Children learn best when they are engaged and enjoy what they are doing. Children at the nursery are encouraged to learn from others, have fun and enjoy being out in the countryside experiencing all that there is around them.
Whilst out walking the children see a horse in the field, what can we learn? Why do horses need coats, what do they eat, are they happy with sheep in their field, why do they wear shoes? Children have very enquiring minds and often ask questions at the same time as coming up with the answers. We as practitioners must allow them the time to come to these answers and provide opportunities for them to discover these questions and answers.
By spending time in the garden the children learn how things grow, what they need to grow, where food comes from and how to look after plants, all useful tools for later life. They also learn about safety and good hygiene, particularly hand washing before eating.
Statistics tell us that boys don't read as much as girls, is this because we try to make them all conform to our ideas of what reading looks like? Try changing the places boys can access books and the sort of books they have access to. Not everyone enjoys fairy tales!
Reading and word recognition doesn't only have to be done using books, children enjoy reading from a variety of resources. Young children will recognise pictures long before they learn to read the words so make sure pictures are real life and picture recognition will quickly develop into word recognition.
As practitioners we teach the children using our experiences and strengths, it is always a bonus when you can find talented people to visit the children to share their strengths with them. Children learn so much from an expert teaching them a new skill, not only the skill itself but how to interact with strangers, gaining confidence and communication (often including new words)
Children are social animals who enjoy the company of others, they learn from each other and work together to achieve a common a goal. Most of all they love to have fun.
Nurseries should be places where children can be enriched with a variety of knowledge and nurtured so that they grow and develop into creative, free thinking individuals where play and exploration is the primary mode for learning.
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To understand what children are expected to learn and at what age visit here and download a copy of the early years foundation stage.