Last week was half term, and as a nanny for school age children, this is the time we get to have a bit of fun, a break away from the day to day routines of school, clubs, and homework.
Whatever the weather I value the importance of outside play, children need fresh air, and space to run, explore and be free. School age children already have so much of their days prescribed
and jammed into a routine that it is good for them in the holidays to have some “free” time to decided what they do and where they play, giving them an element of control.
This half term the children I nanny for have a new addition to the family, a puppy!! we organised a day for the children and their friends to play at home, to be with the puppy, and to have some free time to choose what they wanted to play. electronics were the only thing out of bounds, they chose to spend most of the time outside, wellie boots on, playing football, with the puppy, climbing, and exploring their garden.
It was lovely to see them be free, this gave the children more opportunities for learning and discovering without them feeling they were. They had to negotiate with older children, to organise a game, to work with an animal who wants to play all the time. They used their gross motor and fine motor skills to navigate over the climbing equipment, and to handle and throw balls developing hand, foot, eye co-ordination. Managing their own time to play, gave the children autonomy, self confidence, and independence. Without pushing from an adult they included all the children and all ages ranges in their play. We are proud of our nanny children and how they adapt and develop to situations to be able to play constructively when left to make their own choices.
Obviously these choices are supervised at a distance, and the play areas are safe and secure, so we know they can make their choices in a safe environment. We are now back into the routine of school and clubs again, but hopefully the children are refreshed to return to the structure, looking forward to the Easter holidays when they can be free to make some choices about their days again.