The children are usually very excited to start their day and our play leader and staff have plenty to keep them entertained. Our typical day looks something like this:
We may begin with a chance to play shops where the children delight in taking turns to sell and purchase the ‘goods’ on display; counting, making their own decisions, developing communication, etc. Some of the children may prefer to play with the dressing up clothes, where they become their favourite super-hero/heroine for the day – or at least until snack-time, when they all sit together for a well-deserved break and healthy snack, which the ‘special person’ of the day will have helped to prepare or helped set the table for. Each child takes in turn at being the special person for the day, which involves having their photo and name on the board and unique opportunities to ‘help’ the playgroup staff with various tasks throughout the day.
Alternatively, they may put on their baking aprons and hats, making pastry and turning it into pasties, pies or other yummy treats, ‘testing’ the ingredients as they go…
Then perhaps a walk in the park where they are encouraged to collect as many interesting objects as they can find – some crunchy leaves, bundles of twigs or other flora – before heading inside to examine their findings through the microscope where they discuss their origins and what wildlife may have been using it before it fell to the ground waiting to be picked up. Then, of course, they might decide to make them into pictures or collages or use as painting tools for colourful creations to take home.
By this time, the group are usually eager to gather together around the lunch table, packed-lunch at the ready, where the children and staff discuss their favourite parts of the day and share experiences with the rest of the group, before heading home to continue the adventure…
Other favourite activities include:
Show & Tell – many of the children love to bring a favourite toy, photograph or book to share with the rest of the group.
Story time at the school – children are invited to regularly join the reception class for story time, enabling them to mix with slightly older children and familiarise themselves with the different surroundings and routines, aiding their own transition when they later join a ‘proper’ school themselves.
Vegetable Growing – in the pre-school’s own secure garden they are encouraged to take part in planting and nurturing seeds or plants, often following a walk to the local nursery where they help to select & purchase the goods (and sometimes even a snack!) before bringing their goodies back to their new home.
Using the play park – we are very fortunate to have a lovely modern wooden play park adjoining the playgroup accommodation, offering a safe and very useful extra play area. When weather permits, we also use the pavilion to take outdoor lunches and story time sessions.
“We’re thrilled with Harrowbarrow pre-school – our 4 year old always looks forward to going to his sessions here… he likes to guess each morning what activities they will be doing and what he might be making to bring home with him! This playgroup has helped him develop so many skills and I quickly noticed a vast improvement in his social skills, willingness to take turns and eagerness to try new experiences. Harrowbarrow pre-school is a great setting for him and I certainly believe it is helping him develop many skills and confidence he needs prior to starting school”.