Recovering Play – Let me make the choice!

Let me make the choice!

Allowing children to choose resources.

What is it?

During Covid access to resources had to be reduced, but do you still have some resources that are not accessible to the children or some opportunities you don’t provide that you used to?

Why is it important?

Children need to be free to choose where they would like to play and what resources they would like to use. This enables them to plan what they want to do and independently access resources they need. Children need to have opportunities to explore, and develop their creativity and curiosity; do your resources allow them to do this?

How to bring it back

Resources should be presented in an interesting and inviting way, open baskets, trays etc.,  which will draw the children in. Trays should be labelled with pictures and print so children can find what they want without having to pull every tray out. This also supports pre reading skills. Children should  be supported to return resources when they are finished with them or put their creation on display or take a photograph of it to be shared with home and added to their profile.

As always, all resources need to be cleaned as per your infection control procedures.

Sharing with home

On your noticeboard, newsletter or online communications, you could share with families the importance of allowing children to have choice and how you provide this. You could also share how you encourage children to return resources to where they belong when they have finished using them. 

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on bumps2bairns.com

New Care Inspectorate practise note ‘Keeping children safe: supporting positive lunch time experiences in ELC’

This practice note is designed to provide support and guidance to ELC settings (including childminders and school-aged childcare) in the planning, preparation and provision of nutritious and healthy meals and snacks for children.

It contains guidance on how to respond and reflect on your practice. Specifically thinking about the environment, roles and responsibilities of staff and the needs of your children. It also includes scenarios for you to discuss.

Recovering Play – Chefs in the Making!

Chefs in the Making!

Children Preparing Snack

What is it?

Most children are very interested in food. They often like to ‘help’ whoever is preparing food and then eat it too!

Children preparing snack can be seen as quite time consuming and it’s just easier for an adult to do it.  Is it a case of ‘feeding’ the children or interacting with children to provide rich experiences?    The effort is worth it for the benefit to the children.

Why is it important?

Snack is a wonderful opportunity for many learning experiences. Using utensils to prepare/organize snack develops fine motor skills. Talking about what they are doing and why, can lead to learning conversations around healthy eating, caring for the environment and where food comes from. Useful beginnings to lifelong skills.

How to bring it back

With careful hand washing and supervision and following your settings health and safety procedures children can be involved. Try to have utensils which are a suitable size and safe for children to use and support them to learn how to use them correctly.

Children could grate cheese or vegetables or wash fruit, they can also wipe tables, set out dishes/cutlery, and fill jugs. Children can count the number of children and match the same number of dishes etc. 

To enable children to measure and mix can they help to make playdough?

Remember to be aware of allergies even during the preparation.

Sharing with home

Share with families how your hygiene procedures keep everyone safe and also the importance of healthy eating. Encourage families to involve their children in preparing food at home too. Share photos of children doing this in nursery.

Setting the Table, Eatwell Guide and Food Matters documents all contain lots of good ideas. Snack and mealtimes should be unhurried experiences for children in a homely situation where possible.

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on bumps2bairns.com

New dates for ‘Oh no! 2 year olds in our setting!’

Many ELC settings now have 2 year-olds or are about to have them soon.  If folk are used to working with 3’s and 4’s, it might take a bit of adjustment.  Some people say it’s just the same for any age group, while others might be worried about making sure they are doing the right thing.

This session is all about developmentally appropriate spaces, experiences and interactions for two-year-olds, and what this looks like in practice.  The idea is to have a relaxed hour to discuss any concerns or difficulties and work out solutions.  But also to explore how working with younger children can be fun and rewarding, and draws on the skills that people already have.  We’ll highlight some useful tools, too, and where to go for guidance and inspiration.

Everyone should get some new ideas for their settings, and hopefully feel good about working with 2’s – whether they are already with you or about to arrive soon

NB – Session will NOT be recorded to allow open discussion

For: Early Years Practitioners, and SMT with responsibility for ELC settings

Presenters: Jennie Drummond (EYESO, West) and James McTaggart (Early Years Psychologist)

Dates:

Tues 22nd November, 3.30-4.30 via https://meet.google.com/rxk-vhgt-yjm

OR

Weds 30th November, 3.30-4.30, via https://meet.google.com/ehf-pxmu-zfr

Updated guidance on notifications

Care Inspectorate have updated their document ‘Records that all registered children and young people’s care services must keep and guidance on notification reporting’.

The changes have been implemented to clarify Care Inspectorate’s expectations on the reporting of medication incidents (page 10), following queries from providers. They have also strengthened their expectations around the content of allegations of abuse notifications (page 12).