L is for Learning Environment
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.”
(Marie Montessori )
I am currently in the middle of an MA in early years childhood studies and it would be hard to ignore how important a good learning environment is for young children’s development. This got me thinking about how Play-away could provide further resources to The Revival Centre nursery to develop and help stimulate the learning experience of the young children. Play-away’s mission is to provide support through play for young children , which includes every aspect of their learning. Here are some of the ideas ….small steps….
Create a quiet carpeted book corner area, where children can sit with a teacher or their friends and learn to enjoy books and develop their communication skills away from a large group. This lovely photo I found from lovelylittlebookworms.blogspot.co.uk shows how simple but effective a quiet space could be.
Role play and Dressing up
I am collecting donations of dressing up clothes, puppets and dolls to see if we can encourage some further creative play. It will be interesting to watch how they respond but I am aware of the culture difference in attitudes to play. Education is so vital in Uganda for all children and is taken very seriously that this type of play may not be seen as a tool for learning as we understand it. Children learn so much through this type of play , it could become a valuable tool for children who often have very difficult lives to express their emotions and re-enact their lives which helps them make sense of it.
In 2012 Play-away provided the first playground for The Revival Centre nursery so I am looking forward to seeing it in action and how we can further develop their resources. We often see young children in a playground full of equipment running around using loose materials, cardboard boxes and musical instruments, improvising and creating their own games. This type of child-initiated play could be expanded and developed further in outdoor play. Play-away would like to introduce some musical instruments outside made from basic resources, such as old pans and spoons.
Hopscotch could be painted on the floor which would help children learn games together, build relationships, encourage number recognition and build confidence.