I want to continue this post which I touched on, on Instagram. Children should fundamentally have an environment that fulfils their enjoyment and interests. For example, a child may have an interest in construction. This gives the early years educator and parents the opportunity to fulfil the environment with items relating to construction. This may include loose parts that the child may use to build during construction play. It may include an area that includes sticks, stones and construction toys that give the child the opportunity to explore a building site. This may also give children the opportunity to create their own construction toys using recycled materials. Children enjoy having the freedom to touch things within the environment. This gives children the opportunity to explore their surroundings both indoors and outdoors. If a child isn’t enabled to explore the environment, the child isn’t getting a fulfilling learning experience. Therefore, development such as hand eye coordination, pincer grasp, gross and fine motor skills, communication skills, imaginative thinking skills, knowledge, developmental domains and interaction with peers might not happen. Within, the indoor environment it may include an area such as recyclable materials or loose parts. This gives children freedom to explore their surroundings. Early years educators and parents moving areas around, changing weekly and fulfilling children’s interests.
Early years educators and parents are given the opportunity to teach child about the world around them. This may include nature, creatures and using recyclable materials. For example, during outdoor play a child sees a ladybird. This opens the opportunity to discuss what a ladybird looks like, where a ladybird may sleep and what a ladybird may eat. This may develop into a child stating I saw a lady bird that looked lighter or orange. This may also include a little bird within the outdoor garden. The child may explore, the birds features, what they eat, where they live and if the bird comes from another country. For example, the cuckoo comes from Africa and south Asia. This discussion may be expanded in exploring the birds further and making bird feeders from plastic bottles or making a wooden one. The child may decorate their own little bird house and hang outside in the early years service or at home. This could be furthered with a pair of binoculars and child taking off a list of birds seen.
Enabling children to explore the outdoor environment gives children many opportunities to touch and explore. This may include a nature walk. For example, a walk near home or at the early years service. This gives opportunity for discussion within both surroundings. This might enable children to adopt activities such as gardening. For example, planting their own flowers or vegetables. This enables child to water the plant or vegetable, explore the growth, features and the achievement of growing the flower or vegetable.
The most important thing for children is to touch and explore new things within their environment. No matter how big this may seem, children gain independence. This also formalises children being open to exploring new opportunities within practice, school and at home. For example, helping to bake, sensory activities, outdoor exploring and many more areas. The opportunities are endless. For instance, child led play opens up activities. This may include an area that educators or parents can explore further. Empower children to have freedom, explore and learn new things such as curiosity. “Play is the work of the child” Maria Montessori.