Sunflowers

3 – 5 years

The sunflowers are located on the ground floor and caters for 38 children aged between 3-5 years. The area is spacious and open plan which is divided into a number of activity zones by medium height walls. The areas are designed to encourage the children to explore their environment and to independently choose which toys and activities they wish to access.

An increased interest in joint play such as small world, construction and games help children to learn important social skills including sharing and co-operating. Children also learn about helping adults and others in everyday activities and finding a balance between independence and complying with the wishes of others.

Children still need the comfort and security of special people. Close, warm relationships with carers form the basis for much learning, such as encouraging children to make healthy choices in food and exercise. At this stage of their development children are becoming more aware of their place in a community. Literacy and numeracy can develop rapidly with the support of a wide range of interesting materials and activities. A child’s language is now much more complex, as many practice using longer sentences. Conversations with adults become a more important source of information, guidance and reassurance.

Learning & Development

The Sunflowers area operate on a 1 adult to 8 children ratio that is designed to allow children free access to a wide variety of age-appropriate resources that allow flexibility for each child across all six areas of learning. The complementary garden area also allows children in the Sunflowers to have contact with weather, seasons and the natural world, with activities that include:

  • Large & Small Movement Resources – to enhance and improve co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement skills.
  • Sand & Water Play – to explore sand and water capabilities (and quantities) through scientific, mathematical, imaginary, sensory and manipulative experiences.
  • Messy Play – to explore a range of materials, tools and medias to develop imagination, understanding, manipulation, control, spontaneous expression and creativity.
  • Book Play – to develop early reading skills, handling books, retelling stories, listening skills, discussion skills and love of books.
  • Construction Area – to join, build and balance with a variety of construction materials, sometimes building with a purpose in mind.
  • Role Play & Small World Areas – to use available resources to re-enact life experiences, interact with others and develop social skills.
  • Language Resources – using language games and resources to focus on language skills (through fun games, rhymes and songs) and enhance the communication skills, self esteem, confidence, and social skills. This area also offers the chance to explore with mark making and writing resources, and also benefits from a weekly visit from a Welsh teacher.
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning & Numeracy Activities – specially selected resources allow for mathematical development which allows children to recognise patterns, make connections and recognise relationships (through activities that involve discovering numbers, counting, sorting and matching with shape, space and measures).
  • Physical Activities – both indoor and outdoor environments provide a place where children can choose to be active or rest and reflect. Our dance sessions also encourage a progression of skills to promote confident movement, health and bodily awareness as well as control in using physical play equipment.
  • The Sunflowers are looked after by Shanice and she is assisted by Lauran p, Rhian and Georgia.

Shanice enjoys being with the older children, they enjoy learning about the world, Shanice enjoys teaching them how to hold a pencil and to write their names. You will see wall boards in the area demonstrating the children practicing their pencil control.