Making childsplay out of pots and pans

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Some of the alternative items available to the children instead of toys. Pic © Matthew Nyland JMU Journalism

A nursery in Southport has removed all of its toys in favour of regular household items in an innovative approach to child development.

It has seen children’s toys replaced with real things such as pots, pans and dressing-up clothes to offer different perspectives during early learning.

The decision has seen the Big Picture be awarded with the Curiosity Approach Accreditation for its work, making it one of the only places in Merseyside and the wider UK with the accolade.

The idea behind the scheme is to help children develop their imagination, confidence, problem-solving skills and awaken creativity.

Marie Kerr, the manager of the daycare centre, said: “Back in December of 2018 we were introduced to the ‘Curiosity Approach’ concept and since then we’ve been on a journey that has seen our nursery, our staff team and the children in our care undergo an amazing transformation.”

The Big Picture is one of few nurseries up and down the country that has adapted the Curiosity Approach. Other places include a Daisy Chains in Prestatyn, Wales.

YouTube: Matthew Nyland

The pre-school’s walls are covered in objects that have been scoured from second-hand shops and car boot sales, such as vinyl records, sparkling lights and even the occasional bicycle wheel.

Marie added: “Children have naturally inquisitive minds. By introducing unusual objects, loose parts and real objects that are shiny, are fragile or are perhaps made of other materials, we give those minds the opportunity to discover things that ‘traditional’ nursery resources will never provide.”

Although she admits that parents were initially sceptical, they are now fully on board and appreciative of the positive effects it has had.

Speaking of the benefits, Ms Kerr said: “The impact of the new environment, alongside our team’s understanding of how to get the best from them, has been dramatic; not only in terms of the children’s learning and development, but also we’ve found improvements in the calmness and general behaviour of our children.”

About Matthew Nyland, JMU Journalism