In Early Years Cubs (EYC) play is fundamental to children’s wellbeing; it’s their way to discover the world around them and to express how they feel.
Play comes in a myriad of forms and one such type that we nurture and facilitate in the EYC is open-ended play. Open-ended play also known as free-flow, empowers children to determine what to do, how to do it and what to use.
Such activities have no fixed outcome therefore children are free to explore; experiment and create. Even with the simplest of materials; children find ways to express and develop their thoughts and imaginative play.
Our new block play in EYC is a wonderful way to facilitate open-ended play, whilst encouraging collaboration, co-operation and conversation.
For our youngest children they do not have to share the same language as long as they share the same desire to play, explore and create together.
It really is a privilege for the observing adult to see the children’s sense of pride, determination and negotiation skills, whilst also providing great insight into the children’s development and thinking.
Where small construction enables children to build miniature worlds, large construction empowers them to create environments they can actually inhabit. Large block play is indispensable for physical exercise and for children’s sense of balance. While their muscles gain strength, our children’s communication skills, understanding of the world, aesthetic appreciation, and confidence grow.
So the next time you visit Early Years Cubs be prepared! You may have to maneuver your way around some interesting, imaginative structures that have been wonderfully and purposefully made.
- Ruth Hanson, Head of Early Years Cubs