Promoting A Health Environment For Children – Stimulating Activities
There were many things to consider while this activity took place at my setting. We had to ensure that the weather was suitable for children to play outside as if it was raining or thundering the children may catch a cold or get hurt, it was rather cloudy but not too cold so I helped the children put on some waterproof clothing and gloves to keep them warm. The number of children and supervisors had to be considered as the ratio had to be correct to safeguard the children, but not too many children wanted to go outside so each supervisor was able to supervise the correct amount of children.
We had to consider a range of activities for children to play to keep them happy and allow them to get exercise, so we began racing up and down to get their heart beating and improve their health. We had to consider the resources to allow them to get a sufficient amount of exercise, such as balls and scooters; also we prepared some building blocks next to a basketball hoop so that the children could climb up the blocks and throw the ball through the hoop.
When planning this activity legislation must also be considered, such as The Childcare Act 2006; this states that children must be given the opportunity to physically develop by exercising and outdoor play. There were health and safe policies to consider as well as the children were not allowed to jump off the high blocks or the wooden bridge in case they injured themselves.
My setting has many policies and procedures that a made because of legislation, such as The Childcare Act 2006 which promotes the ECM framework which states that physical exercise is a key component for being health and this outdoor activity seemed to provide a sufficient amount of physical exercise for the children as according to Beaver et al (2008:239) “It is generally believed that children who do not get enough exercise will be at increased risk of heart disease and other health problems in later life”.
There is also the procedure of given children waterproof clothing, hats and gloves to keep them warm and dry so they do not catch a cold or fall ill. Outdoor play must be planned carefully so that children are given the right amount of daily exercise. Also in my setting, we currently have a pirate themed role playing area and the supervisors and I were able to plan this outdoor activity so that we could turn the play equipment i. e. wooden bridge into a pirate ship. This experience enabled children to stay safe, play happily and develop them physically and intellectually to increase their personal health.
According to BBC News HEALTH, “Many believe that they key to encouraging more children to take up exercise is to ensure they participate in physical activity at an early age”. The children’s social factors were considered as they were able to run and play various activities with various people; they could choose to play with their friends or with a new group of children. While conducting these various activities the children were able to work in groups and demonstrate teamwork e. g. kicking a ball to each other.
The children were able to understand how other cultures spend their day at nursery, for example forest school in other parts of the world spend their whole day outside playing similar activities, and they have to stay outside regardless of the weather conditions. I feel as though I was very effective when implementing this outdoor experience, I positively promoted the children personal health by participating in the outdoor activities such as racing with them and playing football and basketball with them [E8] Although every child is unique and wanted to play a different game, so I joined in with them the best that I could.
I encouraged the children to wear their coats and waterproofs as I helped them put their clothing on and I also wore my waterproof jacket with gloves, children will imamate this attitude and dress appropriately to protect their health and when they fell over or got muddy I comforted them and then took them inside the setting to clean the mud off them and being hygienic will promote their personal health too. I allowed the children to wander freely from numerous activities so that they could play with their friends or with a new group of children and this will develop their social and intellectual well-being.
According to the EYFS practise card 3. 3 “A rich and varied environment supports children’s learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor spaces”. The second activity that took place was preparing healthy food, I had to consider which types of food to prepare to promote the children’s personal health as, according to Beaver et al (2008:240) “Creative planning for menus and cooking activities with children can promote healthy eating experiences and messages.
Using simple recipes which encourage children to try a range of fruit and vegetables to become more adventurous in their food choices can be extremely exciting. ” So I chose to allow the children to cut up broccoli, carrots and apples. I had to consider which children to conduct in this activity as some were too young properly use the knives and I didn’t want them to hurt themselves and I didn’t want to choose a group of children that were all friends in case they decided to mess around with the sharp objects, so I chose a mixed group of six children.
I had to consider which resources I needed, such as blunt knives and various chopping boards. I had to consider many hygiene routines to ensure the children were safe from infection and contamination, as well as considering many policies such as using a different chopping board for different food to ensure there is no cross-contamination. I had to remind children of many health and safety policies such as not putting the knives or food in their mouths because it could harm them and cause infection to spread.
This activity allowed the children to create a healthy meal that could be eating at lunch time and it promoted the children’s hygiene and their health, as eating healthy food and snacks will increase their personal and physical health. I followed many procedures that had been set by my setting, for example I carried out many of the children’s hygiene routines as I allowed them to thoroughly wash their hands before and after this activity. I followed many food procedures such as using different chopping boards for the different types of food and using clean knives for each food.
The procedures of my setting are set by government legislation and legislation such as The Childcare Act 2006 states that children have the right to be healthy and preparing health snacks to increase their personal health is obeying this legislation. According to NHS Choices, “A healthy, balanced diet and plenty of physical activity will lead to a healthy weight for your child”. Additionally, children are not allowed to enter the kitchen because there are many cooking implements in there such as the oven, I ensured that no child entered the kitchen during this activity as that ensured their welfare.
I chose various children from different friendship groups so that they could all get to know each other more and they could all develop socially, they all seemed to have fun and enjoy each other’s company while participating in this activity. I chose various foods to prepare so the children were able to experience cutting up three different foods with different smells and textures; we discussed how some children have different allergies and different tastes for various foods. [E8] Also, children could understand that there are numerous types of foods and that different cultures don’t eat certain foods, for example Muslims do not eat red meat.
Preparing these fruit and vegetables will encourage the children to try a range of different foods, including many foods from different countries or cultures. But every child is different and enjoyed a different piece of fruit and vegetable. I think I was very effecting while implementing these activities, as before we started we carried out the settings hygiene routine and discussed the consequences of germs and infection to make the children away that they must be hygienic to protect their personal health.
I always acted positively towards the fruits and vegetables as I declared that I enjoyed eating all of them on a regular basis, children will now imitate this attitude and enjoy eating them too. I discussed the consequences of playing with the sharp knives and consistently warned them to be careful with them while they were under my strict supervision. I picked a range of children so that they could grow closer to the other children in their class and this will develop them socially.
Preparing these fruit and vegetables will encourage the children to try a range of different foods and will help them understand that a balanced diet is needed to maintain a good personal health. I was effective while following the settings polices and procedures of the kitchen, such as using different cutting boards to prevent infection and cross-contamination and for safe guarding children by keeping them out of the kitchen at all time, as no child is allowed into the setting’s kitchen because there are many cooking devices that may put their personal health at risk e. . knives and the oven. Planning activities like these can be very important, it is a legal requirement of many pieces of legislation such as The Children Act 2006 and The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, also it allows children to get into a healthy routine of physical exercise daily and eating healthy fruit and vegetables to stay fit and get their 5-a-day.
Activities like this meet the government curriculum and initiatives such as Sure Start as “A Sure Start Children’s Centre in every community providing or giving access to services for young children, designed around their needs, including health and employment support” According to Derby City Council.
It gets children to have good habits such as thoroughly washing their hands before and after preparing food as they witnessed me doing this so I acted as a positive role model to them and eating healthy will protect their teeth from tooth decay and improve their life as According to BBC News HEALTH, “Conditions such as high blood pressure are common in children who are overweight or obese and are a major contributory factor to later coronary heart disease”.
Each child was able to choose which food they ate and which play equipment they wanted to play with, so I enabled the children to make informed choices to increase their quality of life, due to this the children will continue to choose to physically exercise and eating healthy snacks through their life. My first activity was very much like a Forest School session, which allows children to use teamwork to develop their social and emotional skills through physical exercise and outdoor play to stay fit and healthy.
Forest schools sessions have affected planning in many settings in various ways since they were introduced. Many areas of the National Curriculum such as the EYFS statutory framework are covered in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. According to Forest Schools “The less stressful environment of the forest allows for a more rounded development”. “The Reggio Emilia approach can be seen as an extension of the “whole Language” approach as well as an entire array of creative media that are considered as “other languages”.
It is a way of using children’s many ways of expressing themselves to enhance their creative, social and cognitive development. ” According to Reggio Inspired. Settings will now plan stimulating activities to allow children to learn through their own experiences. My setting allows children to learn through their senses, for example in my second activity I allowed children to touch the food, smell and even taste the food to allow them to explore through their senses.