Learning in the Baby Room

Learning in the Babyrooms

As well as learning through active play, much of our under-2s’ learning stems from their drive to investigate their surroundings with all their senses. This includes fun with water, sand and other malleable materials. Floor easels support early mark-making and finger painting, which are large-motor and sensory experiences at this age.

Block play is important for young children’s cognitive development. Their minds start to process concepts like gravity, shape and symmetry years before they learn such terms.

Treasure baskets nurture curiosity and learning. The sort of manipulative actions typically seen during treasure basket play may be linked to a complex process of rule acquisition, categorisation and developing mental files rather than simply exploration per se.

Heuristic play too is based on natural curiosity (heuristic means ‘to find out’). As babies grow, they move beyond just feeling and pondering things, to wanting to find out what can be done with them!

Toddlers have an urge to manipulate objects and use them in combination, so practitioners collect a large supply of tins and lots of natural and found items for them to explore.

Because these materials are free of detail, children’s imaginations flourish. A child using a cardboard tube as trumpet, for instance, is demonstrating an active imagination. Einstein said ‘Imagination is more
important than knowledge’. Not only does imagination add a rich dimension to children’s lives, it is also key to understanding the feelings of others.

A babyroom wouldn’t be quite right without an abundance of nursery rhymes and singing. Whether in groups or during routines such as nappy changing we embrace every opportunity to develop our rhythm
and vocabulary through a good song.

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