5 Activities Which Future Nursery Educators Should Know to Teach Young Learners
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
Well, it is not only true about Jack but also for everyone, especially if he/she is a child or a young learner. The right to play is deemed so fundamental to children’s wellbeing, that it is enshrined by the UN as a universal children’s right. This is something which is an integral part of the development of the children and a nursery teacher should understand that very well. He/she should inculcate the nuances of certain activities which can be effective for them when they are pursuing the nursery teacher training courses en route to becoming able educators. In fact, these play activities are particularly important for the younger child. It is the foundation of childhood development in terms of language, emotional intelligence and regulation, creativity, and intellectual reasoning.
In the following lines, we will look at 5 such important play activities that a future nursery educator should know about before starting their career as the educator of young learners. But before that, we have to understand the fundamentals of these play activities, which are depicted in the following lines.
- A play activity must be fun and enjoyable
- It must have no set goals
- It must be spontaneous and voluntary
- It should involve active engagement
- It should also involve an element of make-believe
1. Dress-Up and Role Play
Dressing-up as doctors, plumbers, etc. helps children to begin to make sense of the adult world, roles, and interests, as well as boosting social interaction. Not least, dressing-up helps to reinforce the self-care aspects of self-dressing which is essential for primary school life. It is very important for a nursery educator to understand how to implement this activity in the class to help the young learners have an in-depth understanding of the course content, which the future educator should learn about while pursuing the nursery teacher training courses.
2. Drawing and Painting
Letting children have fun with paints and drawing tools allows them to experience their world in a sensory way and develop self-expression, whilst also developing pre-writing skills. These activities are more than just play activities. They are more of good habits which goes a long way in the personal development of the young learners and should be inculcated by the future nursery educators.
3. Blocks, Jigsaws, and Shape Sorters
Playing with blocks, jigsaws, and shape sorters all lay the foundations of spatial thinking, logical reasoning, ordering, and recognising various shapes, sizes, and colours. This helps in the mental development of the children and also caters to the upgrading of their imaginative as well as calculative powers, which can in turn be helpful for the successful completion of the course curriculum within the stipulated time.
4. Music, Dancing, and Singing
Singing and music hugely help to develop language and form the basis of literacy skills, as well as basic mathematical concepts such as counting. Furthermore, they begin to develop rhythm, whilst also refining their listening skills. Dancing helps the child develop strength and coordination, and flexibility. This is what makes learning the play activities a huge advantage for the learners of the nursery teacher training courses.
5. Imaginative Play
Leaving a small child with nothing but a random selection of objects helps them find a world of make-believe. Giving a child time and space for imaginative play is essential. It develops their imagination, which is important for literacy skills and intellectual reasoning. Additionally, it increases their sense of self, and self-esteem, as well as making sense of the world around them along with the ability to handle boredom. This makes the task of delivering the course content to the young learners easier for the nursery educators and also helps to create a strong bond between the teacher and the students.
The aforementioned play activities are some of the most impactful ones in terms of the development of the children. The learners of the nursery teacher training courses should understand and inculcate how to best help the young learners get involved in these activities which will eventually cater to their development in a huge way, thus making the overall teaching-learning procedure effective and efficient.