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Providing activities as part of continuous provision


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I apologise ifif this has been asked/discussed before.

Just wondering how others plan for activities such as messy play, changing play-dough, adding other objects to sand and water etc, different art activities - as in, do you ONLY provide additions/changes if they specifically link to an individuals/groups next steps or weekly objectives etc or do you provide a range of these types of experiences as part of the basic continuous provision? I've read that some people have a rota for messy play/art activities?


Green Hippo x

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Hi green hippo, at our setting we have all our areas as our continuous provision, adding enhancements weekly or sometimes daily based on observations of children's play and to aide children's unique next steps if and when appropriate.

So for instance we always have a:

1: play dough or soft malleable area.

2: role play, this could be inside or out or both.

3: book area.

4: painting area.

4: creative table.

5: small world.

6: mark making, this too is inside and outside.

7: maths table, mat, although maths is generally entwined within all other areas too.

8: large physical equipment again both inside and out.

Hope this helps.:)

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Thanks, Fredbear,

We have all these areas too which are resourced with 'basic' resources as outlined in our long-term planners and enhanced as you do - daily or weekly in response to children's needs and interests. However, what I am wondering is if we should provide more variety within these areas as part of the basic provision, instead of just waiting for a need or interest to crop up i.e. in order to provide a rich and stimuating experiences? For example, currently, the dough area is usually normal play-dough unless there is a need/interest/weekly objective which provides a 'reason' for it to be different. However, what I am considering is offering different types of play-dough on a regular basis even if I don't have a specific 'reason' to provide it - apart from, of course, to give children a wide range of different experiences - and these experiences would be outlined in the long-term planners as basic 'rotational' resources?

I don't want to just provide activities for the sake of it and am always looking towards my objectives and individual needs that need supporting and extending when providing new or different resources but am also keen to give children different experiences which have the potential to extend learning in different ways.


Green Hippo x

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Yes, we change things even if there is no specific next step / interest / request for a certain resource or activity. We have a column on our planning that we jot things down as ideas for the following week(s) - it could just be "Ooh we haven't done x for ages." Or it could be that one resource or activity makes you think "We could try x next". A lot of our planning comes from the children's needs but not all of it. For example, a lot of our chlidren have been playing with the small world farm recently. I jotted down "put farm in builders' tray with compost and straw". It was just an idea I thought the children would like rather than any one child's particular interest or next step.

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