Engaging families in children’s learning during lockdown at Grantown Playgroup.

At Grantown Playgroup we use online Learning Journals to record children’s progress. This has a built-in messaging system which makes contacting families really easy and straightforward. Under normal circumstances we update parents each weekend with the coming weeks’ planned activities and expected learning, snack menu and any important information that they need to know. During this lockdown period, we have been keeping all our families updated with the planned activities and learning for the keyworker and vulnerable children who are still attending Playgroup and encouraging the other families to try some of the activities at home. We include links to websites with appropriate play ideas. For example, last week the children were learning about snow and ice, so we included links for snow dough recipes, freezing and thawing activities and how to make paper snowflakes.

We’re seeing good levels of engagement, with families trying out the activities we’ve suggested at home. Some are posting pictures on their child’s Learning Journal with a description of what they’ve been doing, whilst others are posting on our Facebook page.

Making snow dough during lockdown.

Mixing the dough is hard work, even the cat thinks so, but it is a great sense of achievement when it is done.

The online Learning Journals allow parents to document learning from home and upload photos, so we have reminded parents of this, and we have already had several families upload observations. Staff are then able to comment and make suggestions to scaffold learning further.

This week we are participating in the ‘Big School Birdwatch’ to co-ordinate with the main RSPB Big Birdwatch weekend and we have been encouraging families to register and take part. We have shared the link provided by RSPB and suggested activities for pre-school children to participate in, some of these have included ideas from the ‘Learning in Lockdown’ ideas on the Highland ELC Blog.

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