Curiosity and Wonder
Early childhood is such a magical time! So much to explore, to discover, and new skills to develop. In our nursery, we pride ourselves on helping the children in our care to build solid foundations for their future, preparing them for the next stages of life. Of course, literacy and numeracy are important skills for school readiness and we have plenty of opportunities for these to be actively encouraged. Alongside this, developing that sense of curiosity and wonder is central to them having a deep desire to learn and a love of knowledge.
We have recently been introducing more elements of ‘loose parts’ into our free flow play. Loose parts are a wonderful way for children to engage in imaginative play that encourages the development of many skills – from understanding shape, space and measure to creative thinking and problem solving. Simple, everyday items can be used for this type of play – toilet roll cylinders, boxes, even sticks and stones! Adding in ‘special’ items, such as shiny stones, bottle tops and mirrors can also add a sense of awe and wonder. By encouraging children to be curious, to explore and to think outside of the box rather than using prescriptive toys for a single purpose, we can fully engage children in their own learning and focus on extending this, based on their interests and the provocations this creates.
Some of the ways that we already incorporate this type of play for the children are in the garden and in our construction zones inside, with den building and the construction of crates, planks and blocks. Our intention is to continue to develop this further in our indoor space with new items and ‘special’ pieces for exploration.
For further information about this approach and some great ideas on how to take part in loose parts play at home, take a look at the below links:
So be free and creative with your loose parts! See what wonderful creations can be imagined and what skills are encouraged through problem solving and critical thinking. Please do share with use your own experiences with your children so we can continue this learning at the nursery too.