August 19, 2017 Get rid of the chairs!

If you have ever been to one of our Curiosity Approach nurseries, one thing that is missing is CHAIRS!

In fact, they are not missing, staff know exactly where they are, they just choose not to use them!

All the chairs are stacked away after breakfast & remain away until lunch time.

What do children sit on, I hear many ask?

We use chairs at mealtimes and open snack table, other than at these times, chairs are stacked and put out of sight or stacked safely against the wall.

Sadly, fitness experts have stated that British children are entering a state of “digital dependence” which would shorten lives, with sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm long before children reached adolescence.

We need to ensure we allow plenty of opportunity for movement and freedom to explore as much as possible. Allow children to be independent, whilst developing physically.

Have you ever observed a child at the play dough table? They will usually only play with the equipment and resources within arms-reach – that semi-circle radius within their grasp.

Beyond their fingertips, children reach aimlessly waving fingers. 9 times out of ten, the power of speech disappears too, using “U U U” noises to attract the adults attention – to communicate they’d like the rolling pin which is beyond their reach.

Remove the chairs and you instantly provide freedom of movement, children can easily move & access all sides of the table. They can wander to collect additional resources with ease.  You have instantly opened up whole new opportunities to extend children’s learning as a wider variety of equipment becomes instantly accessible and small bodies are not confined to their corner of the table. Conversation & language miraculously returns as children chat & engage with the whole table & not just the two children on either side of them.

By removing the chairs, children are developing core strength, this is essential for later academic life, when they are expected to sit for extensive periods of time at a desk or on the carpet.

Core strength is imperative to ensure children can engage fully in physical games & activities. Helping to develop strong bones, muscles and heart.  Promote and develop active learning, children learn best when movement is involved.

If you’d like to take it a step further, look to ensure activities are on a range of surfaces, all at varying heights & surfaces. Use the floor, tree stumps, lower tables or tuft spot. Giving children the opportunity to get up & down, negotiate balance, coordination and once again those essential physical skills.

Give it a go, try it out and see what happens.

Let’s ensure our incredible little learners become the thinkers & doers of the future. Without your passion, drive & determination to make changes, lifestyles will remain sedentary and children will not fulfil their true potential.

Give them the wings to fly. Please don’t trap them in a chair or subliminal cage. Our children need the freedom to learn & play.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – let’s move away from traditional thinking and embrace a curious and passionate Early years!

The Curiosity Approach

This article was written by Stephanie Bennett, One of the Co-founders of The Curiosity Approach, alongside Lyndsey Hellyn. We're more than just another consultancy company, together we want to impact on early years. To make a change to the educational system. To inspire practitioners to bring back curiosity, awe and wonder to childhood and to the lives of educators.

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