Learning through play is a great way to encourage independence and exploration as part of early years learning. Discover our 3 favourite activities.
Though sometimes parents may not see the method to the madness, play is a vital part of early years development. Children are fully involved in play and use their bodies, minds and emotions; they learn to be in control and confident about themselves while interacting with others. Here are a few ideas for stimulating activities which get children exploring and encourage independence.
1. Dressing up
Children love to dress up and to pretend to be other people, animals and superheroes in different settings.
Tip: Section off a role play area with curtains to make it more theatrical, and provide for all the senses with special lighting and sound effects.
2. Building a den
Outdoor environments allow for plenty of different types of play with wide spaces for movement, den building, climbing, running, and messy play.
Tip: Provide a box of den building materials such as old sheets and blankets, bamboo canes and ropes, bendy sticks and pipes.
3. Building blocks
Blocks are an open-ended resource and can take many different forms from empty food packets and boxes, to big wooden crates, and traditional wooden building blocks.
Tip: Add small world, people, animals and vehicles to a collection of different types of blocks to help children create situations and stories.