As nursery practitioners, it is our job to nurture children to blossom and grow into independent little learners. This could be from teaching them to put on their shoes or go to the toilet, to beginning to write their names or follow instructions, socialising, and turn-taking. All of these little milestones have a significant impact on the rest of their life. We try our best here at Angels by Day to give them the best start in life.
In our preschool room, we feel that it is important to have a wide variety of activities set out for the children to explore, so they aren’t just focusing on one specific subject. We generally like to mix it up with a creative activity, a literacy-focused activity, numbers, role play, and many more. We also leave a table free for the children to set up their own choice of activities as this encourages them to be independent, make their own choices, and take turns with their friends.
We feel that literacy is a big part of children’s learning, and that is why we implement this into their daily morning and afternoon routine. Because we offer different sessions to our funded children, who generally attend in the morning or the afternoon, we do this twice a day. Some children get to take part twice! But we have found over the years that the children LOVE the phonics lessons and engage really well. It also helps massively with their language skills.
Each year, we have several children that leave our nursery for school with the ability to read the sound blending books which is outstanding! Teachers and parents should read to their children daily, even though children don’t need to learn how to read until they’re in school. Doing so helps them develop skills such as their speech, teaching appropriate pronunciation and articulation.
Being a child in the preschool room is also about preparing them to become more independent in self-help skills such as:
- dressing, brushing teeth and brushing hair,
- feeding oneself,
- toileting and washing,
- climbing stairs,
- cleaning up messes, and
- blowing their nose.
We encourage the children to be as independent as possible and always get them to try for themselves first before giving support if needed. The children have their own pigeon holes with their names on where they keep their slippers. On arrival, the children will find their slippers and change over their shoes before washing their hands and sitting down for a breakfast of their choice. The children will feed themselves and help themselves to a drink they pour from a jug on the table. We encourage the children to clear away activities, use the bathroom, pour their own drinks, and get themselves dressed for outside.
Cognitive development is related to preschool skills regarding learning and thinking. It is not remembering facts and trivia. Cognitive skills may include; asking questions, developing an increased attention span, problem-solving, visual discrimination, matching, comparing, sorting, and organising, understanding fact and fiction (or the difference between a truth and a lie), understanding cause and effect, and simple reasoning.
Pre-schoolers are full of questions. They love to collect things and also like to practice the same thing again and again. Children love hearing the same story multiple times, but they also love taking risks and trying new things. These are key in the development of their cognitive abilities. Whether at a day nursery or playing at home, these characteristics should be embraced and encouraged.
Learning Through Play
It’s important that we, as nursery practitioners, prepare our little ones to get ready for school; we have to make sure that they are having fun whilst doing so, and what better way to do that than in play. So we ensure that the children have lots of inviting activities to explore. Play is an elusive concept and an essential part of life, not just childhood. But it is absolutely necessary for correct development in the formative years.
Even the cognitive development of pre-schoolers happens most readily through play-based activities, which makes teaching in all the preschool developmental areas all the more important.
Play can benefit a child’s development in multiple ways:
- It builds self-esteem and confidence
- It aids the development of problem-solving skills
- It encourages new vocabulary usage among children
- It teaches a child to collaborate with others
- It teaches children to be alone and independent
- It allows children to release their emotions
- It encourages planning and thinking ahead
Get in touch with us today to organise a visit or ask any specific questions you might have!