At Cracker Jacks Day nursery, we encourage lots of spontaneous and free play however alongside this we plan set activities for each day. We split our planning into sections such as mark making, messy play, construction, role play and media & interaction. Activities based on these sections should be available everyday as they encourage the Characteristics of Effective Learning from the EYFS.
The Characteristics of effect learning are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
As individual key workers we plan activities on our child’s interests and next steps. Each activity will be labeled with children’s initials so that all staff know which activity is intended for which child/children. For example, if Polly enjoys playing with the dolls and her next step is to learn body part names we could plan for our messy play activity to be bathing the dolls. This would encourage Polly to join in the activity as well as staff leading the play talking about the names of each body part being washed.
We also work in partnership with parents to incorporate what’s going on at home into our daily planning. If a child has been to the farm over the weekend we might put the farm animal set out, read some farm animal books or paint some pictures of farm animals to extend their learning.We also look at special holidays that happen over the year and incorporate them into our planning like Easter, Bonfire Night, Chinese New Year and Christmas. Likewise, we bring in mini themes that could be based on children interests or a topic for learning such as under the sea, colours, healthy eating and zoo animals.