• Joey Kendal Brown


Updated: Aug 25, 2018

Earlier this month, I was invited to Squirrels Tabernacle Nursery to find out exactly what sets them apart from other nurseries.

Comprising of three days at the 'home from home' Nursery and two at the Farm and Forest School, it's not hard to see why the lucky 12 students have a real zest for life. Each day is different and there is so much flexibility for parents. With a minimum requirement of two mornings a week or one full day, your children will have their days filled with exciting yet educational activities, helping to build confidence and initiative.

The team comprises of a minimum of four teachers at any one time, ensuring a safe environment for the students to thrive in. It was clear from meeting all of the wonderful teachers they love what they do and have a fantastic bond with all of the children.

Upon my arrival at the Forest and Farm school, there was an instant uplifting mood as the students darted around the play area without a worry in the world. But, why would they when they have a day of sheep shearing, making mud pies and petting freshly hatched chicks ahead. You could say they were embarking on a baby Bear Grylls experience.

Speaking with Jen, the mother of Katie who has been attending Squirrels nursery since Christmas, who said her daughter is able to explore nature using her creativity. Even after moving to the UK from South Africa, she instantly enjoyed the whole experience.

To show me just how fun a day at Squirrels is, I got up close and personal with the resident herd of sheep, held my very first chick and swung from the trees in the Forest School. I must say, I haven't had this much fun outdoors in a long time!

For me it's not just the activities that sets Squirrels apart from other nurseries, but the smaller touches, for instance, teaching the children to warn others of possible dangers by posting little warning flags next to brambles, and allowing them to explore their creativity with their very own hand made tools. There is a phenomenal wealth of knowledge from the teachers and a real eagerness from the children. Come rain or shine, the children layer up in their high-vis jackets and embark on their next adventure.

Each day the parents are sent an array of images from what their little kiddies have been up to!

At Squirrels 'home from home', the day is no less exciting with a giant sand pit, climbing frame, hula hoops, a classroom and play room to choose from, where the children buzz around until their little hearts are content.

During my time with the students they were learning about the textures, flavours and colours of an assortment of exotic fruits. The eagerness to learn was so endearing and again it was clear the children were utterly delighted with their surroundings.

There is such a relaxed and natural atmosphere at Squirrels, and the children quite clearly thrive in their environment. You can see why the Nursery has gone from strength to strength over the past 17 years with Penny as the owner and founder. She lives and breathes the whole process. It's not a surprise that word of mouth alone has kept waiting lists full over the years.

The nursery runs in line with school timings and terms, so it's great practice for when the kiddies are ready to head off to school. Of course, naps are still important to some of the toddlers so bean-beds are pulled out in the classroom and the blinds are drawn for down time.

All in all, I can't recommend Squirrels more. Your children will get a unique experience preparing them for their years ahead, and most importantly, not an iPad in sight!

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