The Importance of PLAY
We love this article from COMMUNITY PLAYTHINGS, who have supplied the Nursery with much of our play equipment.
In it they say:
“Playing is what young children spend most of their time doing from the moment they wake up until they close their eyes at night.
Grasping the significance of play helps us see inside the child’s world and appreciate the impact playing has on development and learning. Through play, children learn about cultural norms and expectations, discover the workings of the world, and negotiate their way through their surroundings. Play teaches children about themselves, others, rules, consequences, and how things go together or come apart.”
The article also defines the elements of play, illuminating its central role in young children’s learning and development. They focus on toddlers and pre-schoolers, age groups that spend most of their time involved in exploration and play and also address the critical role of adults in supporting and extending children’s play.
What does Monkey Puzzle do to encourage play?
We believe that the best way to help children develop is through plenty of active play. We give them lots of time, space, and opportunities to use their muscles. We have lots of movement classes like yoga, Pilates, ribbon writing and climbing on the climbing wall, but we also focus on free purposeful play, which is also as effective.
We are experts within our field and offer a unique Nursery school experience
As the only Nursery in the area with a qualified chartered physiotherapist on our staff, we are totally unique in that we able to provide expert guidance and ensure that the development of gross motor skills is at the forefront of everything we do at the Nursery, incorporated with the EYFS and STEM learning that is part of the curriculum.
We have ensured that every piece of equipment and furniture within the Nursery is optimised to encourage play and therefore the development of gross motor skills, such as our paddle boards or the Hokki stools which we import from Germany. We bought these because children need to fidget and move all the time. It is what makes them so much more dynamic than us and helps them to process information. Hokki stools are designed to be slightly unstable so that children cannot slump and have to naturally sit upright. This puts them in the optimum position to activate their core muscles which in turn activates their body and mind.
We Take it outside.e outdoors is where children want to be. The equipment we have in the garden such as the tunnel, the mounds and the slide and beams have been specifically picked to encourage play and facilitate the development of gross motor skills. That is why we provide open access to the garden every day and encourage the children to complete a lot of their daily activities outside. The garden also reflects the areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and allows problem solving on a grander scale.
Children learn by example so we let them see us building things, dancing, playing and climbing and even do regular Yoga and Pilates with them. During reading time, we share books about people who lead active lives so that the children become aware of and see other people (adults and children) being active.
We include play activities in all of our daily routines and encourage play and movement even when we are doing Arts and Crafts.
Play and Purposeful Movement is at the core of everything we do at Monkey Puzzle West Norwood. We understand and recognise that children are active learners. So, in our daily schedule we incorporate two specific physical activities per day, were we blend the specific areas of the EYFS -maths, literacy, understanding the world or art and design with physical play. For example, we might for example get the children to roll ball onto numbers or letters, or use the paddle board to pull themselves to specific letters or numbers
Come and visit our Nursery
If you would like to come and see how we incorporate play into our everyday activities please come and visit us.
If you would like to read and learn more about movement and why it is so important have a look at this website: https://www.activematters.org/about/