Play underpins the EYFS and is how the curriculum is delivered. It also reinforces learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. Because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps them develop the ability to concentrate.
Here are a few examples of how the toys and activities we have in Early Years will support your child’s learning and development:
- Sand and water play can be an early introduction to science and maths, eg learning that water is fluid, not solid, and that it can be measured in different sized containers.
- Playing with dough, drawing and painting pictures, dressing up, playing with dolls can encourage creativity, imagination and expression of feelings.
- Building blocks, jigsaws and shape sorters can help with recognising different shapes and sizes, putting things in order and developing logic.
- Playing ball games, dancing, running, climbing all help to develop body movement, strength, flexibility and co-ordination skills.
- Games help with turn taking, sharing and mixing with others.
- Singing, playing simple music instruments help to develop rhythm, listening and hearing.
- The role-play area is a wonderful place for make-believe, dressing up, trying out different roles. It provides scope for developing imagination, language, sharing, co-operation and mathematics.
- Through cooking the children are able to discover the properties of different types of food as well as developing language, mathematical and scientific skills.
- Playing outside every day. It is important that children develop their climbing, sliding, and jumping skills. The children have an opportunity to play in the mud kitchen as well as riding bikes and scooters.