Welcome to July.
Summer is here! Once upon a time in our end of Lancashire the beginning of July marked the end of Summer term and holidays. If anyone reading this is planning to get away, I hope you have a great time.
Our deep dive into heuristic play is continuing and with the milder weather we have taken our learning outside- collecting sticks and leaves that can be sorted, painted, glued and used as pretend food. Everyone is enjoying experimenting and creating using corks, pinecones, curtain rings, cotton reels etc. A length of guttering and a piece of plastic pipe has been the source of so much fun as we run cars, balls and water down them
I am going to continue to facilitate heuristic play as we work and play our way through July.
Intent- My aim is for the little ones to gain confidence, independence and enjoy exploring their immediate environment.
Implementation- I will provide carefully thought-out invitations to play using loose parts, observe play, enhancing it as necessary and supporting the little ones as they discover and do, share, and invent.
It is up to our little ones to decide what to do and how to do it. They are in the driving seat of their play which will encourage them to explore trial and error, developing and testing their own theories.
It is fascinating to watch even babies become absorbed in heuristic play. Little ones often
become completely involved in this form of play for much longer than they would typically engage in most other activities.
This type of prolonged engagement helps to develop concentration, and the ability to continue with one train of thought.
Little ones learn to think ‘outside of the box’. Objects are not seen for their normal function, but as tools for their imagination. I have seen pen tops emigrate to the playdough area to make hedge hogs and a blanket has become a camp-fire.
Heuristic play involves so much movement. Moving forward and back, crawling, twisting, turning, jumping and bending. This all helps to promote gross and fine motor skills
Critical thinking develops when our little ones are involved in creating tactics, making choices, having ideas and solving problems.
Basic Mathematical Thinking
When engaging in heuristic play, our little ones will naturally begin to think about an object’s weight, size, shape, texture, and how those differences affect their world and the problem they are trying to solve.
Heuristic play aids our little ones developing language skills as they vocalise and make sounds, often using a range of communication with each other and their carers. This begins with making eye-contact, using facial expressions and gestures, and using their whole bodies expressively. And is further enhanced as older pre-schoolers need to share their ideas, ask questions and work co-operatively in order to satisfy their instinct to explore and learn.
I plan to use heuristic play as a tool in our box rather than an exclusive way of working. We will still have access to actual toys, games and books.
Hopefully, covid is now under relative control and we can enjoy being together once more. But we still need to careful if we are going to stay safe
Doorstep handovers and pickup
Once restrictions are finally lifted I will be able to welcome parents back into the setting.
When your child has come into my house, we will all wash our hands.
Please do not bring any unnecessary items from home ie. Toys
In my setting, I will be wearing clean clothes daily.
To minimise the risk, please ensure your child arrives in clean clothes daily.
Sickness and Isolation
If a child develops symptoms of coronavirus, they need to return home immediately and follow current guidelines.
If your child is feeling unwell with other symptoms (ie other than fever or a cough), please do not bring them as I need to protect my family and other children in the setting from illness and closures which would adversely affect everyone.
Social distancing Guidelines
As well as taking regular walks we have been able to begin attending a group that meets on a community allotment as well as a childminding support group. Every effort is made to keep little ones covid safe.
We will use the garden as much as possible, to limit exposure and cross contamination.
When we are inside rooms will be well ventilated in warm weather.
Everyone has their own drinking beaker (either you can bring from home) or I will supply one. If a child does pick up another beaker to drink from it, I will clean it thoroughly before they use it again.
Children will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly ie before meals, after playing in the garden, after sneezing etc.
We will continue to use separate hand towels for each child, these are changed and washed daily.
If children need to wash or blow their nose, they will be encouraged to do so themselves, dispose of the tissue into a lidded bin and wash their hands. For the much younger children, I will wipe their nose, dispose of the tissue and wash my hands.
Learning at home
With the sunny weather, why not take exploring outside?
Natural materials such as sand and soil provide fantastic opportunities for exploration, investigation and manipulation.
Water is always fun,
I am aware that some of your emergency contacts may not be available due to this virus, If this is the case, please let me know sooner rather than later and if at all possible lets sort out some alternative emergency contacts.
If you think your child cannot manage the day without calpol, then they need to stay at home, as calpol can mask a temperature. I am more than happy to give prescribed medication if a form is completed first.
I aim to get out with the children most days even if it is raining. Please make sure your child has a suitable waterproof and wellies, and as always we will be getting messy!
Thank you for your continued support