Bright Kids Northfield helps inspire imaginative play for local children

Children at our Northfield nursery have been getting curious following the introduction of an initiative that inspires imaginative play in learning.

Staff at our Northfield setting are celebrating being accredited by the ‘Curiosity Approach,’ which they have been training to introduce for the past 12 months.

The initiative, created by local nursery owners Lyndsey Hellyn and Stephanie Bennett, encourages nurseries to ditch plastic toys and bright primary colours and create natural environments, using calming pastel colours and open-ended everyday objects, such as pots, pans, wooden spoons, wheels, stones – you name it!

This encourages children to use their imaginations and explore different ways of using everyday items.

Inspired by the ‘no toys’ and ‘authentic resources’ values of the Curiosity Approach, we decided to introduce it into our Northfield setting last year and it soon became the first nursery following the ethos to receive an Outstanding Ofsted rating.

Our Northfield Nursery Manager, Janette Moran, explained the impact introducing this new approach has had on staff and children in the setting: “Children are engaging more with the resources in nursery, becoming more creative and we are observing more construction play, especially large scale.

“The children enjoy being able to choose freely from our free flow layout and get to explore more different rooms and areas than before. The look and feel of the nursery have improved and the natural calming colours have made it more homely and comfortable.

“Staff have more ownership of their rooms and resources and bring more flare to the children’s play opportunities, as well as engaging more with fresh ideas.

“Children’s self-help skills have improved thanks to using real drinking glasses, plates and bowls. Parents are now more inclined to encourage children to drink from open top cups and have commented on the use of these in role-play areas, enabling children to practice the skills at their own pace and stage of development.

“Staff are excited to try new things and confident with introducing unusual resources and allowing the children to access things with small manageable risks attached. Children communicate more about their home environment and are drawn to some resources as they are familiar with them, thus engaging peers more in their conversation and play.

“Overall, everyone is calmer and more motivated in themselves.”

Bright Kids’ Chief Executive, Tricia Wellings, added: “We would definitely recommend the Curiosity Approach to other nurseries. Our Outstanding Ofsted result at our Northfield setting is testament to the fact that this ethos really does work. It helps children to develop and grow, be more engaged and use their imaginations without limitations.

“Supporting children to get ‘curious’ encourages the use of open-ended, real-life objects such as cardboard tubes, wheels, feathers, stones etc. all of which can be used in different ways, allowing children to explore in whichever direction their imagination takes them.

“We are thrilled to offer Bright Kids Northfield children this fantastic new way of learning which is in line with delivering ‘Awe and Wonder’ as noted in the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework.”


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