Learning through Play

Play helps young children to learn and develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills through doing and talking, it’s a means by which young children learn to think and act. It is also how they learn to socialise, as children engage in learning experiences with other children and adults.

At school our facilitators uses tools to ensure that children from birth to five years are developing and learning to their full potential. Providers plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the following areas of learning and development:

Prime areas

Specific areas

Your childcare provider will observe your child to assess how they are learning and developing. They will use this information, along with evidence from photographs, videos and work samples, to document their progress and where this might be leading them. They will update you regularly through informal discussions when you collect your child.

When your child is aged between two and three years, our person will work with you to prepare a summary of their development in the prime areas of learning thus enabling you to work together to decide how to help your child to move onto the next stage of progress.

There are lots of opportunities for you to help your child grow and learn. Parents can support their child’s development by choosing activities at home, which gives them a chance to explore and use their imaginations.

 

Play activities

Make believe play

Children love to have the chance to make up their own stories. You can help by supplying some simple items to aid their imaginations. For example, you could set up a mini‑kitchen area, with some pots, pans, plastic cups and plates. This offers children the chance to:

Energetic play

By setting up an obstacle course in the garden, or taking them to the local park, you can help them to develop physical skills such as:

Small worlds

Organising small‑scale train or road layouts, dolls houses or farms, gives children the opportunity to:

Sounds and music

Children love rhythm, dance and singing, and helping your child to experiment with songs and rhymes develops many skills, such as:

You can sing favourite songs, nursery rhymes or make up your own tunes. Gently clapping your child’s hands, or moving your knees to the rhythm as they sit on your lap, all adds to their enjoyment. You can also borrow some CDs or DVDs from the library with actions and songs on.

Water

Playing with tipping and pouring water from one container to another helps to develop muscular strength and hand‑eye co‑ordination. Children also begin to understand the principle of conservation as they discover that the same quantity of water can fill containers of many different shapes. As they tip and pour, they also learn to think in terms of full and half‑full, more and less. You can set up a bucket or washing up bowl outdoors, with various objects such as plastic jugs and cups or watering cans, so children can experiment with pouring and filling water, or you can play with water at bath‑time.

Building blocks

Children gain powerful emotional satisfaction from knocking down a tower and then building it up again. This game also develops their mathematical skills – they learn how many blocks they need and how tall their tower is. Making estimations in this way strengthens their understanding of numbers. While building with toy bricks, children also learn about measuring and balancing, about making a plan, deciding what materials are needed for it and then carrying it out. Building activities develop hand‑eye co‑ordination and manual skills as children select and manipulate objects.

Parental involvement

As a parent, you are your child’s most important educator and research shows that parents who are actively involved with their child’s learning help their children to achieve more too. We see ourselves as partners with you in providing care and education for your child.

If you’re keen to be involved, there are many ways in which you can help make the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for your child. You can choose to give as much or as little time as you can spare. You can offer occasional support, for example on daytrips.

Some ideas of ways you can help out include:

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating

A good diet is particularly important for young children as early food experiences will impact on eating patterns and habits in their adult life.

Young children need energy (in the form of calories from food) and nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals to make sure that their bodies work properly and grow. Your child has different nutritional needs to your own and, as their bodies grow and develop, their needs will change.

Food and eating can also provide wonderful opportunities for learning, with activities such as cooking, shopping, helping to lay the table and eating out, or learning about different cultures.

 

 

 

Why is a healthy diet for young children so important?

What does a healthy diet for very young children look like?

Top tips for a healthy start

Developmental Red Flags

Signs and Symptoms of Developmental Delays

 

Every child is different and every child develops at his or her own pace. However, there are specific developmental milestones that all children should be reaching by specific ages. If your child is not meeting milestones or you are concerned about your child’s development, don’t wait! Talk to your doctor.

If your child is two months old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is four months old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is six months old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is nine months old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is one year old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is 18 months old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is 2 years, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is 3 years old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is 4 years old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

If your child is 5 years old, you should consider talking to your doctor if your child exhibits the following behavior:

Click here for Some good reads