Planning for your child’s learning

Golden 2015 Happy New Year Greeting Card With Sparking Spot Ligh

Our statutory framework, the EYFS, tells us that we must observe children’s learning and plan for their ‘next steps’ – the things they might enjoy doing next which will support their future learning.

Mostly ‘next steps’ are about doing something again – practicing, consolidating and checking children’s understanding -because we don’t want to move them on until we are sure they are secure in their current learning.

Sometimes ‘next steps’ planning can be used to develop a child’s interest and teach them something new.

Here are some of the ‘next steps’ activities we have planned for the children at Knutsford Childminding recently –

-> The children were excitedly talking about Christmas and their visits to meet Father Christmas… so we took them to see the decorations in town and we helped them to make a grotto in the playroom. They dressed up as Father Christmas and reindeer and had lots of fun pretend playing. We read books about Christmas and did lots of crafts – which we hope you enjoyed opening!

-> One of the children loves superheroes and has been talking to his friends about his favourite heroes and pretending to shoot everyone. To develop his interest and teach him that his friends might not like being shot, we talked about being gentle and taking the needs of others into consideration… we then developed group superhero play so that it focussed on being helpful. We made superhero masks and we all wore capes and rescued each other from sticky situations.

-> We have seen some lovely pictures of the children enjoying the snowfall over Christmas and we are sure this will be one of their interests when they come back after the holidays. We have planned lots of experiments to develop their understanding of snow – and we have bought some pretend snow for our messy tray. We will see where the children’s interests take us…

E-book 9 ‘Seasons Planning’ contains lots of winter planning – it is available from my Knutsford Childminding website.

We also have a winter Pinterest board which is full of snowy day activity ideas.

-> It has just been New Year and the children have been celebrating at home. We want to develop their understanding of New Year so we have put together a list of different learning experiences. We won’t have time to cover everything on the list – we will just do some of the activities through the first week in January to consolidate children’s learning and encourage them to make links with their home and family lives.

New Year activity ideas… here are some of our planning ideas with links to the Eyfs to support our childminder colleagues who might be reading this blog too…

Chat to the children about their holiday and plan some activities based on their home experiences.

  • EYFS – C & L – talking / UW – people & communities

Sing and dance to ‘Happy New Year’ with Abba.

  • EYFS – A & D – media and materials / C & L – listening / PD – moving

Make some noise-makers with the children.

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / PD – fine motor skills

Watch a spectacular firework display set to Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’.

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / C & L – listening

Make some firework pictures with Imagination Tree.

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / PD – fine motor skills

Make a list of the best things that happened in 2014 with the children. Older children might like to make a 2014 time capsule.

  • EYFS – UW – talking about home and family / C & L – talking

Print some free 2015 colouring sheets for your visual learners who enjoy colouring.

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / PD – fine motor skills

Talk to the children about New Year resolutions and what they mean – and make some together.

  • EYFS – C & L – vocabulary

Make some warming gingerbread to chase the cold weather away.

  • EYFS – maths – numbers, shape, capacity, weight, size

Don’t forget the birds in winter – here is a recipe from the RSPB website.

  • EYFS – maths – capacity, weight, shape, size / UW – the world

Make a wishing tree with this activity idea from Nurture Store.

  • EYFS – PSED – self-confidence & awareness / C & L – building vocabulary

Print some photos of New Year memories.

  • EYFS – UW – technology / UW – people & communities

Find out when New Year arrives in different time zones.

  • EYFS – Maths – time / UW – the world

Make a party hat and plan a little New Year party.

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / PD – fine motor skills

Make some 2015 celebration glitter star wands … if you can cope with more glitter after Christmas!

  • EYFS – A & D – media & materials / PD – fine motor skills

Read through children’s Learning Journey files with them and talk about the past year – record their memories to share with their parents

  • EYFS – UW – people & communities / C & L – talking

Find out about New Year traditions around the world.

  • EYFS – UW – the world

Welcome the New Year with experiments into light and dark – make candles and glow in the dark playdough.

  • EYFS – UW – the world

We want to involve our parents where we can and will be suggesting some activity ideas as we go along through the month … and providing you with resources so you can support their child’s learning at home. We hope you have fun – please don’t forget to let us have your feedback on how your child is getting on at home!

Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year! Sarah x

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