Our Baby Room is led by Graduate Practitioner, Alex. It consists of a bright spacious room providing a safe, secure, welcoming and inclusive environment offering a wide range of activities catering for children of all abilities and stages of development. This room caters for up to 9 children.
The stimulating provision and learning experiences are planned by qualified child care staff with reference to individual ‘Schemas’ (more below). The room is set up in such a way to encourage the children to make their own choices, promoting independence and social interaction.
In addition to providing a range of exciting and stimulating activities, we recognise the need for babies and young children to recharge their batteries through periods of rest and relaxation. For this reason, each room is able to offer facilities for the children to sleep and staff will work closely with parents/carers to ensure we follow your child’s home routine as much as we can.
Our staff are skilled in recognising that young babies and toddlers acquire knowledge and skills through first hand experiences, exploring and investigation using their senses.
Therefore, in all our rooms, we provide many opportunities, supported by staff, for the children to develop these important early skills through such activities as movement/physical play, heuristic play, sensory areas and treasure basket sessions.
The baby rooms operate a 1:3 staff to child ratio.
Schemas – How Children Learn Through Play
We can understand what’s behind your child’s play and help them learn by observing their patterns of behaviour or ‘schemas’
For example, does your child love to fill handbags, tins or pots with tiny things they have found? Are they obsessed with wheels, roundabouts or rolling things? Did you know these patterns of play are examples of schemas, behaviours that children go through when they are exploring the world and trying to find out how things work?
From birth, children have particular patterns of behaviour – like sucking and grasping schemas in babies – and as children grow these schemas increase in number and complexity.
Researchers believe there are a number of different schemas; vertical (going up and down), enclosure (putting things inside other things), circular (going round and round), going over and under, going through. Others have identified other patterns that have dominated children’s play such as ‘connecting’.
By going through these schemas, young children are equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills that lay the foundations for almost everything we do in later life, from writing to driving a car.
By watching closely and noticing the patterns of your child’s play, you can give them other activities and toys that match that schema, which will hold their interest as well as helping them with the stage of development that they are currently working through.
For example, some children like to put a collection of objects into a larger container. This might offer a clue to other things that they might enjoy and be interested in, which in turn can extend their learning and thinking.
Knowing that your child is interested in ‘enclosing’ (putting things inside things) could give you other ideas for their play that fit this interest: playing in tents, sorting a set of Russian Dolls, making food that has something inside (such as pies, sandwiches), or hiding in large boxes.
Children going through circular schemas may like to be spun round and round on a roundabout in the park or playground. They enjoy spinning their bodies around, they are fascinated with large wheels on big trucks, they seek out objects that are circular or have wheels. They might also make circular marks in their paintings or enjoy rolling out pastry or playdough.
You might notice your child becoming particularly keen on using the climbing frame, drawing vertical marks, building tall towers with bricks, looking up at aeroplanes and birds, jumping or enjoying being high up.
If you think they’re drawn to these ‘up and down’ activities, you could try: visiting a shopping centre and using the escalator and glass lifts so that a child can see and experience the movement of going up and down, playing with toy parachutes, or rolling a ball down a slope.
By matching the learning opportunities they are given at home and in a group setting, parents and early years practitioners have a greater chance of sharing a child’s interest and further developing their learning because what is being offered is more likely to be ‘in-tune’ with the child’s pattern of development.
Much of young children’s learning is physical, it involves much moving around: jumping, twirling, hiding, rolling; healthy, happy children move most of the time. And this movement supports the development of their minds as well as their bodies.
For example, several schemas (vertical, enclosure, going over, under and through) involve children in making movements, and later marks, that include all the marks needed to write conventionally recognised letters found in multiple languages around the world. So the early development of schemas through children’s physical movement provides an essential underpinning for eventually beginning to write.