Little Pumpkins Day Nursery in East Croydon was designed by MK Kids Interiors
Size: 457 sqm across 4 floors
Nursery Brief – Modern, state of the Art Nursery to accommodate 100 children. To create strong branding on the exterior of the building with signage.
- Incorporate branding in the entrance, and make more welcoming and airier
- Storage needs to be accessible for children.
- Blackout blinds is needed in all rooms except pre-schoolers.
- Modern Fresh
- Clients wants to incorporate technology for learning, for example, introduce modern technology as an educational tool to educate our pre-schoolers something that no other nursery offers.
- Interactive projector in sensory room.
Key Demographic – Local residence, children of all nationalities (age 3 months – 5 years old)
MK Kids Interiors transformed this nursery and increased enrolment.
Using the ‘Understanding the World’ theme inspired by one of the seven learning areas, we created the graphics and branding to form themes for each room.
We wanted each child to have a different experience as they graduated through the nursery, no two rooms were the same. However, we kept signage the same throughout the interiors, incorporating 3D wooden signage for children to identify the activity taking place in each area and as a source of inspiration, shown in the reception. This is to encourage the children to identify letters and begin learning how to read.
In our design each room in particular the toddler and pre-school room must address the seven learning areas of the Early years education sector, some of these points are mentioned in our previous blog post ‘Things to consider when designing a day nursery”:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive art and design
The Nursery Reception
A nursery entrance must be open and welcoming for parents and children alike; to create a stunning statement nursery, with better lighting – that would amuse children and impress their parents.
Baby room for ages 3-6 months- 2 years
This room needed to accommodate 12 babies. The theme for this space will be pastel colours with soft textures. Perhaps we could consider a black and white or high contrast area in the baby room, as babies up to around 6 months only see in black and white.
The baby room was fairly small in comparison to the other spaces. In the baby room we proposed stackable chairs with tables attached and a bay window seat with storage. The corners of the room were designed for larger items, such as a ball pool as well as a mini crawling apparatus with a slide. The floor space was left open for toys and crawling babies. As an alternative to cots that would be fixed to a space, we proposed stackable beds, adding to the flexibility of the room. This room hosted a changing room, with storage.
The Sensory Room
We wanted the sensory room to be a room of escape from reality for children and parents. We designed an interactive projector, a bubble tower, fibre optic lights and a mezzanine for children to hideaway. A hidden ball pool was incorporated under the mezzanine and behind the wall.
Our initial idea was to knock the wall out to open the room and create an interest with the waves theme in the ball pool area. The floor was to be a water effect hard-wearing vinyl, to give that calm effect that was provides.
A technology wall and a tactile wall with various textures on panels for the children to explore, was a must have.
Toddler room for ages 16 months – 2 years
This room was naturally light and airy with large windows.
- For health and safety purposes we designed plant boxes that would sit on the window sill as a barrier. An additional purpose of the plant boxes was also to decorate the room and introduce nature. We used the alcoves for low curved upholstered seating for the children, to relax and read on. This room was designed to accommodate 24 children, this room also hosts two toilets and a changing table. The changing area has a vision panel for child protection and safety.
- Wall space was allowed for display boards for children’s work and specific for staff planning.
- This room hosts plenty of storage units for cooking utensils made easily accessible for children yet safe.
- Early years mark making is essential for pre-school children; (a variety of mark making tools of different thickness and sizes, pencils, crayons etc.) to be stored near the tables or blackboard. The giant wall mounted boards were designed for children to use while sitting and standing children; making it easily accessible to all.
- A small worlds area was designed – This area could be a train station, a forest, airport, dinosaur park, pirate ship, placed on low storage units. Children can sit on the floor on cushioned floor mats to play.
Toddler Room ages 2- 3 year olds
- The toddler room was to host 24 children, we proposed height adjustable tables, and plant boxes to teach children how to plant and grow foods.
- To combat the darkness of the basement we proposed a cognitive light therapy panels that gives the illusion of day light. The artificial daylight system would mimic daylight and the sun. An additional benefit to this daylight system is that it reduces anxiety in the users and reduces the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (known as SAD).
- The toilets are to be fresh and inviting with soft colours, words and modern graphics on the walls or doors, reminding children to wash their hands and flush the toilets etc. An additional benefit would be to teach children through these methods about personal space and privacy. Our initial ideas were to introduce soft music in the toilets with nursery rhymes and songs, encouraging children to use the toilets. It should be an exciting experience to foster independence.
Pre-schoolers room for ages 3- 5 years old
- The city themed room needed to accommodate 35 children and various activities, including eating. This was the only room that gave children direct access to the garden. We strategically designed a unit to sit in the centre of the room, to prevent children from running around in the space. Research found that, children tend to run more, in open plan spaces, therefore, the unit comprising of storage and an open reading nook, was strategically placed in the centre of the room to reduce such activity. Inspired by the city we designed a backlit city scape to form as a feature in this room. The space was made flexible with stackable tables and stools, making the space versatile for various activities.
- This room had an adjoining room that we proposed as the ‘Messy room’ to host, wet play, art, investing and a workbench for design and technology. Next to the adjoining room is the toilet that had one cubicle, we added an additional cubicle by changing the layout and making better use of the space.
Staff Area – Second Floor
- The second floor hosts a a staff room, with kitchenette. A staff toilet and an executive office.
We are grateful for the amazing team that made this project possible to complete, Sarah, Zahra, Tex, Teekall and Otto. We are also grateful for the advice received from nursery staff, Thelma, Denise, Mary and Abigail. See our blog post on Things to consider when designing a day nursery.
We hope you enjoyed reading about this day nursery project we designed. If you need help designing your pre-school, feel free to contact us on:
MK Kids Interiors xxx