How we stimulate children’s learning

Reading area

With a range of books to access for children inside and out, either on their own or within a group, our relaxing areas to read/look are warm and inviting to children. We use story sacks to bring alive our storytelling and to re-enact a story.

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss

Mark Marking Area

It’s imperative that children are given the time and space to develop their gross motor skills at their own space. Children are exposed to different types of mark making using paper, pens, pencils and envelopes.

We have a typewriter as another form of mark making. This is great to show the children cause and effect.

“You can make anything by writing” – C.S Lewis

Role play

It’s not all dressing up as Princesses and Super Hero’s! Children learn the skills to do up buttons, zips, Velcro and buckles. They act out characters and scenarios with their peers, using their imagination and becoming someone different.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, where imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand’ Albert Einstein” – Albert Einstein

Mud kitchen area

Mud pies, sand castles, looking for worms, measuring, counting ‘ingredients. All of these bring with it a development for maths and science skills. It’s a sensory experience for children to squeeze or poke with their fingers. Children learn social skills whilst playing with their peers through communication and cooperation. It can also help to build immune systems!

home area

Here we have authentic items that children have in their own homes, encouraging children to role play in familiar surroundings. From making cups of tea, to using kitchen utensils promotes gross motor and measuring skills.

“The most beautiful world is always entered through imagination’ Helen Keller” – Helen Keller

loose parts area

This has endless possibilities and a myriad of benefits to children. It is non-gendered and non-themed. Loose parts play is suitable for every single child on this planet! All children can use and adapt loose parts according to their ability. They don’t have to be at a particular level of education, they don’t have to be at the same level as others playing, and they can have success. When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” – Maya Angelou

construction area

Creative skills are born here! Using spacial awareness, geometry, shapes, and
problem solving, to name but a few! Using natural materials and authentic resources; cardboard tubes, wooden planks, carboard box and crates, children can create a whole new world for exploration! Children will experiment and explore and develop curiosity.

small world play

Small world play is really fun for children and is the ideal platform for nurturing children’s imagination. It provides children with an opportunity to explore materials, act out scenarios from real life, build language, practice social skills, and gain an understanding of the world. Small world play also benefits adults, allowing them to engage in a fun and meaningful way with children at the child’s level. It also offers an important glimpse of the world through the eyes of a child.

“Think and wonder. Wonder and think” – Dr. Seuss


Community involvement and engagement produces long-term benefits in children’s lives. It gives them a sense of belonging and is crucial to the building of their identity. Children grow emotionally, intellectually, and physically through both their relationships and through their community. The local community in early childhood becomes the supportive, positive, uplifting foundation of a child’s life.

We have strong contacts with our wider community with Charles Kingsley CofE and St. Mary’s Church. Laurna and Alison are also committee members at Eversley Village Hall, where we organise fun events for both children and adults.

“It takes a village to raise a child” – Anon


Rolling, flattening, poking, stretching, squishing, chopping, moulding with malleable playdough is not only fun for children but helps build strength in their hands and gets them ready for scissor control. It also helps children with hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

We use herbs and plants from nature to enhance a multi-sensory experience, with opportunities for children to speak about what they can see and smell. There is an array of mathematical opportunities when making playdough, from weighing, numbers, shapes and prediction.



What Parents are Saying


Miranda Sparkes

Laurna, Ali & team are amazing.

They make your child feel like they are home from home. They offer a great service with useful opening hours at a good price & food that the children will eat. Every time we drive past Autumn Cottage, my little one shouts out “hello autumn cottage” and then asks when she is next there again and bounces around happily when I tell her.

Would not hesitate recommending Autumn Cottage to other parents.


Emma Lewis

All 3 of my children have attended Autumn Cottage and our family has now celebrated 10 years with Ali and Laurna. We had previously had childminders and tried a local nursery but nothing compares to Autumn Cottage. From structured topical play for the little ones to support with homework for the older ones. Convenient pick-up and drop-offs and the children being able to attend after school clubs.

Ali and Laurna feel like an extension of our family and I know they would be there for any of our children if they needed it, including the now 18 year old!


Claire McCarthy

The Team at Autumn Cottage are just fabulous! My little Dude absolutely loves it there and I wouldn’t dream of sending him anywhere else! He always comes home so happy and has clearly had the best time!!!

The Ladies are amazing and always offer advice when I need it (which is more often than not)

Thank you for being so wonderful!!


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Get In Touch

Location: Eversley Village Hall, Glaston Hill Road, Eversley, Hampshire, RG27 0LX

Telephone: 0118 380 1671


Hours: M-F: 7.30am 5.30pm