March 23, 2018 Laminated Sheets & Labels

Leave the laminator alone!

How many of you have the laminator constantly heating up and churning out shiny covered pieces of paper, signs and notices?

Constantly replacing burnt-out machines, as they overheat or chew up sheets of carefully fed paper. Hours of wasted time, as educators sit mindlessly posting laminate films into the eagerly awaiting rollers.

How many of you have staff who eagerly opt for this job, suggesting that their efforts will be in some way of benefit or enhance the provision or education of children?

Wasted paper, wasted laminated wallets and wasted time! Churning out random pieces of downloaded information to staple or blu-tac around your nursery environment.  Number signs, shapes and labels for all areas of your setting.

Laminated A4 sheets stapled outside in the water, sand area etc, all attempting to bring what we assume are connections to the natural world. A4 pictures of a caterpillar, ladybird, butterfly or beetle?  

We are drawn into the myth that Ofsted or Care Directorates are searching out play spaces and furniture bombarded with labels on everything that doesn’t move!!!                                                     

Why? Why do we feel the need to do this? Why do we feel the need to bombard our calm and tranquil environments with token gestures of text and bright ‘shiny box ‘resources? (Name changed)

To bombard our beautiful outdoor environments with signs and labels? Why do we listen to outdated antiquated myths? Why do we believe everything we see on social media sites, restrained by traditional outdated display board ideas and thinking?

Let’s reflect who are these laminated signs for? Who benefits from these A4 laminated pictures, with text below?

Why do we just staple them on the Nursery or childcare setting wall, with no explanation to the child as to why they are there, or what they are for?

Why are we driven by scaremongering, that downloadable A4 sheets or teaching posters have any benefit to child development, teaching and learning? Do the children ever go up to them, or even know they are there? Do you and your team, have a visual blindness to the sheets left to get tatty discoloured and worn?

Have you viewed your provision with FRESH EYES recently? Do you even know what’s glued, stuck or stapled around your setting? Rest assured text in our educational environments, is all around, through books and displays. Through imagery and quotes, let’s be brave and bold enough to know that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready and if offered quality teaching and learning opportunities.

As mindful and responsive educators, we can help children recognize text, by scribing their words and phrases. By jotting down a child’s voice and sounding out initial sounds in words. Set up written questioning to compliment an invitation or provocation to learning. Educators can read out questioning, following the text to show children that text has meaning.

laminates, early years, the curiosity approach, curiosity

Children will learn to read if we ensure books and stories are a huge part of their daily lives. To ensure children grow up loving & handling literature, books and stories. To encourage parents and carers to read to children, sharing story sacks and book bags. Barbara Dewey suggests that by “helping children to develop a sense of good language and expression. Singing songs, reciting poems, doing fingerplays and little puppet shows are also important. Telling stories is better than reading them because the child must imagine his own pictures. This ability to imagine is an important step in preparation for reading.” Provide opportunities for text throughout the environment, purposeful and meaningful resources.

Books should be in all areas of your environment and not just reserved for the book corner. Having reference and fiction books across all parts of your setting will extend and facilitate learning and a love of books. Helping children appreciate that books offer a wealth of information and knowledge. If we offer meaningful literature across our play spaces, there will be no need to use downloaded laminated generic resources. You will have confidence that your environment is thoughtfully set up to help children develop their literacy skills.

Your environment is your 3rd teacher and allows children to see texts in purposeful and meaningful ways. Let’s encourage children to fall in love with books and not zoned out switched off to labels and displays that offer no value or benefit to any forward thinking play space. Children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready.

Rudolph Steiner believes children learn to read when they are developmentally ready, usually at the age of 7. As mindful educators, we need to ensure text in the environment is meaningful! STEP AWAY FROM THE LAMINATOR!


Before any jumps on me it’s IMPORTANT to remember –

We understand the need for visual timetables and SEND co resources. PEC cards etc. However are these easily accessible?

At Curiosity Approach settings, PEC or sign language cards are placed on lanyards for staff to wear throughout the day. Allowing staff to be responsive to children’s needs and communication requirements.

We kindly ask you give consideration to what is purposeful within your provision and what is stapled up to fill a space or brighten an area!

WHO is it for?

At Curiosity Approach settings, laminators and laminated sheets are a distant memory an extinct piece of equipment that we no longer need or to spend hours chained to this temperamental and unnecessary machine.

Written by Stephanie Bennett

The Curiosity Approach Read this interesting article about reading the Waldorf way  

Finally, if you’d like more information about The Curiosity Approach & how we create inspirational environments for children.

Look at how you too can transform your nursery or setting Accreditation – Have a look today

Written by Stephanie Bennett

Copyright 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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