Little Muddy Me
Outdoor Forest Preschool, Bray
Little Muddy Me is an outdoor preschool situated by Bray Lake in a beautiful woodland on the outskirts of Maidenhead, Berkshire.
It is the first preschool of it’s kind in Maidenhead as it is purely outdoors. Classed as a Forest Preschool, Little Muddy Me is all about fresh air and going back to basics. No electronics or having the children cooped up in a classroom. Instead each child can focus on friendship and imagination. They can play safely and climb tree stumps, play in the mud kitchen or read a book in the tepee tent.
Outstanding Ofsted Report
Little Muddy Me (which is the sister preschool to Ofted Outstanding Preschool ‘Little Me’ in Bray) is for children aged 2 – 5.
Learning through child led play, each child is able to be independent. By building memories, learning new life skills and developing at their own pace, there are plenty of activities for them to get involved in. They can safely cook on the camp fire, use tools and risky play under the watchful eyes of the experienced team at the preschool.
This nurturing environment allows children to be children without distraction. There is less ‘screen time’ and more connection with nature and each other. They can go on bug hunts or have quiet time in the hammock.
They also have the opportunity to practise yoga every week by a qualified yoga teacher from Pure Yoga.
There are undercover areas for sitting in and for lunch and snack time. Plus children are free to go in the tepee if they wish.
In hot weather, the trees shade the children from the direct sunshine so they are safe at all times.
Parents will be advised on how to dress their child for the outdoors in all weather and what to bring along each day.
Government funding is available for children from two years of age. Plus a range of child care vouchers are accepted.
Little Me and Little Muddy Me Preschools in Bray, Maidenhead are run and founded by Vicki Egaar, a qualified forest school leader with a BA honors degree in early years.
From September 2023, the team will be taking on older children up to aged 11 who are home schooled for flexi schooling. Children who struggle with mainstream education will be offered a practical or project based way of learning. There are no desks or walls, but freedom and kindness. Get in touch with Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As well as Little Muddy Me, you also own Little Me Pre-School in Bray. How long have you worked in childcare?
I have worked in childcare since I was 16 so 21 years
Have you always wanted to work with children?
I have always wanted to work with children when I was younger I did a lot of babysitting.
What made you decide to set up Maidenhead’s first outdoor pre-school?
When I set up at little me we have a small wooded area which we started to regularly use, I started to notice the difference in behaviours and how some children thrived in that environment. I researched forest school and then trained as a forest school leader and I haven’t looked back.
Do the children adapt well to all weather conditions?
Yes, children tend to not feel the cold as adults do, as long as they are wrapped up with an all in one on. ‘There is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing!’
Do you think that parents will now see the benefits of an outdoor preschool?
Yes some parents weren’t sure to start with but when they experience the benefit, they are amazed. Covid has made it more important than ever to be outside as much as possible.
What clothing and equipment do the children need when they are outdoors everyday?
In the winter, thermal layers and and waterproof trousers, jacket. Warm socks and gloves!