Staff are ready to welcome the children as they come in and will chat to the children and the parents to get an understanding of their well being. Staff help to settle any children who need reassurance from separating from their parents. All areas are available for the children to make their own choices and a snack bar runs for the first hour of the morning. The snack bar promotes good hygiene and independence as the children help to wipe the tables and wash their hands. After snack this table will often become a cooking table. We have found lots of benefits to cooking, the children learn about their bodies, what is healthy, they take turns and are very proud of what they make.
Explore Mighty Oaks Room
The room is set out so children can access and make their own choices at each area.
There is a lovely home corner to promote children’s imaginative play with real life objects. Lots of language development takes place in the home corner. Although it starts the day as a home corner it will often change to a hairdressers, a doctor’s or a shop depending on the children’s interests and in this way the children gain extra knowledge of the world and different cultures as they share experiences.
In the craft area the children can make whatever they are interested in that day. It is not a set activity and children are free to explore colour mixing and textures of different materials in their creations. Or they are free to develop their fine motor skills through drawing and colouring which is always available.
The carpet area is where the children do a lot of construction. Again they can self select from Lego, magnetic blocks and various sized bricks and small world toys. The children develop their fine motor skills as well as lots of problem solving and testing out of ideas as they build towers and bridges. Books are also found in this area to further extend knowledge on areas of interest such as dinosaurs, diggers, family diversity or wild animals.
We also have a quiet area inside and outside where children can go to self reflect or just have a quiet few moments to themselves or with a book. This is very important for children’s well being, sometimes being in a large group can be overwhelming for young children and they need time to choose what they want to do next.
Outside we have a lovely summer house that we use for small group work to promote speech and language. When we are not running these groups children are free to use this space as somewhere quiet to have a rest or look at a book or the puppets.
Our mud kitchen is a great area for getting creative! The children will model their own experiences, much like in the home corner inside, making cakes, setting the table and taking on different roles.
Children can develop their gross motor skills on our slides, climbing frames and tunnels. They have great fun in these but also learn to use the equipment safely, take safe risks and develop resilience.
The children learn about the natural world through bug hunting as well as growing and looking after plants. We also have larger construction material outside including real bricks, long planks, tunnels and milk crates. These become trains, planes and houses. The children learn to negotiate, work as a team, problem solve and develop their critical thinking.
Play dough, Sand & Water Play
The sand, water and play dough station all have shelving units where the children can select activities to support their learning and play. There are scoops and containers of different colours, shapes sizes. As well as natural items to extend play like shells, pine cones, conkers and stones. These areas lead to lots of communication between the children and the adults, modelling of language and encouragement of sharing.