Grant holder
Louise Peaker, NECA
Project status

The Froebel Trust awarded a grant to NECA Community Garden to launch a new 'stay and play' outdoor group for local parents/carers and their young children.

A project which explores how play and connection with nature can support a child's growing relationship with others.

Project summary

Froebel Trust awarded an Innovation Grant in 2019 to NECA for their Mini Muddy Fingers scheme (Plant. Create. Play. Educate) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Mini Muddy Fingers scheme aimed to open Greenhope’s garden gates for pre-school children (0-5) stay and play sessions twice per week. Children and their family/carers were given unlimited access to the garden, with freedom to actively explore and play imaginatively in a safe and welcoming environment. Based centrally within a housing estate, the garden provides opportunities and experiences that children may not otherwise have access to.

Mini Muddy Fingers encourages children to grow, learn and work together for a healthier happier future; from planting a single seed to designing and caring for an entire bed of plants. The project aimed to harness children’s eagerness and natural curiosity.

Project leaders wanted the group to explore how play and connection with nature can support a child's growing relationship with others. Mini Muddy Fingers encourages parents/carers and their children to learn together through outdoor play and adventure.

Louise Strong (NECA) & Kate Razzall (Froebel Travelling Tutor) shared details of the project during the the Froebel Trust Conference session on Nature Play held in March 2021.

Kate Razzall, a Froebel Travelling Tutor, also wrote an article in June 2020 about her experience of supporting the community allotment group at NECA.

Research documents

Final Report Innovation Grant Mini Muddy Fingers NECA Louise Peaker