In our Chatteris nursery, our older children (from about 3 to 5) are like little sponges and by this age and they are filled with questions (we often call this the "why ?" room as every question seems to be 'why?').
We are registered up to 16 children at this age and we have a pre-school room where we adapt our approach to make learning fun? Their enthusiasm for learning makes this age a joy and we take advantage of their curiosity by creating fun games that have rules which are a bit more complex with goals, prizes and rewards.
This is also the age when we can start introducing letters and numerals. We really focus on FUN and learning through play. The 'serious-business' of learning will come when they start full time education and we think that they should have FUN rather than work at this age. We focus on introducing academic concepts and refining their social skills.
The activities we provide in our Pre-School room are similar to those in the toddler room. We use similar activities but take them a step further to help the children develop their skills.
Sticking - lots of brightly coloured paper and kid-safe glue,
Painting - every child's favourite (and ours too !) We never cease to be amazed at the wonderful creations they make and the fun in their eyes as the paint goes (almost) where they hoped !
Sensory play (rice / flour / sand - this helps our children to understand how different things feel and move,
Water play - we have objects that float and sink and squirt and swim !
Music time - sing-a-long with nursery rimes and rattles,
Story time - short stories with fun and acting.
Learning how to make choices and decisions is an important part of a child's personal and social development and we tend to involve them in deciding what they will do each day. Their activities are a mixture of what a child chooses to do and what is initiated by us.
Hygiene is also important and we aim to teach them about the importance of washing their hands before meals and after the toilet.