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Child Initiated Activities


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Hi

 

I'm an NQT working in a Reception/Year 1 class. I started in Feb so enjoying the holidays but starting to think about getting organised for September. Looking through some of these pages I have found lots of really helpful ideas and activities which has been brilliant.

 

I have found lots of comments about Child Initiated time and am a little confused. I had always thought that that time should be completely chosen by the children and the role of the adults in the room was to play alongside, support and extend learning and observe. Some people have mentioned that they set out specific activities for the children during choosing time but surely that would make them adult initiated.

 

Reading that back it sounds a bit muddled but I hope someone can give me some of their thoughts to stop my confusion!! The old brain does seem to have switched off over the summer!

 

Thanks.

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Child initiated activites are those that are chosen by the child- but as a practitioner you observe the children's play and may put out extra resources or different resources to enhance that child's learning. It could be as simple as a child who like playing with the animals but doesn't really play appropriately (eg banging them on the radiator, flying around the room with a lion- I had a big group of boys like this last year) So you might introduce fabrics and natural materials- i initially led them out to demonstrate use and then observe the play, or but the animals with the sand......

I think the balance is not telling the children what to do with the resources but making them aware that they are available for use and some children need guidance on how to use them..... I also think its not about telling children that they have to play with certain activities.

 

Hope that makes some sort of sense.

 

L

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That does make things clearer! Thanks! So you could put out a few activities based on observations but also remind the children of all the other resources they can independently put out and use. Child initiated is my favourite time in the day as you really get to see how the children think and what they enjoy so i want to make sure i'm providing them with the best opportunities i can.

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Sometimes I put things out- sometimes its just leaving things alongside others so the children might have ago at using different resources together... or in a different area of the classroom. I know when i started teaching it was all about keeping resources in their rightful place and that is where thay were to be played with... it took a bit of adjusting for me to allow children to play with things in different areas of the classroom. As long as they are trained to return them when finished I think thats important too.

If you keep a record of your enhance provision- so the things you have added to an area- or put out to encourage the children to use together it allows the powers that be to see how you are meeting and planning for children's individaul interests and needs.

 

Enjoy the rest of the holiday.

 

L

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