Top 6 ideas on supporting the characteristics of effective learning – Playing and exploring
We have previously discussed the characteristics of effective learning and their role in child development which can be seen here. We have also created an impressive resource pack which can be displayed in your settings to remind practitioners of the importance of the characteristics of effective learning; this can be found here.
Activities to promote and support playing and to explore – Finding out and exploring
Now we will break down the playing and explore section to detail some activities or ideas to support in particular the ‘finding out and exploring’ section of the playing and exploring characteristics of effective learning.
- Treasure baskets – a brilliant open-ended resource which can be explored using various senses and has no set way to be used.
- Sensory bottles – These can be filled with a variety of things some which are filled with interesting objects, some that make a noise, tiny holes can be pierced into empty bottles and then filled with scented things such as cinnamon sticks or lavender. Great for enticing natural curiosity and can again be explored in a variety of ways.
- Musical instruments – Brilliant for engaging the senses and can be completely open-ended with no set purpose other than exploring and discovering.
- Investigation stations – These can be filled with a variety of objects based on a theme, season, interest or a totally random collection of objects. All open-ended and ready for the children to explore, engage with, learn from and show a natural curiosity in learning more about the objects or resources.
- Celebrating festivals – Not only useful in allowing children to explore and display curiosity about other cultures and festivals but also great for supporting British Values and inclusive practice.
- Outdoors – The natural environment has plenty of open-ended joy to offer children, especially if a loose parts or forest school ethos is taken to the outdoor environment.
Some of these activities are more suited to younger children such as the treasure baskets. However, many of them can be enjoyed by children throughout the foundation stage, and these are all experiences which enable children to learn and discover more about the world they live in. For more great ideas to support characteristics of effective learning, take a look at our Pinterest board here!