Do I have to get rid of all our toys, to become a Curiosity Approach® Setting?

Are you keen to embark on The Curiosity Approach Accreditation? To join The Curiosity Approach Academy but worried you’ll have to bin mountains of resources in one fell swoop? We understand how daunting this process can be and there is so much chatter and misconceptions being circulated about our pedagogy. We bet you have read and heard so much stuff that has been assumed and re shared.  Need clarity ? Want help to understand if The Curiosity Approach® is right for you?

Most certainly we promote ourselves as ‘the nursery with no toys’ but getting to this point took time and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. This is one reason we created The Curiosity Approach Accreditation, to help understand WHY change is necessary and how we can begin to make a difference. 

Firstly let’s remember change takes time and we cannot go into our settings one weekend and strip it bare. What will children play with? Where will all this stuff go? You cannot just dump it, bin it, that would be such a waste of thousands of pounds spent. 

Remember, we have spent months in some cases settling children into our Early Years provisions, helping them to become those independent, capable and competent learners. Children who know where to find resources, access resources and navigate their way around THEIR play space. We have to keep in mind that this isn’t OUR environment it’s the children’s and they need to be part of this journey. 

Another point to consider is: Many children have only ever accessed plastic toys and will have never attended a setting full of loose parts and intelligent resources. You may find many children haven’t a clue what to do with these resources or how to play with them. To begin with they will be exploring them, investigating and being inquisitive. To us it may not look like play and we may assume they are not playing. We then get nervous, uncertain and unsure. Let’s face it they were playing quite happily previously ( in a traditional sense ) with the garage and construction toys. 

We need to slowly add those loose parts, guttering planks and recycled materials and to be present and engaged as children play. To watch, wait and wonder. To model how to use the resources and allow children the time and space to find out for themselves. Gradually you will notice that due to the restrictions a ‘closed’ resource offers, children spend longer periods of time playing with the open-ended resources, until eventually the garage is no longer played with and it can be donated, sold on or gifted to a local charity. But remember this all takes time. 

Eventually the children’s garage may look like this or as you transition it might be a combination of both. 

Here are some questions we often get asked when settings say they’d love to join our academy but have assumed that all plastic is forbidden. 

1️⃣ “We can’t use plastic!” ❌ Not True
We have plastic in our settings look at Rainbow Rooms set up below with all the plastic buckets . They are accredited and show casing their wondrous provision.  Our rule of thumb is that 80% of your environment will be full of loose parts and recycled materials. Most certainly there will be plastic and we are not expecting you to dump the lot. But let us reflect on what children actually play with and do we really need to buy any more? 

2️⃣ “We haven’t got time to set up this stuff, everyone rushes out the door at 6pm” 😓
We will help you and your team get your setting ‘put to bed’ each night, organise routines and high expectations.

We have videos and monthly Leaders and Managers meetings. A recording to help leaders in their roles.

 “We have coloured floors and rugs, we can’t afford to change these throughout “ That’s OK, coloured floors are expensive to replace. 

We love colour at The Curiosity Approach® it is just that we don’t bombard the setting with a paint pot explosion of colour and visual noise throughout. We are mindful and selective, we view the environment with fresh eyes and consider what it feels like for a child to play in the space. Is it calm and tranquil or just a barrage of colour, stuff hanging everywhere? 

Want to know more about The Curiosity Approach®? Perhaps you have a question you want answering? Did you know you can email our support desk and one of the team will be happy to help: support@thecuriosityapproach.co.uk    Alternatively read more information here and watch our videos to see if our professional development journey is for you. Click the link below to learn more:


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