I would like to thank everyone who took the time out of their working hours and free time to come to our ‘stay and play’ session this December. It was lovely to meet so many parents and grandparents alongside their children and grandchildren exploring the nursery environment.
Children were eager to show their families how to play ‘Who Stole Your Honey Pot Mr Bear?’ at our welcoming circle time activity and thank you to those families who were brave enough to be the bear!
Alongside the free flow activities there were opportunities for new practitioners to introduce themselves and for all to talk with families about their child’s learning informally, sharing information, and learning how our children express their interests at home and at nursery. It is always fascinating to realise how children see their world and how it is expressed outside of the nursery environment.
Children took the opportunity to share play with their families inside and out, exploring building blocks, small world play including cars and animals, crafts, playdough, bikes and castle building developing their problem solving skills alongside social interactions, physical ability, imagination, creativity, knowledge and understanding. Well done to Kate who has been practising her play dough making abilities and wowed us with the bright red dough that left us all slightly more colourful than when we arrived! This was the ice breaker we all needed to feel at ease and enjoy the play.
There were many opportunities for practitioners to explain how the foundation stage and the many areas of learning can be developed in each activity and adapted to extend individual children’s learning from mark making drawing building plans, to counting, estimating how many bricks will be needed to reach a given point, how to work together and giving children the responsibility of decision making, setting the rules and boundaries of play that allow us to work together.
Practitioners were able to talk about schemas and the different ways children learn from play emphasising the importance of child initiated learning. If a child is engrossed in play they will learn.
The ‘Stay and Play’ session has given us the opportunity to share observations and celebrate children’s achievements at home and in nursery. Parent’s sharing their knowledge and understanding is highly valued by staff as this helps us understand each child as a whole. Practitioners will be looking for ways to build on these in terms of planning to extend children’s learning.
It was wonderful as a practitioner to see children taking ownership of their environment, showing delight, proud to share their space with their families. Thank you to everyone who entered into the spirit of the evening and to those dare-devils who negotiated the dark garden without injury including its bike riders travelling at high speed!
Our next ‘Stay and Play’ shall be in February for Burrow movers and new children to the setting. We shall send invitations with the details in January 2016. Given the success of the December ‘stay and play’ we shall be planning more events for us to share…we’ll keep you posted!