What We Do
Learning Through Play!
At Bright Sparks we are aware that children naturally want to learn and the best way that we can help them to do this is to provide them with an environment where they feel safe, secure, happy and cared about, where everything they need (for their ‘work’ of developing through play) is available for them.
There is a large variety of high quality, fun and educational learning resources available for the children to freely choose throughout the day, alongside the carefully planned activities designed to help them reach their individual learning goals.
There is also a wide selection of art and craft materials available all day for the children to choose from if they wish to be creative, or simply to explore and get messy with.
There is a wide variety of high quality miniature world and role play resources available for imaginative play inside and outside.
The children love the adaptable home corner that can become a shop, vets, hospital etc. etc. depending on the children’s current interests (which staff plan the activities around).
The children have lots of different resources available for them to ‘mark make’ in preparation for learning to write at school.
This is a very important skill for the children to learn so resources are always available no matter where the children are playing.
Children can enjoy playing outside safely in all weathers.
Along with the free play there are set times during the day when the staff carry out skilfully planned activities with the children that expand their learning and help them to reach their individual goals.
The children have lots fun, whilst they are developing the skills they need in preparation for school.
The baby room is well equiped with every thing a baby needs for their development and care. There is the very popular baby gym where they can practice all their physical skills; a sensory area; a large variety of treasure baskets for them to explore; messy play; dressing up and role play as well as all the baby care essentials like a fridge for their milk and sleep and nappy changing facilities.
You can see a video of it here: https://www.facebook.com/Brightsparkschildcareplymouth/videos
Reflections Outside Messy play
The children love playing outside in our well resourced natural garden. They particularly enjoy the chalkboard, the sand pit, the slope, the tree, the mud kitchen, cosy corner and sensory garden.
The chalk board is available for the children to use at all times, with different colours and sizes of chalks. The children often use this to practice writing their names (or simply to make marks or express themselves).
The sand pit is available most of the time (it is only really covered up in very wet weather as the children love playing in it so much).
The sand pit is a very versatile resource that can be fitted into many topics, for example we have diggers and dumper trucks for the children to make believe it is a building site.
We are very fortunate to have a natural slope in the corner of the garden for the children to use to climb up and to roll things down. This is great for their physical development and for them to learn about gravity etc. in a fun way.
At the top of our natural slope is our tree which is perfect for climbing and playing in as it has very low safe branches.
In the centre of the garden we have put in some safety surfacing so that we can safely bring out our climbing resources for the children to use. Here, even the babies can safely practice toddling without the risk of coming to any harm if they fall over.
One of our newest editions to the garden is our mud kitchen for the children to use to make ‘mud pies’ and the such like.
It has everything a budding mud pie maker could need including water collected in our outside water butt (just to the left of the picture).
This is our sensory garden, where the plants have been specially selected for their sensory properties. Here the children can use their senses of: smell; touch; sight and even hearing to learn about (and marvel at) the natural world.
We like to offer as many natural things for the children to use in the garden as possible and here we have logs (and we have some real tyres too). The children are free to use these how they wish and they move them around; balance on them (with staff assistance); step into the tyres; roll the tyres down the slope (when it is safe to do so); look under the logs for bugs and sometimes build with them.
The newest edition to our garden is the Cosy Corner, outdoor reading and quiet area.
We have made some outdoor books for the children to look at, they can point to the letters of the alphabet and the staff can read to them.
The Top Garden
We are particularly proud of our top garden where the children can go to learn more about nature. They marvel at the mini-beasts and plants they find up there and enjoy playing games like hide and seek with each other. We use this wonderful resource for our forest school activities and to do things like ‘going on a bear hunt’, ‘teddy bears picnics’, ‘Easter egg hunts’, ‘bug hunts’ etc. etc.
The children love safely climbing this tree, figuring out the best route up and then down again is good for their gross motor development and enhancing their problem solving skills.
The Children also love taking it in turns to swing on the rope swing that has been attached to the next tree.
The children love feeding the birds and squirrels that live in our garden, fascinated with all they are learning about them.
The children love playing hide and seek amongst the bushes here at the back of the top garden.
The children enjoy story time sitting on log seats made from an old tree that used to be up here until it got too old and had to be cut down.