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  • Posted by Deepak on March 28, 2024 at 10:58 am

    Discuss your views on using real tools and fire experiences with young children in Irish early years practice. Think about the implementation approaches you’ve taken, what challenges and barriers exist in your service and the ways this programme can support you to incorporate more adventurous play in your practice.

    Caroline replied 3 days, 12 hours ago 8 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Sarah

    April 5, 2024 at 10:34 am

    Allowing children to use real tools such as gardening implements, woodworking tools, or kitchen utensils provides them with tangible experiences that enhance their learning. Through hands-on exploration, they develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and spatial awareness.

    Fire seems very risky!

  • Aoife

    April 5, 2024 at 10:40 am

    I think that real tools and fire experiences with young children in Irish early years practice should be explored more and not be feared.
    Measured controls and risk assessments can can be helpful to the implementation approaches we can take as practitioners. Challenges can be that practitioners are fearful or that there may be just too many risks. Challenges identified can be the mindsets of the practitioners and not all being open to this new “play” and play experiences. This programme is open to all practitioners in our service and everyone is invited to explore and then incorporate more adventurous play in our practice.

    The children enjoy pretending to be firefighters and have in the past used foam pool noodles as a hose, went down the slide and put out “fires” with watering cans.
    However, we did reflect upon what else we would add to ensure they would have a deeper play experience.
    The children did explore with the full benefits from using additional tools, they told us what the firefighters use and we tried to add additional equipment and tools to their play area.
    We added some toy saws, a water hose a small ladder and an old car that they rescued people from!
    We did speak with the children about safety regarding water and also hoses, leaving them be – supervised without interference.

    When new staff join we encourage them to also adapt and be open minded to this pay and added equipment that cant be bought off a shelf or from a catalogue. It is amazing how fast staff they get on board and involved. Being reflective on risky play, it really comes down to confidence in your self and the team, reassuring parents and explaining the benefits to parents.

  • Shauna

    April 6, 2024 at 5:49 pm

    Using real tools and resources is a great way for children to learn responsibility and care while also safety measures. If a child never uses a hammer or axe how will they know that they are heavy and sharp and can harm people. They need to be exposed to cause and effect as the toys they use are plastic. I do think implementing real tools and fire equipment needs to be a whole team approach with everyone onboard and aware of the supervision level required but also allowing children to freely play and express themselves. Once used in a controlled environment I can see many benefits. Also I would say possibly using these resources at good times such as before children and staff start to leave the centre and at first possibly introduce this equipment in smaller groups.

  • Michaela

    April 7, 2024 at 3:38 pm

    When I came to Ireland 20 years ago, children in the kindergarten I worked in Germany, had daily access to hammers, saws, whittling knives and other tools to work with wood. Also, knives and peelers to cut food for cooking with the group. Teaching young children to use these tools to create things is a wonderful thing and not as toys. Yes, some might hurt them, even with risk assessment (so do we as adults) and we will be a bit more careful next time. No one talks about letting children run wild with sharp tools or sticks but step by step letting them use certain tools or experience risky situations will certainly strengthen their confidence, resilience and ambition to achieve things to trial and error. What a great experience for everyone! However, it is always difficult with a larger group of children.

  • Anne

    April 8, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    fire i feel very risky type of play however i think it is important for children to have a good understanding of safety, ask the local fire brigade for a tour of the fire station and then follow it up by adding items for play. this would allow there imagination and create play in the garden, dress up hard hats, cones an old hose watering cans tap so that water is accessible. story’s could be added to the outdoor library.

    outdoor tools is good for the children for there development in fine motor and gross motor skills. to know the weight of them and to really engage in there play. i feel that this type of play is best in small groups to be able to observe the children to the best that they can without taking over there play.

  • Criona

    April 8, 2024 at 1:53 pm

    Outdoor play enhances their natural environment.Talking with parents that the fire engine is coming in. Children walking home from school they with can walk passed the fire station with parents/guardians. Discussion with the children how to play safe in small groups until they feel confident about making their own decision about their learning. Access to real tools with adult supervison encourages new learning then the adult can observe from a safe distance. Planning ahead can lead to a safe environment which encourages gross and fine motors skills, exploring and thinking.

  • Caroline

    April 15, 2024 at 10:22 pm

    In using real life material it allows children to explore and learn. Our service is Reggio inspired and we use as much natural or real life material as possible and less plastic. This is teaching children about the world they live in and with real like tools in the garden allows the children to plant seeds or plants like they might do at home. In doing risk assessments in your environment can support the children development in a safe manner if you may need to make changes so the children can use real tools. In fire experiences in having talks with others staff you can discussion what is the safest manner on activities so the children can learn. A barrier may be staff not wanting change and in doing CPD training it allows staff to keep up skilling new information and implementing on how to support the children learning.