Kilfinny School Childcare, operate a Pre-School and an After-School Service from a room in Kilfinny N.S. The service have developed the environment to create a number of interest areas as well as providing age and stage appropriate activities for the wide age range the room caters for. The children dine in a family style setting. setting the table with place mats, tablewear and centre piece of fresh flowers

Why is the environment so important?

“The environment influences how and what children play. Well-resourced, well-planned and predictable indoor and outdoor spaces help children to see the opportunities that are available for play. There are two roles for the adult in preparing this environment: organising it and resourcing it.”

Organising the environment includes creating Interest Areas

“Interest areas – The adult arranges the space and furniture into child-sized areas rather than in a single large group space. He/she creates well-defined areas of interest that encourage a variety of types of play and helps children see and experience the choices on offer. For example, in out-of-home settings the adult might organise the indoor space into areas such as a messy/art/junk area, a pretend area, a library area, a music and movement area, and a construction area. Outdoors the area could be arranged so that there is a defined area for wheelie toys, a climbing area, a planting area, a wildlife area, feeders to attract birds and butterflies, a space to play with natural materials such as sand, water and mud, and a quiet area with seating. At home a pretend and book area could be set up in the bedroom or a corner of the kitchen, while outdoors a small planting area, a sand tray (an old baby bath that is covered when not in use), and a clear space for wheelie toys could be established.”

Aistear Guidelines for Good Practice – Learning and Development Through Play (pg 56-57)