A Montessori nursery follows the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. It is designed to take advantage of the sensitive years between the ages of three and five, when the child is most able to absorb information from his environment.
The Yellow Door Blog
Many two-year olds will spend more time with you in your setting than they do with their own parents, so it’s important to provide a caring and supportive environment where your children feel they belong. It needs to be thoughtfully laid out as well as practical.
From birth, children continually explore and process every bit of new information, in order to make sense of the world around them. We think nothing of surrounding a baby with an array of tactile materials and resources, to squish, press, rattle, and put in their mouths but – apart from being fun – sensory play is beneficial for children of all ages.
We created a beautifully realistic set of six speckled eggs that contain 3 pairs of eggs with matching sounds, to help tune in children’s ears and to support their early auditory discrimination skills. But we understand budgets are tight and so, until you are able to get your hands on the ‘real’ thing, you may like to try making your own version below!
1. Egg rolling
What you need
- Plastic eggs that come in two parts
- A wooden slope
- Selection of small items: pebbles, construction bricks, pieces of modelling clay, marbles
- A digital timer
- Pens and paper
- A digital recorder if available.
What do you remember of your Reception experience? In the Yellow Door office, we recall toys we played with, friends we made, snacks we ate and the occasional embarrassing incident. Only one of us can picture a planned beginning to their school life following their Reception year: the sand and water tray they played in while staff met with parents. This was more about explaining than preparing or planning. The rest of us talked about the shock of moving to a more formal learning environment.
Children are born into a digital world in which technology moves at a rapid pace. In order to help them to navigate this environment, we need to be as diligent about teaching them the necessary skills as we are about other core elements of the curriculum.
One legitimate reservation about such teaching is that it will result in more screen time for children as they learn how to effectively use electronic devices and how to get them to do what they want.
This blog contains ideas that can be used with young children away from such tools to build up the skills and vocabulary needed for coding electronic devices. These have become known as pre-coding skills.
When we accompany children outdoors to learn, it can take them outside of their comfort zone; and it can do the same to us as practitioners. Many working in Early Years settings are worried about real and perceived risks that are present when children are active outdoors, and this can be one of the main barriers to settings developing an integrated approach to outdoor learning.
Outdoor learning is nothing new. Children have been learning outdoors, using their developing bodies and minds to make sense of the world around them, for thousands of years. However, there has been a decline in such involvement in the last few decades, with children spending more and more time indoors engaged in sedentary, technology-based activities or playing with machine-made toys and games. While there is nothing wrong with these types of activities in moderation, we need to be aware that children’s brains are hardwired to engage with the natural world, and unless they are exposed to such relevant environments on a regular basis, we risk denying them the opportunities they need for optimal brain development.
Young children build up an understanding of the world around them through a variety of play activities. This includes the use of digital technology. It is important, therefore, that all children become confident with this media in early years settings, especially those who do not have access to technology at home.
Digital resources need to be part of the learning environment of the current generation of children, in which the balance needs to be struck between technological confidence and screen time.
As manufacturers of early years resources, we are aware that tablet technology is readily available to young children. We are fascinated by the ways in which it adds value to the learning process, and the opportunities it offers to individual learners. We believe that such positive contributions are possible with appropriate practitioner engagement and software at the right developmental level.