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How we play

Outdoor learning, emotional wellbeing, and science experiments are at the heart of our childcare. The children also enjoy more focussed activities on early literacy and mathematical concepts.

Thanks to our Psychology students and researchers’ activities, our playgroup mixes enjoyment with innovative learning. We then review our conclusions with the most rigorous University of Stirling assessors available – the children!

Your child’s emotional wellbeing

Our children use mindfulness sessions to explore their emotions, to understand other people’s feelings and develop a resilient attitude. They learn how breathing exercises can help them to focus and think.

We offer mindfulness sessions for our children to explore other people’s emotions and feelings, and develop a resilient attitude.

They enjoy music sessions with our musician Yvonne from Colourstrings where they can learn about different musical instruments, and practice rhythms and movement coordination.

The children enjoy the chance to explore classical music such as Antonio Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ or Saint Saens’s ‘The Carnival of Animals’.

We also use illustrations from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to help them explore the link between the music and visual art.

Exploratory play

We strongly believe in exploratory play, allowing children to engage in play with natural elements. They can use all their senses to discover and test the objects’ properties, what happens when they are manipulated, what they represent, and how they can be used creatively.

This allows children to engage in less structured, open-ended activities in which they learn to think critically, and discover new ideas through trial and error.

Outdoor learning

There's a growing body of research that shows that young children’s access to nature and outdoor play is linked to improved self-esteem, physical health, development of language skills and increased learning.

Our campus facilities provide the perfect setting for children to investigate nature, by having fun walking in the woods and around the lochs. Children and carers also have access to a designated area for growing potted fruit, flowers and vegetables. They're aided by advice from our very own University of Stirling gardeners.

Science and mathematical concepts

Children are intuitive scientists eager to make sense of our world. Introducing science activities into the early years’ curriculum helps children to develop an inquisitive. Children enjoy observing and understanding the properties of some objects, the effect of forces, making predictions, testing their ideas and developing explanations.

Thoughts...from the children

    'The squirrel needs a shelter for winter to keep warm.'

(F., 4-year-old).

    'I planted pumpkins. They will eat lots of food to grow big.'

(N., 4-year-old, while planting carrots).

    'I’m gonna stay dry, but it’s nice in the wet and I’m already wet.'

(K., 3-year-old).

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