Preparing your setting for September by Carly Moore
Getting your nursery ready for the September term, can be such an exciting activity and is personally one of my favourite times of year. It is a great time to give your play and learning areas a re-set, in terms of rotating toys, reflecting upon changes needed and de-cluttering the things that have accumulated as the previous year has gone by. It’s a wonderful opportunity to think about the resources you have available, and what feelings, experiences and learning you are wanting to try and evoke in the children you are inviting in. I am a huge advocate of the curiosity approach and letting children’s imaginations dictate their play experiences. Nothing allows for this more than some of the wonderful TickiT toys that are available.
We recently got a chance to enjoy the Woodland Trail set and it was played with so imaginatively and created some great discussion points amongst the children. It’s a beautifully made item, that’s been so carefully thought about, the colours are perfect for that Autumn term start and will engage children of all ages.
I just know that this is going to be in our setting for a very long time and can already tell its going to be a firm favourite amongst the children and thanks to the traditional wooden crafting of the pieces, its going to have amazing longevity.
Another much-loved resource, which we have had for a while now are the TickiT Rainbow Architect sets. These bring some fantastic colour and liveliness to any space. They stack and store beautifully and provide hours of fun. We have spent many a rainy afternoon playing with them like jigsaws, stacking the different shapes and using them to build and create scenes for other toys; houses for people, car parks for cars and enclosures for animals, to name but a few. I love these for their versatility, how they encourage colour and shape learning as well as early mathematic and shape skills like counting and size ordering, and of course for the way they engage imaginative play.
Items such as these are fantastic to have out in those first few weeks as they encourage everyone to get involved and play with it however creatively, or simplistically as they wish.
They draw children together and encourage those first bonding conversations with each other whilst playing, as well as giving educators the chance to start conversations and get to know children’s likes, abilities and play preferences.
However you choose to set up and style your setting for the new September term, I’m sure it will be inviting and exciting, especially where TickiT toys are involved!
Some top tips for refreshing your setting;
- Recycle, repair, repurpose any toys which are looking tired. Sadly, if they really have had their day then they may need to be disposed of.
- Get on the floor! Getting on hands and needs and being at eye-level with what the children see is a great way of figuring out where resources may be best placed and also for spotting any potential risks or hazards.
- Keep it simple. The start of term can be incredibly overwhelming, especially for new starters and younger children. Is your nursery a calm environment with neutral tones? Maybe reduce the visuals that are on up on walls if possible. Displaying a small selection of toys and books, with other resources stored nearby in baskets or boxes with visual labels can help keep the environment calm.
- Have a family wall. Invite parents to send in a photo of the child with their family or important items like pets or teddy bears to add to a feature wall so they can see their family whenever they wish in nursery time.
Written by Carly Moore, mother and Early Years Practitioner.