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How important are structured activities?(9 Posts)
DS started nursery last week (12 months) so I am still in anxious mum mode but I do have a question about activities. From what I am told by staff and in his day book there is a lot of free play (both inside and outside) and I am a bit concerned that we haven't received any 'art' home or been told that there has been any messy play. Friends with babies in nursery seem to get things back at least once a week. The nursery is in a great location for us and at a good price and we are generally happy with the level of care that he is getting but this does concern me. What are other people's experiences of structured activities?
I think your nursery sounds fine - do you really want your child to be sat down and made to do art if they'd rather be playing with instruments or outside?
PS dd is 2 and I'd be prertty miffed if her nursery gave her structured activities. She has 1-1 time with her ketworker but this is still very child led
A 12 month should not really have 'set' activities as such. Children learn the best from playing.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
My 1 year old goes to an outstanding rated nursery, at that age they do get a reasonable amount of free play. They do have a fixed 'circle time' where they all sit together on a morning and sing a 'hello' song and start to learn each other's names, they also have time for singing and music, and usually story time. In between they do a mix of free play, which could be any toys or sensory boxes, or sometimes a structured activity like messy play or painting. We don't get art work every day, maybe once a week and sometimes get a handful all in one go if it's been on the wall display. Whether he takes part in the activities very much depends on how they coincide with nap time, his frame of mind, whether he's happy playing with something already, and how many little ones his age are in on that day. I don't mind, it works, he's happy and any of the staff can always tell me what he's been up to that day. Other than the odd occasion when he's been a bit tired or coming down with something and is a bit cuddly he's always doing something when I get there. His sister is 3 and in the next room up. They do have a much more structured day as they start to gear up for pre-school and they tend to have a different project each week with activities themed around that. They do have free time as well, which is usually various activities like jigsaws, drawing, duplo etc set out and they can choose what to do, but this is usually towards the end of the day. If you're worried, talk to the staff, they can't write everything in the diary, and usually just pick one activity to write about that they've particularly enjoyed, when the reality is they've probably done lots more as well.
There shouldn't be structured activities for a 1 year old, the EYFS is about learning through play. Practitioners will set up activities to suit the interests and needs of the children but it's their choice to join in or not. What are you concerned that she's missed out on by not bringing 'artwork' home?
I guess I was (note 'was') concerned that he wasn't being stimulated and that there was a lack of variety but he has settled in tremendously and I am not really bothered now. I mean he is only just 1! I did look at the websites of other nurseries which I hadn't done before and felt more reassured.
That's good it's hard not to worry about them when they start nursery but any good setting will be providing everything he needs. Glad you're feeling better about it (and give it another year and he'll be coming home with enough pictures for you to wallpaper your house with!)
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