A Typical Day At Hopscotch Preston Park
29th October 2021
This snapshot of the children’s day at our Preston Park nursery provides an excellent insight into how a structured approach to play-based activities can benefit children’s development whilst helping prepare them for the transition to school!
An Autumn Role Play
During group times pre-school discuss the date, days of the week, and the season we are in. Recently, the role play area was altered to an Autumn theme that reflected the changing of seasons from Summer to Autumn, which supports group time discussions. The Autumn role play area offers the chance for children to talk about seasonal changes they have noticed, such as the leaves on trees changing colour. In this area the children can utilise their imagination and pretend to be shopkeepers, making use of the till to sell seasonal vegetables. Imaginative play is not only fun but means the children can gain confidence when talking to peers, progressing their social skills whilst also benefiting the development of their numeracy skills. Small groups can sit around the play fire pit and discuss home life experiences. By listening to others, the children can begin to build up a wider vocabulary that reflects a breadth of experiences.
Phonics is a daily activity that develops the children’s literacy skills. At Hopscotch Preston Park we follow the Jolly Phonics program which teaches the children about synthetic phonics. This involves blending and segmenting; words are first broken down into the smallest units of sound, after which connections can be drawn between these units of sound and letters. Blending and segmenting are two of the five skills needed for mastering phonics, providing the children with an amazing head start for school. Each week a new sound is introduced to the children through a story. After learning the sound of the week, the children engage with games and a song to start developing their understanding of the new sound. A pre-writing sheet then helps develop the children’s pencil control whilst allowing them to practice writing the letter that is associated with the sound.
Messy trays allow the children to explore different textures and use new language to describe how things feel or look. As the children have recently been focusing on the book Monkey Puzzle, adding characters from the story to a messy tray gives the chance to explore different textures but also the opportunity to further explore the story and develop their understanding. The children are encouraged to discuss how the different textures feel as well as what is going to happen next in the story, helping to expand their language. This type of activity will also help to boost the children’s confidence when speaking to others.
- A structured approach to play-based activities benefits the children’s development
- A role play area allows the children to explore their imagination whilst progressing their numeracy and social skills. It also supports wider conversations on topics such like seasonal change.
- The teaching of phonics is invaluable for the children’s literacy skills and also provides them with a brilliant head start for school.
- Messy play offers a chance for the children to explore new textures and vocabulary at the same time as developing their understand of stories the class are learning about. This activity also benefits the children’s confidence when speaking to others.