As many of you will have seen over the past couple of days there has been a lot of discussion around the ‘resources’ that a lot of settings seem to be filling their provision with more and more recently…
I couldn’t resist the urge to share my views too!
Firstly I will follow the lead of @littlemissearlyears and echo the opinion of both her and Elaine @keyu_official (if you haven’t read their blogs the links are at the bottom of this post and definitely worth reading alongside this) who agree that some of these ‘resources’ pose a significant risk to the health and safety of some children in Early Years provision. I think it is vital we recognise that every single part of our provision should be planned, primarily for the child. When considering the child this must include the safety of the children when they are accessing the provision.
You wouldn’t put a jar of marbles in the baby room would you? Same rules apply with the use or pallets or cable reels or any other resource. If it isn’t safe for the age or developmental stage of a child it should NOT be there regardless of the kind of ‘look’ you are wanting to create.
Secondly, the aesthetics of an environment. This is something that constantly crops up during conversations on Instagram, the pinnacle of aesthetic led social medias. ‘Pinterest Pedagogy’ (If you haven’t heard this phrase before you NEED to check out @littlemissearlyyears blog for more on this!)
I see A LOT of settings, educators and professionals sharing photos of their areas, we see settings replicating one another using images they’ve seen or following accreditations. This is something I simply do not understand. Now let me make clear, I am NOT anti-accreditation… HOWEVER, if we are to be truly child centred and build our provision for our particular group of children this HAS to mean we can not pay someone else for a ‘how to resource your home corner’ checklist.
There are a huge range of factors which should influence our resources ranging from our demographics to the interests of the children, age and developmental stage.
Some accreditations, reflective ones that encourage professionals to deeply reflect on themselves and their practice, it’s intent and it’s impact and improve their provision as a result I am on board with but any others no thank you!
There is also discussion around things like having china tea-sets. For the record the children in my setting do have resources stored in glass jars, they do have porcelain cups and saucers and they is because they are child sized (IKEA’s espresso cups) and because they are mini-mugs which replicate what they say they experience in their home life. We can provide children with a real-life experience without it needing to be highly breakable, decorate and collected from the 1930’s.
I am a firm believer in providing children with real-life, authentic resources as much as you can. The learning that takes place when replicating those lived experiences is far more rich when authentic resources are used in my eyes, however like anything, it is possible to go too far. You CAN have too many resources, too many objects which have no real purpose and are there simply because they make the environment look like an antique shop my Mum used to take me as a child.
I believe when we are adding to our provision we should ask:
Who is this for?
Why are we doing it?
Why is it there?
What skills can the children improve using these?
What is the learning opportunities provided by this resource?
When you ask those questions about a lot of the resources I see added to areas I suspect there is no real answer.
Also just let me touch on one of my biggest annoyances…Quotes. Now this is something that impacts my personal life as well as professional one.
If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I love a good quote. A thought provoking quote. A meaningful quote. One that can take on multiple meanings and often stem from iconic moments and iconic people.
Not ‘Home is where the heart is’ or ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ or any other random quotes. I simply do not understand their place in Early Years let alone life more generally!
Why are they all over the wall?
What do they even mean?
What impact do they have on the children?
How are they extending a child’s learning?
All genuine answers are welcome!
Lastly, and most important of all I think some of the commenters and ‘professionals’ who use social media, specifically Instagram in this case, need to carefully reassess the way they use it and the reasons they use it for.
The comments aimed at people recently for sharing their views have been absolutely disgraceful. Just because a view does not align with yours does not warrant you to call them “toxic” or question their motives for working with children or their integrity.
If you are one of those people.. ask yourself why are you here? To engage in a healthy debate and improve outcomes for children or to hurl abuse at someone whose practice is different to yours? If it is the latter then I would suggest you ask yourself why that is and kindly disengage from my posts!
@keyu_official blog ‘Loose parts: Sometimes one persons junk…is just junk’ https://www.keyu.co.uk/keyu-blogs/the-keyu-blog/
@littlemissearlyyears blog ‘How many children see their parents using china cups, saucers and teapots in the year 2021???’ https://www.littlemissearlyyears.com/single-post/how-many-children-see-their-parents-using-china-cups-saucers-and-teapots-in-the-year-2021