Purposeful Play at the Nursery level
At the Ascension Kindergarten, we strongly believe that children learn best when they are actively engaged in play. Teachers intentionally plan play experiences with learning objectives in mind and facilitate children’s play to meet intended objectives.
Through the play experiences, children develop knowledge and skills in different learning areas such as in language and literacy, and numeracy to describe simple spatial concepts. In addition, children develop process skills such as testing out ideas, prediction, reasoning and problem-solving.
Here is a glimpse of a child’s day at the Nursery level:
Sand and water Play
Sand and water play promote eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills such as shoulder stability, forearm rotation, wrist control and hand grasp skills need for future writing are facilitated by sand and water play.
Sand and water play allows cognitive and mathematical skills such as investigation, observation, volume, problem solving, curiosity and imagination to be integrated. Social development are seen during the sand and water play as the children learn sharing, helping, compromising.
Dramatic play permits children to fit the reality of the world into their own interest and knowledge. Dramatic play contributes strongly to the intellectual development of children (Piaget, 1962). Dramatic play expands a child’s awareness of self in relation to others and the environment (Wayner, 1976). Children use verbal skills extensively during dramatic play. They create dialogue for the characters they play. Dramatic play gives the children a chance to verbalize their thoughts and understanding of the situations. Children learn new vocabulary when unfamiliar props such as a whisk are included in the dramatic play.
Block play gives the children an opportunity to be creative as there are no limits to what they can build. It allows them to make their own design as well as gives them the satisfaction of creating something on their own that did not exist before. Block play encourages children to cooperate with one another and also promotes interaction and imagination as the children strives together to solve problem. Block play helps children to improve math skills when children count, match, sort and group. Children also learn how to describe colours, shapes, sizes and position as they build various structures.
Free Easel Painting
Free easel painting is an amazing opportunity for children to express their perception, feelings, interest and creativity through art. Children need freedom and consistent opportunity to explore the materials and tools provided at the easel painting. Initial mixing of colours may turn to a muddy brown but later mixing may begin to be more purposeful. Children will begin to express their feelings and interest through the painting process after they have first been allowed to explore and mix. After which children will begin to paint recognizable or explainable pieces of work that eventually they are able to share a story about their artwork or tell you what they have painted.
Learning Centre – Math
Games at the Math Learning Centre are designed to strengthen fine motor skills, enhance eye-hand coordination, visual observation and discrimination. It also promotes self-esteem and enhances mathematical development such as comparing, matching, sorting, grouping, counting, numeral identification, sizes, shapes, etc
Pebbles play supports imagination and creativity in children allowing them to expand their creativity of how they perceive things or objects in life through art. It also develops fine-manipulative skills and mathematical concepts such as spatial awareness, shapes, sizes, counting, comparison, etc. Pebbles play raises children’s awareness of the environment and also provides sensory experience for the children.