Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” and, if this is to be deemed as true, then it makes sense to continue playing long after the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage!
Often, as adults, when we get a new technological ‘toy’ such as a phone we will say – “I just need to play around with it a bit to learn what it can do.”, and this is equally as true for our children who are learning to navigate social situations such as sharing, taking turns, vocalising their thoughts and much more.
It is important then, when thinking about our Year 1 children, that we ensure our practice is developmentally appropriate and the way that the classroom is organised is suited to the children we teach.
Piaget’s ‘four stages of cognitive development’ states that the preoperational stage starts around two years old and continues until children are seven years old. It is during this time that children learn to use language, think symbolically and represent their ideas using pictures and objects so it is vital that we provide them with opportunities to do this.
In Year 1, we have continuous provision activities out each week, which the children are able to access and explore throughout the day.