Here at Brook Farm Children's Day Nursery we do not use the “c” word (curriculum!).
Our children are allowed the space and time to have fun and play – isn't that what childhood is all about?
HOWEVER... we also know that every fun play experience IS a learning experience, without the children even realising!
Every minute of every day our child care team skilfully implement all the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage requirements without forcing “lessons” and making learning a chore.
In our unique day care setting, with 75 acres full of flora and fauna on our farm in Kelbrook, near Barnoldswick, it is easy to create magical experiences that sow all the seeds for succesful child development.
Here is an example of how just one of our many simple, fun, everyday activities links to the science of learning:
It's not just collecting the eggs...
Running to the hen hut
Physical exertion helps with gross motor skills (ie body co-ordination and balance) and attention span (movement ignites the brain). This supervised, repetitive activity, helps nurture positive bonds and a sense of family and belonging, in familiar surroundings, and allows children to get more and more involved as and when their confidence increases.
Finding the eggs in the nesting boxes
Develops the six eye muscles used for reading, writing and accurate hand-eye co-ordination skills.
Counting the eggs and dividing them up between the group
Develops numeracy skills, language and communication, helps with social skills like sharing, negotiation and conflict resolution and introduces critical thinking and problem solving (“we have too many eggs and not enough hands, so we need to get a basket”).
Carrying the eggs to the collection box
Helps with shape and texture recognition and moving and handling objects (squeezing the egg too hard or dropping it on the floor will cause it to break). Supports independence and decision making. Introduces risk taking (trying to carry three eggs in two hands) Dropping the egg allows for exploration of its contents and discussion of the biology of how an egg is made, what happens if it is not collected, and how we use eggs as food.
Chasing *herding* the hens around the farmyard and cuddling a chicken
Helps with emotional stability as movement and spending time in nature lowers cortisol levels in the brain, leading to calmness and improved mood.
Washing hands after handling eggs and animals
Develops an awareness of health and self-care.
Hard boiling the eggs and painting them
Allows for discussion about water and temperature. Encourages creativity, exploring and using materials, imagination and ideas.
BUT BEST OF ALL TAKING THE EGGS HOME TO EAT FOR BREAKFAST!
Develops an important understanding of the food-chain
Click here for the British Association for Early Childhood Education document on Early Years Foundation Stage Development Guidance.