Learning Through Play
We are always learning through play
Learning at every opportunity
At Norland preschool we ensure each child is learning through play each and every day. From exploring our outdoor play area and searching for bugs and running freely, to strengthening relationships with their peers in the home corner as they play 'mums and dads', to creating sensory trays to help the children use their senses and develop their descriptive language. We believe that letting the children play and explore is the best way to learn.
Bringing praise and positivity into the setting
How do we teach the importance of kindness, respect and positivity?
We come together at the end of each day to talk about what kind and caring things we have done for one another that day, and how it makes others and ourselves feel. In our cloak room you will see our ‘Kindness Tree’ display in which children’s faces are added throughout the day when we see them do something selfless, kind or caring. This could be anything from helping another child put on their coat to saying something to make them smile. This display is for everyone to see and where the children can feel proud of themselves. We also have an ‘I CAN!’ display board in the main room where children can bring in photographs, certificates and medals for Show and Tell before putting them up for their friends to see and celebrate! This can be anything from a swimming certificate to being very brave at the doctors, we like to celebrate accomplishments no matter how big or small.
Just some of our preschool activities include:
Water: The children are given the chance to play with water and learn about floating and sinking, pouring, filling, emptying. Children learn to work out problems and to concentrate.
Wet and dry sand: They learn lots of things about mathematics and science, such as pushing, pulling, emptying and filling and finding out what sand can do, i.e. pour, mould and build.
Creative area: The children get an opportunity every day to paint, model or draw. Sometimes paintings are not meant to be anything but your child will be learning to make marks, choose and mix colours, use scissors and make something that is their own work. Sometimes the activities will require adult help, but the main thing is if your child has had a go and enjoyed the activity.
Role-play: Children love to try out what it feels like to be different people or animals. Pretend play helps children come to a compromise, act out situations, use imaginary talk and introduce narratives into play. The home corner is changed every half term to offer the children a variety of situations.
Construction: The children are given chance to make models with bricks, both large and small. Building is fun, but also helps them to learn about shape, number, space and balance. Children can develop their technology skills such as designing, building, making changes and recording.
Outdoor play: The children get a chance to play outside every day, weather permitting, so they always need to have a coat. It gives them chance to run, jump, climb, throw and pedal, as well as the opportunity to observe changes in the weather and the environment.
Dancing/Singing/Story time: The children are given the opportunity to listen and respond to a range of music and to try out different musical instruments. The children are also encouraged to join in with action songs and games. We have circle time each day which involves discussions, singing, listening, playing games or pretending to be in imaginary situations. Sometimes we use props such as Ted or a mobile phone to pass round to ensure each child is given an opportunity to join in and to encourage children to take turns. The children soon learn to listen and it also helps the less confident children to use a prop to speak. Listening to others and taking turns to speak are very important skill and ones we do encourage at pre-school.
Tabletop games: The children play tabletop games such as shopping lists, dominoes, shape and colour games and snakes and ladders. They learn to count, write and take turns to share. There is a good choice of jigsaws for the children to choose from too. In all these activities the children learn to talk and think, discover new things, solve problems, do things for themselves, plan what they are going to do next, concentrate on what they are doing and learn to ask for help when needed.