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Term 2; weeks 2 & 3

Over the past couple of weeks most of our Kidsizers have spent almost all of their time outdoors and they have been having so much fun! In addition to our head torches which are needed throughout our afternoon sessions due to the darker evenings the children have been enjoying playing with glow in the dark bands. The bands glow so brightly in the dark!!

After taking requests from some of our older children for things they would like to have at Kidsize we got some awesome lightsabers. These have been popular with our Star Wars fans and have been enjoyed by the children inside and outside. While playing with these lightsabers the children are practising their hand eye co-ordination and learning boundaries when they engage with each other using the lightsabers. The lightsabers can also change colours and look awesome outside in the afternoons.

Our Kidsizers have had an amazing time getting out to the playground as well. From the hill at the playground the children can enjoy a beautiful sunset each evening while they have their snack. The children are able to bring their snack with them in their boxes to enjoy whenever they choose. Seeing these sunsets and the change of seasons as we head into winter encourages conversations about nature and the way the world changes throughout the year. At the playground the children have access to climbing frames, basketball hoops, obstacle courses and slides. This provides endless hours of fun and allows for the children to engage in physical activity that can improve respiratory and cardiovascular fitness and develop their motor skills. Check out those happy faces enjoying being outdoors below.

At kidsize we add to our outdoor play options regularly and the children can enjoy a range of outdoor equipment. We have a sports equipment box, bug hunting kits, gazebo tent and loose parts suitcase. Last week our Kidsizers enjoyed playing with the stilts from our sports equipment box. It was amazing to see the children encourage each other when they initially were a bit wobbly on them and took a few attempts to be able to walk on them properly. Once the children using them became more confident they challenged each other to stilt walking races. The children were able to discuss with each other where the best place in our outdoor area would be to hold these races and where was safest. The children decided to hold their races on the flat long path as the grass was slippy. It was great to see the children undertake their own version of a risk assessment to ensure that they could have a fun race while remaining safe. This shows the benefit of encouraging positive risk taking and engagement in the risk assessments we carry out with the children. They are then able to make confident independent decisions that can keep them safe which is a necessary skill that they will require throughout their whole lives.

At Kidsize we are proud to be able to provide a range of loose parts for the children. This provides opportunity for children to develop skills such as problem solving and theoretical thinking. Loose parts play also encourages imaginative play and we saw loads of this over the past couple of weeks. We have a few children that enjoy imagining that they are chefs and are cooking for customers. Last week the children used the pots and pans, jugs, pieces of wood and tongs to prepare meals. The children worked together getting water that had collected in the outdoor tires to mix with mud. The children also discussed between themselves who would be head chef, assistant chef etc. This provided opportunity for some of the children to lead during the play. They cooked up some yummy sounding pasta dishes and hot chocolate to finish off with. We love to watch our Kidsizer's imaginations run free at club.

At Kidsize we support the children with their school work and the children often tell us what they are learning about during each term. At the moment a few of the children are learning about Space for their school term topic. They particularly enjoyed an activity they did for this at school and asked if they could also do this at Kidsize. We were more than happy to help them do this and we ensured that could see a picture of the phases of the moon to draw using white pencil on dark paper. Some younger children noticed this activity and also joined in.

We like to involve the children in regular decisions about the play spaces and play opportunities we provide. While the children were doing their moon drawings they paused to engage in discussion about our current play spaces. They were provided with laminated sheets that they could move mini versions of furniture and toys around on. We love to see how the children would like things to be set up for them and this helps us provide the best play spaces and opportunities we can for them.

Our Kidsizers are continuing to enjoy healthy snacks everyday which is even more important than ever as we head into winter. A healthy diet contributes to the children's general health and immune systems. The children also enjoy independently helping themselves to the snack they would like and preparing their fruit and veg which they can safely peel and cut.

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