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Let's stick together (part 1)

playing with sticks activities

Stop Press - Play Learning Life's obsession with sticks goes global (sort of): we were delighted to be asked to write about our (somewhat unhealthy) obsession with sticks, in this week’s Nursery World magazine.

Our focus was on how practitioners can make the most of this free and fabulous resource to enrich the early years curriculum. We’ve touched on physical development of course (observing children becoming confident handling a stick that’s taller than they are is always rewarding), but in many ways the true value of stick play comes out through the many opportunities to engage children’s enthusiasm for number, pattern, shape, space and their highly attuned sensory abilities.

Children love to handle sticks – in the article we’ve pointed out that, “sticks can be cumbersome, noisy and a little unpredictable, not unlike young children – perhaps that’s where the attraction lies.” We’ve yet to come across a child of any age who is able to resist our collection of sticks of all shapes, sizes and species. Sticks are a ‘free and found’ resource – every school and setting should have a decent collection for use in maths, drama, music, creative writing, PE… you name it.

Play Learning Life's curriculum development resource, Let's Stick Together, can be downloaded here.

This issue is accompanied by the keenly awaited Equipment supplement, also with a strong focus on outdoor play, through the medium of physical development, which from September will be one of three Prime Areas of Learning (in the English early years curriculum). Alongside numerous ideas, resources and suppliers are several insightful articles, including one by friend and ex-colleague Jan White. Jan writes that,

“this parity with Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language is a long overdue and welcome change” and goes on to discuss ways practitioners can plan for physical development through high quality outdoor learning and play.

Nursery World is published fortnightly and subscription information can be found here.


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