In my assignment I have chosen to carry out my activities in an early year setting, there are a range of activities that I can choose from when linking with this certain age group with young children; the setting I have chosen to work at is Wallace Road Nursery. In this assignment I will need to write about the types of activities suitable for this service user group. I will also need to consider what the benefits of these are including consideration of safety while carrying out the activity. I will particularly be looking at the four main areas of children's needs these are: Physical needs
Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth and development for children in every way: physical, intellectual, emotional and social. When looking at well-being and linking it with the activities that I have chosen, I can see that this will develop the physical needs of the children as well as make them happy, well being is a term which describes happiness in addition to being able to do something that you enjoy and can stimulate you as a person. Activities will stimulate children at this age group and keep their bodies and minds active which I think is very important particularly for a child at this age who is just beginning their development. There are usually 6 ways taken to measure the well- being of children, these consist health and safety, education, peer and family relationships, behaviours and risks.
Whilst looking at the physical need of children and linking it to my chosen age group. I can see how important it is for children to keep stimulated and moving because this is very important for them especially because their bodies have just started to develop. Not exercising or playing in free times will not allow their physical development to increase. Physical needs not only involve being stimulated and motivated but also involves basic everyday needs such as food, warmth, a clean environment, safety, rest and sleep. For each and every chid these needs are very important, not just in their household but in school, and every day social life as well.
Gross motor skills are the movements of the large muscles in the body, mainly in the arms and legs. Example of this are to stand-up, walk and run, climb stairs etc. Gross motor skills are important for major movement functions such as walking, maintaining balance, coordination, jumping, reaching, and many others. Whereas fine motor skills involve use of the smaller muscles. Example of a fine motor skill could be using the pincer grip (the use of the thumb and forefinger) to pick up small objects, for coloring and writing, threading beads, threading a needle etc. these skills are important in most school activities as well as in life in general. weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child's ability to eat, writ, use computers, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.
When looking at the intellectual needs of a child I can see that these skills are very important as it is a nice way for them to socialise with others. Also there is an increase change in the intellectual skills of a child, as they are learning new things in and out of pre-school.
When looking at emotional needs for children at my chosen age group I can see that children's emotional needs are met through bonding with their and increasing number of relationships. One of the first and most important need for a child at this age is to be loved. Other needs for children could be to show them interest in their activities, give them lots of attention, allow them to make choices, e.g. What close to wear, to show them that you trust them as well and of course to make them feel safe and secure.
When looking at social needs I can see that primary socialisation is a big part of their social needs because learning the norms and values of society from parents is an important need because all children grow up with these values and have to take into account how to respect people and understand society.
Below I have explained what physical, intellectual, emotional and social activities are and have chose and activity from each category and explained the benefits of each and how it might affect children in the future.
Whilst looking at the physical activities for children at my chosen age group I can see that it is important for children to keep stimulated. Examples of physical activities could be to walk, skip, cycle, kick, throw, hit balls, water activities, dancing and exercise.
Exercise - For physical needs I am going to carry out some exercise for my activity. This will be with the whole group as all the children will be able to participate and as a group will enjoy it more. There are many benefits of exercise. The most obvious are that it helps children to develop social skills such as sharing and taking turns. It helps children to develop physical skills such as running, eye-hand coordination and ball skills. It also helps children to get a sense of belonging as they do things with other children, either in casual or organised activities and sports.
Exercise is also a good stress reliever. If a child is having difficulty sleeping, concentrating or with friendships, exercise can relieve some of the stress. Increasing overweight and obesity is happening world wide. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have health problems. Helping young children to develop good eating patterns and enjoyment from sport and exercise may help them avoid later health problems.
What prevents physical activity? There are many activities that can take time away from exercise. Some of these are valued activities such as playing calm games with friends, reading, making music, doing homework, but some are activities that may need to be limited. Examples of Some activities that can take over children's time could be television, videos, or computer games
When looking at the intellectual activities I can see that these activities can improve a child's complexity and thinking in different ways. As for young children it means learning to remember new things. Intellectual activities can be used to build children's vocabulary and language skills. Examples of intellectual activities for children could be crosswords, puzzles, jigsaws, reading books and creative writing.
Creative writing - For intellectual needs I am going to carry out some creative writing, with a small group of children about 6-7, I have chosen this amount of children as they will be able to concentrate and it willl be easy for me to help them when and if help is required. When looking at creative writing or activities involving handwriting or spelling this can support language skills and self-expression its not just about being able to understand sentences but using creativity and imagination it's about giving words meanings. Some of benefits of language skills could be to develop confidence, enable problem solving, and enable affective communication.
When looking at activities for emotional need I can see that these activities important as they there to make the children feel good about themselves. Examples of emotional activities for children could be art and crafts work, creative writing, dancing, drama, water and sand playing and making music.
There are many benefits that children at my chosen age group can gain from these activities such as it can boost their self esteem and confidence, they release dorphins (positive feelings), stress and tension and promote relaxation.
When looking at social activities for my chosen age group I can see that these are important as again they help develop self esteem, it also helps with affective communication, it involves learning the norms and values in society. It comes in two forms; primary socialisation and secondary socialisation.
Primary socialization is the process whereby people learn the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. For example if a child sees her father expressing a prejudice comment then she may repeat this thinking it is appropriate to do so. Whereas secondary socialization refers to process of learning what is appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the larger society. It is usually associated with teenagers and adults, and involves smaller changes than those occurring in primary socialization. For example entering a new environment or society such as a school etc.
Example of social activities could involve group singing, drama activities, trips and outings to various parks and maybe just play around the playground.
Drama - for social needs I am going to carry out a drama activity. This will involve the children getting g into small groups of 5's. they will then choose a character from their chosen play and act upon it. This activity can help children to develop these skills. It is important for children to express their emotions and to learn how to deal with them in safe environment. Along with this all these activities are calming and relaxing, I feel that this is important for children's development because in the future they will have the confidence to talk about their feelings to people they trust and be able to express their emotions when needed.
Why I rejected some of the activities
Out of the 4 examples above I have chosen to carry out an emotional activity. This will be creating a collage using colourful materials and resources. The reason why I have chosen to do this activity is that it will be a great way for the children to socialise and it will also help develop their fine motor skills.
I decided not to carry out the 'exercise' activity for physical needs because although it is very important for the children to keep stimulated I thought the children would enjoy doing a much more creative activity. Also the nursery did not have enough 'space' for the children to carry out such an activity as it was packed with a variety of other games suitable for that age.
I chose not to do the intellectual activity as I thought that the children would much rather prefer doing something that involved more creativeness. The activity that I have decided to carry out will help develop fine motor skills just as much as the creative writing activity might have done.
Drama was also a very nice way for the children to socialise however there was not enough space to do the activity and also the children seemed to prefer activities which involved the use of colour.
I used the 'Stepping Stones' through out the activity. These show the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that children need to learn during the foundation stage in order to achieve the early learning goals.
The children showed curiosity, some of the children spent a long time designing their collage. They showed independency whilst carrying out the activities, as for some of the children they felt more comfortable working on there collage on their own rather then asking for help and they seemed quite happy with this.
I have chosen this particular activity as I feel that the children will be able to express their feelings about the mood they are in and what they are feeling through making the collage. It may even be a new skill for them. I will be using colourful resources in order to make the activity appeal more to the children and make it look more attractive. I will bring in some equipment that children may find interesting such as sequences, feathers, cotton wool, ribbons and other resources that will make the activity more successful. This relates to my setting as well as the age group because I have a range of ideas the children can use to create their collage.
The benefits of this activity are that the activity will help the children develop fine motor skills which will help them expand further ability to do certain things, as they will be using their hands and eye co-ordination. They will also again be able to express their emotions. It will help the children be creative and can be a social activity as they will interact with the children within the group. Making a range of equipment and material accessible for the children means that the creative expression becomes easier. It will also be a positive way for them to socialise with other children.
I showed independency in selecting and carrying out the activity with the children, I personally made the resources accessible to the children, felt confident to ask staff for help when I needed support, this for example was when I wasn't sure where some of the recourses and material were kept therefore I asked the staff for help. I also showed a high level of involvement while doing the activities. I made sure that when the children were stuck I helped them out, gave them ideas, helped them when required and continuously praised them.
I have chosen to carry out my activity at a nursery setting. Wallace Road Nursery School is a local authority school situated on Wallace Road Nursery in Kingsley, next to Kingsley Primary School.
The nursery consists of three areas, the Elmer Room, the Kipper Room and the outdoor zone. Each session, after saying 'hello' to their key worker and collecting their name badge the children are free to choose where they would like to play and they can move freely between the areas. The staff encourages the children to participate in all areas of the curriculum. A snack is served during the session. For the final thirty minutes of the session all the children come together for singing followed by a small group story time or activity such as drama or music.
Wallace Road Nursery School looks very big from outside and inside it is very creative, bright and colourful and also very nicely decorated with many displays.
The aim of the activity is to design a seasonal collage using a wide range of materials and resources. in small groups of about 6-7 children I will begin the activity by explaining what needs to be done. I have chosen a small amount of children as it will be easy for me as well as the children to communicate with each other.
After making a phone call to Wallace Road Nursery the members of staff as well as myself decided to carry out the activity in the afternoon session. This was because there would be many children along with staff around which would mean that more children would want to participate in the activity.
On the next page is a lesson plan that shows a step by step flow chart as to how I am going to do the activity. As you can see on the right hand side of the lesson plan there are in a list the resources required for the activity. Most of these will be available within the nursery such as PVA glue, scrap paper, paint and scissors, however some of the materials I will need to buy individually. These resources are necessary as they will make the children want to take part in the activity because children at my chosen age group find bright colours very attractive.