HOW WE PLAY
I encourage the children to be hands on in the front & back gardens. Watering and deheading, observing and harvesting herbs all give the children opportunities to understand nature, life cycles and all the benefits of being in nature.
At Home from Home we have a dedicated playroom space, full of wondrous resources and opportunities to explore and ignite curiosity. From the wonderful nature shelf that the children use to display treasures we find out & about, to the role play corner full of real life items in the kitchen and dress up boxes.
I regularly rotate the resources based on the children's current interests, the nature study topic and to enhance any Next Steps the children are working towards.
As we are a Home from Home Setting, the children have full access to the downstairs of my house. The living room is open and clear for the children to extend their play into, to snuggle up on the sofa whilst reading or listening to music.
This is also where the children nap and have quiet time using the sleep mats provided. Each child when starting the setting is given their own blanket for nap time and on this I sew any badges the children earn throughout their time here.
Although we have a small space, we have crammed in alot to explore and enjoy.
We have small, accessible flower beds for the children to dig, plant and grow plants & veggies, a nature pond to observe wildlife, plenty of bird feeders to attract a variety of birds.
We also have a wonderful, handmade, outdoor kitchen, mark making shed, climbing frame and a variety of equipment to aid outside play.
I have a wide range of resources and encourage the use of loose parts and authentic items. I love books and the children have access to many both in the playroom & living room. I am adding handmade woolen & wooden toys and I roatte the resources to encourage exploration and follow interests.
Cooking has numerous wonderful benefit s & ways to engage learning. From creating something to nourish yourself & others, to weighing, counting, mixing, scooping, rolling, waiting, timing, smelling, tasting, manipulating, feeling, sharing - the experience is endless. We cook something each week, based on seasonality, what we can purchase from the allotments, children interests & food experiences, weekly topics & what they fancy.
I encourage the children to take ownership of the space by helping take care of it. We feed the birds, care for flowers & plants, observe the wildlife and talk about how we can encourage more into the garden.
One thing we are never in short supply are BOOKS! There is nothing lovelier then seeing a child select and read a book.
I have books and a book bench in the playroom with story bags and props as well as finger puppets should the children wish to extend their learning and enact a story.
In the living room we have a book shelf full of books that we rotate as well as books we may display as part of invitations to play
I endeavour to give the children a wide range of outings from trips to the wood, beach and local heritage sites, to fruit picking, snack shopping and getting resources to suit current play ideas. I have membership to English Heritage, Wildwood, Hernebay and The Powell Cotton Museum, Birchington
INVITATIONS TO PLAY
A great way to spark a child's imagination and engage them in a topic is to set up an Invitation to Play.
This can simply be a few prompts around a story to give a child the opportunity to play, problem solve, imagine and so much more.