Trip, trap, trip, trap…

who’s that crossing our bridge?!Recently Cheeky Monkeys have been obsessed with the trip-trap bridge on our fixed wooden climbing frame. It poses quite a physical challenge for little legs as it is a very wibbly-wobbly bridge indeed and it takes balance, steady footing and determination.All children are very different and have their own individual starting points and it is down to the skill of our practitioners with their knowledge and understanding of their individual children to support and challenge as required in order that they can have the most impact upon every child’s learning day in/day out… week after week…A perfect illustration of such impact through the sensitive interaction and support offered was shown by an individual child’s achievement when they crossed the bridge for the first time independently!Fiona could see that one of her little ones was desperate to go across the bridge, but they were reluctant and lacking confidence.So she encouraged them to have a try and offered a helping hand to build their confidence and this was just the reassurance they needed to attempt to cross the bridge.Next time they ventured across she did the same and their pride (and confidence!) grew. On their third crossing she encouraged them to try to hold onto the rail as they crossed. Her hand was offered nearby, but was not needed! On their next attempt Fiona was officially shunned as she was now surplus to requirements as they were independently, confidently crossing the bridge challenging their physical skills and self-belief.Wow! This is but a little moment in the whole scheme of a nursery day, but it is an important one… had she not observed their hesitancy she would not have encouraged and supported and this progress may not have been made for quite some time; as they would not have tackled the bridge (even though they secretly wanted to!).We ♥️ it when we can see the impact our actions have upon little learners. We encourage confidence, resilience and a ‘can do’ attitude and our children make us Early Years practitioners VERY proud!!! (Whereas for other children our impact upon their play and learning may not be supporting the physical as they cross the bridge, it may instead be focused more around developing role-play and imagination as they pretend there is a troll hiding underneath and imagine they are one of the Billy Goats Gruff, or it may be us helping them to master coming down the slide in a variety of ways, or counting the steps up alongside them to develop their number/counting knowledge… It looks very different for every child and the skill of an Early Years practitioner is ‘tuning into this’ on a daily basis to help each child fulfil their full potential whilst helping to take away any barriers to learning that may be encountered by them along the way… And, be honest, you thought we were all just ‘playing’ all day long didn’t you? 🤣😂😂😂) The life of an Early Years practitioner is exhausting, but it is also AMAZING, rewarding and incredible as we love to share in our children’s development and achievements each and every day! ♥️