectively listen, learn and adapt which means they will get the most out of collaborative Tuff Tray play. It is also worth noting that between the age of around two and through to primary school age, imaginations really begin to soar. Imagination is very important when it comes to Tuff Trays!

What Are The Benefits Of Tuff Tray Play?

  • Teamwork and collaborative play are important for group work and classroom or preschool settings, and Tuff Tray play encourages excellent sharing and social skills.
  • Both listening and language skills are boosted thanks to the need not just to listen to instructions, but in children using their language skills to explain what they are doing and how they are doing it to their friends, teachers and parents.
  • Creative expression is definitely a huge part of Tuff Tray play and all that sensory, tactile fun will really fire up imaginations and creativity.
  • Spontaneity is another skill learned via Tuff Tray play as with this activity anything goes!
  • Tuff Tray play also provides endless opportunities for learning through play activities. No matter what kind of themes you use in your trays, there’s aways scope for teaching children words and facts relating to what they’re doing. Whether you create a land of dinosaurs or an ocean, a building site or a forest, children will pick up lots of knowledge and language skills along the way.

Our Favourite Ideas For Tuff Tray Play Set-ups

With the benefit of having the forest literally on our doorstep, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to natural materials we use for this child-led learning opportunity, including:

  • Mud – Sometimes slimy, sometimes dry, always fun!
  • Leaves – Sometimes crispy, sometimes soft, natural and enriching.
  • Twigs – Not sticky, but definitely textured and unique every time.
  • Sand – Firm when pressed quickly, soft and yielding when gently pressed.
  • Water – Cool and wet to the touch, it glides fast and hugs your fingers.
  • Hay – Coarse yet flexible. Wonderful smells of autumn!

We also love incorporating sensory materials such as:

  • Foam – Feel for it and it’s almost not there!
  • Bubbles – Always fun, requires the gentlest touch not to burst.
  • Pasta – Crunchy and rough, but quickly softened by water
  • Rice – Similar to sand but more easier to manage.
  • Paint – Gloopy, colourful, messy, the best!

Give Your Child The Gift Of Outdoor Inspired Play

Get In Touch Today

Keen to know more about how our nursery and pre-school schedules include learning through discovery, STEM-focused activities daily? With our EYFS curriculum and hands-on approach to teaching children to be engaged, keen, curious, life-long learners we would love to invite you to come and see for yourselves how successful our programmes are.

We have settings dotted around the Essex countryside in Billericay, Wickford, Brentwood and Ingrave and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about The Treehouse Club.

Get in touch today with our Admissions Team to find out more and to arrange to come and visit us!

Open Days For 2022 At The Treehouse Club

See Why Outdoor Learning Greatly Helps And Aids Your Childs Development

Our Open Days give parents the opportunity to meet the team, see the facilities, learn about our ‘outdoor learning philosophy’ and understand more about how our settings operate. 

We offer children the chance to discover our gardens and outdoor play areas, making them the perfect opportunity to explore and have all your questions answered.

No matter where you are on your nursery journey, everyone is welcome to join in on the fun. Follow the link to see our address, express your interest or just come along.  

Open Day Dates For All Settings:

Thriftwood Scouting Centre, Brentwood | Tuesday 10th May | 6:30-7:30pm

Thriftwood Scout Centre, Orchard Ave 
Brentwood, Essex CM13 2DP 

Dollymans Farm, Wickford | Wednesday 11th May | 6.30-7.30pm

Dollymans Farm
Doublegate Ln, Rawreth
Wickford SS11 8UD

Norsey Woods, Billericay  | Wednesday 11th May | 6.30-7.30pm 

Norsey Woods Education Room
Outwood Common Road
Billericay, Essex CM11 1HA 

Langham Hall Preschool, Billericay  | Wednesday 11th May | 4:00-5:00pm

Langham Hall Preschool, 
Langham Cres, 
Billericay CM12 9RD 

St Nicholas Hall, Ingrave Preschool | Monday 16th May | 3:30-4:30pm

St Nicholas Church Hall, School Lane
Ingrave Brentwood CM13 3RB 

What can you expect on the open day? 

  • Meet and greet with our Managers and wonderful dedicated team 
  • Tour of our space and facilities 
  • Comprehensive Q&A session – have your questions answered 
  • Learn about our ‘Forest School & Outdoor Learning Philosophy’
  • Garden space open for children to explore 

Get In Touch / Book Now

If you have any questions, kindly contact us on:

Telephone Booking No:  01277 402 018 

Contact Information

Discover Our Settings

Brentwood, Nursery,
Thriftwood Scout Centre,
Orchard Ave,
Brentwood, CM13 2DP
01277 402 016

Billericay, Preschool,
Langham Hall,
Langham Cres,
Billericay CM12 9RD
01277 297 899

Billericay, Preschool,
Quilters Hall,
Laindon Road,
Billericay CM12 9LL
01277 297 465

Billericay, Nursery,
Norsey Woods Education Rooms,
Outwood Common Road,
Billericay, CM11 1HA
01277 656 921

Great Totham, Preschool,
Great Totham Village Hall,
1 Maldon Road,
GT, Maldon, CM9 8NH
01621 468 020

Ingrave. Preschool,
St Nicholas Church Hall, School Lane
Ingrave Brentwood CM13 3RB
01277 297 024

Wickford, Nursery & Preschool,
Dollymans Farm,
Doublegate Ln, Rawreth,
Wickford SS11 8UD
01268 956 005
Booking No: 01277 402 018

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