We Love to Learn Through Play

At St Patrick's Nursery we know how important play is in the learning process. Play is one of the main ways in which children learn it is fun and as a result, children become more engaged and motivated to learn.

We provide opportunities for 'Loose Parts Play'.

  • Loose parts can be used anyway children choose. 
  • Loose parts can be adapted and manipulated in many ways.   
  • Loose parts encourage creativity and imagination.
  • Loose parts develop more skill and competence than most modern plastic toys
  • Loose parts can be used in many different ways
  • Loose parts can be used in combination with other materials to support imagination
  • Loose parts encourage open ended learning.
  • Children choose loose parts over fancy toys.

We promote free-flow play which can benefit children's development in may ways including;

  1. Greater independence – As children are able to access the different environments freely it helps them develop greater independence. They are able to make those independent choices as to whether they play outdoors or access the messy activities inside. Older children especially strive on being given extra responsibilities and this will help them later on in life.
  2. Progress at own pace – Children shouldn’t be rushed in their learning, it should be about giving children time to fully embrace the skills they are learning. Free flow gives children the opportunity to develop at their own pace, they can decide to either spend the morning outside participating in the stimulating activities or sitting at the table manipulating play dough.
  3. Decision making – As children are able to choose where they would like to play and with what, this is developing their decision making skills. As they get older they will begin to learn that their choices may have consequences.
  4. Physical well being – Offering children the choice especially the outdoors enables them the opportunity to run around and build on their physical skills. The outdoor space is great for those children who prefer to be outdoors, as practitioners can use their skills and mirror the indoor activities outdoors.
  5. Learning about the different environments – As children explore the different environment it opens up many leaning opportunities as they discover the difference between inside and outside

We provide children with a wide range of play experiences which help them learn in a number of ways:

Sand and water play can be an early introduction to science and maths, eg learning that water is fluid, not solid, and that it can be measured in different sized containers.

Playing with dough, drawing and painting pictures, dressing up, playing with dolls can encourage creativity, imagination and expression of feelings.

Building blocks, jigsaws and shape sorters can help with recognising different shapes and sizes, putting things in order and developing logic.

Playing ball games, dancing, running, climbing all help to develop body movement, strength, flexibility and co-ordination skills.

Games help with turn taking, sharing and playing with others.

It's important that learning is fun at this age. It needs to be about providing opportunities to experience things that the children are showing an interested in.