I work in a private children’s day nursery which also provides care for up to 16 children over the age of 5 in our Kids Klub. The Klub is open anytime the schools are closed, be it before and after school, during the school holidays or teacher training days. We have two vehicles which enable us to offer trips off the premises which are mixed with activities arranged in-house.
Our Kids Klub has one main room which houses 3 computers, table top games, books, puppets, dressing up costumes, musical instruments, colouring books, paper, pens, television, DVD player, stereo, table top football game etc. As the equipment that we have is vast and obviously cannot be out at the same time we have devised an ‘aide memoir’ which is a visual book of all the equipment available to the children using our Kids Klub. The children are then able to view this regularly to remind them of what is available and for them to decide what they would like to play with.
In addition to what is available indoors they also have access to an outdoor all weather football area which has netting above to prevent the loss of balls, a Japanese garden which is a quieter area for relaxation with water fountain and different textured surfaces, an area housing the slide, swings, monkey bars, a large lawn which they can use for general running around or to set up the tennis nets or even to use the enormous parachute.
In support of the concept of ‘loose parts’ which is a theory from Simon Nicholson, who carefully considered landscapes and environments; in addition to offering the different play areas the children have access to wood, wood shapes, containers, toys, animals, plants etc that can be moved around, carried, rolled or lifted to create new and interesting structures and experiences. Nicholson had a theory about loose parts; “In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of...