Nursery’s fairy garden helps children ditch the dummy

Staff and children at the Tree Tops Nursery in Belper enjoy their new fairy garden; (l-r) Leah Milner, Euan Garrity, nursery manager Stefanie Reardon, Ava Kulec, Chloe Seaton, and Jessica Riley
Staff and children at the Tree Tops Nursery in Belper enjoy their new fairy garden; (l-r) Leah Milner, Euan Garrity, nursery manager Stefanie Reardon, Ava Kulec, Chloe Seaton, and Jessica Riley

A Belper nursery is looking to cast a spell on the town’s toddlers after creating a magical fairy garden to help wean them off their dummies.

Treetops Alton Manor Nursery, on Gregorys Way, has opened its garden area to the whole community with a promise that the resident fairies will work their charms on any dummies left there.

Ava Kulec, 4, and Euan Garrity, 3, explore their new fairy garden

Ava Kulec, 4, and Euan Garrity, 3, explore their new fairy garden

Manager Stefanie Reardon said: “It’s something to help those families who might be struggling to ditch the dummy, which is an important stage in speech and language development.

“We encourage the children to give their dummy up to the fairies, then overnight something magical happens.”

The principle is similar to that of dummy trees, used by many other pre-school groups, but Stefanie hopes that families will make use of the facility even if their children are not registered Treetops regulars.

Anyone can leave a dummy in the garden with a note of their name, and the next time they visit the name will have been transferred to a painted stone or garden ornament.

The nursery also offers open services such as baby massage and stay-and-play sessions, intended to make it as accessible as possible.

Stefanie, who took over the nursery in February after working in the Derby area for 15 years, said: “The garden is something to show we’re doing things differently now too.

“People can build up certain perceptions about a place, so I’m trying to introduce positive changes and show how everyone can be involved.”

The nursery has recently benefitted from a major refurbishment.

The fairy garden is already in place but it will be officially opened by the Mayor of Belper on Monday May 8, when parents will have the chance to tour Treetops and meet staff.

To find out more, visit www.treetopsnurseries.co.uk or call 01773 829242.