At Hobbyhorse we believe in learning through play and provide a range of activities that are child initiated and adult led by the Early Years (EY) team. Some activities are planned in advance and some follow the lead of the children’s interests, with half-termly ‘themes’ providing inspiration. Planned activities can be changed or adapted to respond to the children’s ideas as necessary. Activities are changed often to keep things fresh and fun.
The home corner encourages role play and children can become homemakers, café owners, shop keepers or delve into the dressing up box and direct the traffic, put out (imaginary) fires, mend a hole in the road or become little fairies.
The book corner equipped with a mini sofa, gives the children the opportunity to choose books to look at alone or to bring to a member of the EY team to read to them. Hobbyhorse has a wide range of books to encourage reading and a love of reading.
The playroom is constantly arranged and rearranged with various activities. E.g, painting, play dough, drawing, lego, puzzles, weighing, cutting and construction. The children will be given a chance to do something creative like build a tall structure or paint a fabulous picture or sit down and think about how the scales balance or how to use scissors and learn how to cut (with guidance). These carefully planned activities work on developing their fine motor skills and co-ordination, logical thinking, mathematical development, creative and mark making skills.
Singing and ‘Let’s Get Physical’ is a fun part of our day, but quiet time also has its moment during story time for the entire group and at the end of the session.
The outdoors space mirrors the indoor provision and aims to support more physical play with running, climbing, jumping, balancing, digging and pouring.
At Hobbyhorse we have a daily routine that structures our sessions. Every session starts with circle time. Everyone is greeted, the day of the week and weather are discussed and the day’s range of activities is explained. The children then engage in a free flow of play, inside and out.
Mid-morning the children are offered a snack and drink. At Hobbyhorse we are proud to be a ‘healthy’ pre-school and the snacks are varied and nutritious, with the occasional treat. The children can choose from milk or water. Special diets can be catered for.
We come together in groups, for a focused activity. This is followed by a physical activity either indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. An example of this activity is write dance, which helps develop balance and co-ordination skills that are essential for writing skills.
The session includes a lunch period and parents/carers are asked to provide a labelled pack lunch. We promote healthy eating and can offer lunch ideas if necessary. After lunch we have a short rest period and then all the children as a group play on the grassed area, our extended outdoor area.
There are plenty more opportunities to play before the session ends with stories, songs and a chorus of Hop Little Bunnies. Then it is time to go home.