TINY tots are 'growing' places as they take to the great outdoors to expand their learning.

Little ones from Bluebird Family Centre are thriving thanks to creative play sessions in the garden.

Led by the children, the 'Loose Parts Play' sessions encourage the kids to be creative and inventive in their environment.

They wiork with lots of different materials with no specific set of directions, getting their hands on crates, tyres, planks of wood, water, sand or mud.

Ailie Rankin, who is an early years teacher at the nursery, said: "The loose parts play has been fantastic.

"The children have been so enthusiastic about it and get so much out of it.

"One of the most popular activities is the kids covering an old boat in mud and then washing it off.

"As a result of playing outside, the children are more tuned-in to play.

"They are learning using all of their senses and are much more engaged.

"They are also much more in control so it develops their independence."

To expand their project, the nursery are looking for donations of materials such as old guttering, plants, old sheets, old bicycle parts, curtain rings, wood and old decking.

Ailie said: "We are also looking to fundraise to buy more all weather suits which will allow them to play outdoors throughout the seasons.

"We have a stock of these suits but we need more.

"If anyone has any old wellie boots that the kids could use, they would also be welcome."

Anyone who could help should phone the centre on 715722.