I thought I would share with you some of the children’s free play choices. Little “L” and “R” have set toys that they will always self select when playing. I have many toys that are easily accessible to the children and often rotate them so that things do not become boring or stale. 
At the moment the girls are very keen on the Happyland toys. We have a small selection and they are the first things chosen once the children arrive. They always select the same figures each and they have named them as members of their families. 

There can be upset and conflicts over the baby in the pram. This is from the new Royal baby set. I have just ordered a few more figures and one is off a baby in a stroller so I am hoping that will help defuse the arguments a bit.

Little “C” has really enjoyed looking at the caravan. He kept opening it up and placing people in the beds and then closing it up again. He hasn’t yet worked out that the horse can be attached to the front and he can use it to pretend to pull it.

Little “L” found Daddy in the box of figures.  He was wearing a Cowboy hat.
“That my Daddy!” she said proudly and showed everyone!
“he’s wearing a tat!”

Little “R” also gathers her own little set of figures She enjoys using the Spanish dancer figure. On days when Little “X” is here we have to share her as he likes her as well. He tells me she is the Princess. She is the figure he chose for his Princes in our playdough story telling session!

After dinner I found this little set up in the playroom.  Little figures set out amongst food and tea set pieces.  The girls told me that they were all having a picnic! I love how they used a play silk to set the picnic up on. It is nice to see the open ended resources being used in imaginative ways.

Just before home time I found the girls in the living room. They had set up another little scene in my fireplace. I stood and listened to them chatter as they carefully put each figure in to the fireplace.

“Quick “L” put them under here, to keep them out of the rain!”
“It’s raining…… they will get wet!”
“OH NO!!! Quickly, its raining, Oh dear, did you get wet?”
“Now they will be dry in there “R”

It had been a rather wet and rainy day today so it was lovely to see the children acting this out in their play. Thinking about our day, how they had got a bit wet on the school run and how we ran for shelter to stay dry!

Look at those cheeky faces!!

It was lovely to see the children engaged in their own, self selected and self initiated play. This is something that they enjoy doing and return to on a daily basis. They often act out play that reflects conversations or activities from our day and revisit story lines from previous days small world play sessions. This gives them a safe place to explore how they feel about the things happening around them, making sense in their own minds of the world they live in. They have control over what happens in this small world, much more than they do in the real world and they can explore different ideas and scenarios in a safe and secure place. Because this is a self selected activity, they are very motivated and engaged in their play. They explore what they know and try out new ideas. Thinking critically about the direction that their story lines are taking. Their personal and social skills are improved as they play along side others and engage with each other in a cooperative way. Sometimes there is a disagreement about what direction the story is taking but they can usually resolve this peacefully. Often they will take the story lines off in their own directions and play will move apart for some time but it always gravitates back to being a group play activity. This is a time when I observe a child’s level of imagination and creative play. Their language is strengthened and chatter is enthusiastic! You tend to notice that one child is more of a leader and others are happier to follow. Sometimes this changes and the child who is usually happy to follow another’s lead, will suddenly feel very passionate about how they would like things to progress and they become more forceful in their sharing of ideas. Choosing their own ways to do things and drawing others in to their world for a short time. In this friendship it tends to be Little “R” who leads the play and Little “L” happily follows along. Several times during this imaginative play session, Little “L” expressed very clearly and with good language, here own ideas and at times was very willing to remove herself from the game with her figures if her ideas were not taken on board. Although Little “R” was not keen on this and would stand by her own ideas, she did start to become more cooperative and flexible when she realised she would have to play alone if she did not. This was an interesting proses to observe as it was the start of a basic understanding of cause and effect and simple negotiation and cooperation skills being shown.

Today’s play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Communication and Language
  • Understanding the World
  • Personal, social and emotional 
  • literacy
  • Physical Development
  • Expressive Art and Design

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