Understand the characteristics of an enabling play environment.
Understand inclusive play practice.
Understand current frameworks in relation to play and learning.
For this task write some guidance notes to share good practice in early years’ settings around the provision of quality inclusive play practice.
Explain the characteristics of an enabling environment for children which must include the indoor and outdoor environment, to show:
how to provide a stimulating, safe and secure enabling environment
The ways to promote children’s confidence and independence
The benefits of outdoor play
how to provide a stimulating, challenging and risk taking enabling outdoor environment
Understanding of current research in relation to outdoor play. (D5)
An enabling environment needs to be suitable for the age, stage and needs of the child who are using it. There will be different areas and activities within the environment that will stretch and challenge children. There will also be spaces where children can use their imagination and have free-choice play. In setting we must take into consideration that you need spaces for the different areas of play, we need to make sure that the colours we use in the rooms are bright and attractive so the children feel like these areas are welcoming and stand out, the right lighting is essential because you are not going to have dim lighting when you are doing a creative activity you need bright lighting and dim lighting when the children are sleeping or watching a film. The furniture has to be at the children’s height in my setting in the baby room we have smaller chair and highchairs so the babies have easy access to the table when drawing or painting or doing jigsaw puzzles, we also have a book corner where the various types of books and soft books are at the child height making it easier for them reach, the equipment has to be age appropriate so you would not have older toys for babies you would have a sensory area with sensory bottles and a mirror for the children to see themselves this help them develop their holistic development.
Indoor ; outdoor environments-
Indoor environments need to be a big open space where children can still move around but you also need to make sure that there is nothing that can harm them when they are playing so if I was using the parachute I would make sure we had a large space, and make sure there is nothing for the children and/or child can hurt themselves on.
When babies develop their confidence and independence, the environment will need to be completely safe for them, as babies and toddlers have no sense of danger. When setting up the learning environment for babies you will need to consider:
Babies should not be able to reach or pull down anything that may harm them.
Cover all electrical sockets or have them covered and you must keep all cupboards locked.
Make sure there is no small items left on the floor as this is a choking hazard.
The outdoor environment has a significant role when it comes to play, providing for the developmental needs of all children. Enabling outdoor environments can be nurtured and their physical skills can be developed, this can also help with behaviour.
Children gain massive benefits form outdoor learning. Play does not happen to adult order; challenging play helps children to play at their highest level. Playing outdoors gives children opportunities to consolidate and practise skill this could be life skills, for example the children may collect sticks and use them to dig into soil or clay. This is teaching the children to not only to be independent but also teaching them the varied materials in this world.
Discuss inclusive play practice in relation to the current frameworks, to include;
The requirements of current frameworks in relation to inclusion
How to provide an inclusive environment (B2)
What is inclusive practice? –
Inclusion is all about providing opportunities for all in our care. This means that all children, regardless of their ability, background, culture and age, should be given the equal opportunity to participate in the planned sessions.
Inclusive play is when we provide a range of play activities for the children that are going to incorporate all of these requirements, yet still provide opportunities for play, learning, socialising, risk taking and challenge to be taking place.
Inclusive play in relation to the EYFS-
As the adults in the setting, it is our role to promote inclusion amongst the children but also within our working practice.
The EYFS outlines how inclusive practice is important in relation to improving the child’s experience and their overall outcome within the setting.
Because of the criteria within the EYFS, many settings now have either an inclusion policy or a play policy that outlines how all children will be included within the area of play.
Inclusive play in practice –
Our role is to make sure that the play opportunities that we provide do not become boring or regular. We need to make sure that we keep our practice current and exciting for the children so that they can explore innovative ideas.
How to provide an inclusive environment-
The outdoor environment has a significant role to play in providing for the developmental needs of all children. In a well-planned, enabling outdoor setting, with supportive adults, children’s curiosity can be nurtured, and their physical skills developed. Also, behaviour that may seem inappropriate or too boisterous indoors becomes perfectly natural when playing outside. The garden and outdoor areas offer children major learning opportunities. They help children to learn about nature and gardening. Children can try out their physical skills and become competent, adventurous and confident in their physical bodies. Parents can enjoy being with their children in the outdoor area, for picnics and other enjoyable experiences that make them feel part of the community.
How play supports the interest and abilities of children
How play can be used to build on a child’s interests in order to stimulate an motivate (D1)
When getting to know the interests of children there are several things we can do, including:
Speak to the children (depending on their age)
Observe children and log what they like to do or what they regularly chose to play with
Speak to the families of the children to find out some background information on things that the child likes to do at home.
When we look at supporting the abilities of the child we may need to some additional input. This could be from:
Observing the child to see what they can or cannot do.
Speaking to the family of the child, especially if the child has a particular need that needs to be considered in the planning of the activities.
Seek further guidance from other practitioners within the setting who may have had experience with certain abilities in the past.
Seek further guidance from external agencies or professionals who could guide you on supporting the abilities of the children in your care.
Discuss current frameworks in relation to play and learning-
Requirements of current frameworks (Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage)
How play is embedded across current frameworks to stimulate learning (B2)
It is well known and documented that children learn though play for example Montessori stated that: ‘A child’s play is a child’s work’. The current EYFS is a play-based framework that supports practitioners to provide the best possible learning environment for all children. Early years learning is rooted in play which should be embedded across all areas of learning. Through play, children develop confidence and independence as well as building on their skills in other areas.