Thursday, 23 March 2017

Seeing the potential of resources.

A simple pallet mud kitchen is so popular in Bear Woods, I think it'll have to be expanded. 
This week the weather has taken a much colder turn again, last week we were outside a few days with no coats on and yet here we are this week all wrapped up with hats, gloves, scarves and lots of layers! But it has been dry & that really does make a difference to the outdoor play. I find on dry days the children use the whole outdoor space whereas on wet days some stay under the roof and only a few venture out to play with water on the slide or painting in the rain.

This week I was able to put the large Community Playthings hollow blocks out into the playground and the children had so much fun building different structures all week - from cars, to boats, to chairs or castles. 

I recently listened to a colleague talk about how children in her class were questioning things a lot less than she had found a few years ago, she worried that she rarely heard the 'I wonder what might happen if/when.....' type of musings from her class of 7 year olds. I was quite surprised because that's all you hear in nursery most days as the children look at resources and equipment and think 'what might happen if.....'
Sometimes as adults, we can forget how the resources and equipment are new or different to the children and it can take them a while to see their full potential, just because we know how they can be used doesn't mean that it is as obvious to the children, nor do I think adults should always just show children how to use resources. It makes more sense to allow them to discover the potential & as a staff we have to stand back at times and just watch & see how the play unfolds. 
A few weeks ago, after mainly using them to sit in or step on or fill with water, one child picked up a bilibo and put it on their head - an instant monster! Then a few others realised the fun of this & joined in and hey presto we had an invasion of monsters pottering around the playground for a while. 
Likewise the children have been using the red tops to store water and only recently discovered they could actually spin around them, it is lovely to hear the laughter as a couple of children squeeze into them and spin upside down but it was only this week that one child put a top on top of a tyre and found they could climb inside. Then a few more joined in and they became pirates in their ships keeping watch for sharks!
Invasion of the bilibo monsters!

I love that young children never see any object as just one thing and can see that it can have name different ways of being used. 
I also love their potential to problem solve and evaluate risk taking. One child saw a stick & some netting up high in a widow den, so he got some 'H" crates and tried to reach it but still couldn't so he got another stacking crate and tried again but it still wasn't high enough so another child suggested another crate stacked on top and finally he could get up to get the stick & netting. However the child who had brought the 2 stacking crate wasn't yet comfortable with that risk so he took it off each time he wanted to climb up and then his friend just put it back on again for his more challenging climb.

Can't quite reach it yet but his friend has the solution.

This week they have been so excited to spy a scarecrow up on the hill above nursery, opposite Bear Woods - it looks down onto the nursery playground & so they were very happy to get up close & see it when they visited Bear Woods - the discussion had been whether it was Harry O'Hay or Betty O'Barley (that old is it a boy or a girl question!) & decided it is Betty O'Barley. (Read all about these pair in The Scarecrows' Wedding by Julia Donaldson)
"It's Betty O'Barley"
We had out first visit to bear Woods for a while this week & it is so lovely to see how much this class just loves being up there. They can happily spend over an hour just pottering around, rolling down or climbing up the slope, balancing on the mossy log, rolling large silver garden balls along the benches or pretending the mossy log is a broomstick. 

So here's to more outdoor adventures as we enter Spring and begin to see warmer days (I hope).


  1. God has made everything meaningful in this universe and everything has its own identity so we can recycle it as per requirement.

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