CHILDREN at Minehead’s West Somerset Nursery celebrated more than just the New Year when they returned last week.

Stars from the Regal’s pantomime production of Mother Goose were on hand to unveil new outdoor play equipment and helped to officially open the nursery’s new sensory room.

Members of the Minehead Panto People donated tickets to watch Mother Goose for the nursery’s Christmas fund-raising raffle.

The money raised in the raffle was put towards buying the new play equipment.

Pantomime member James Scott, who played baddie Rodney Runn in the show, joined 18-month-old Alice Farmer, winner of the raffle.

Mr Scott was shown around the new sensory room, which was funded by a £8,769 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The sensory room was completed towards the end of last year, and children have been making the most of it since returning to nursery.

A range of visual, audio and tactile equipment, including a bubble tube, music and an infinity tunnel all feature in the new room.

Sensory equipment can help develop key life skills including vocalisation and colour recognition and tracking.

Nursery manager Abi Moloney said: “The room is a real attribute to our nursery; the children are really enjoying playing in there.

“There are lots of touchy feely things and new pieces of equipment for them to play with or just to chill out in.

“A few of the children who come to the nursery have special educational needs and it has really changed them.

“Before some of the children would come in and not know what to play with but now they just head straight for the room, they’re transfixed and it’s wonderful to see them enjoy it.”

The nursery are now working to raise money for more new outside play equipment to help bring more outside based learning.