Early Years Podcast

Developing Key Skills Through Play

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Episode 4: Using open-ended resources to enhance language development with Olivia Kirkby

Reading Time: 2 minutes
During this episode of the TTS Talking Early Years Podcast, Alice Sharp and Olivia Kirkby talk all things resources. Olivia shares the importance of open-ended resources in the Early Years and the learning opportunities these physical resources support.  
Providing open-ended, cross-curricular resources can enhance cognitive skills, language, self-regulation and self-discovery. Olivia explains that by using open-ended resources to support play-based learning enables children to learn new words and engage in back-and-forth conversations with one another. 
Olivia adds that when practitioners share their excitement towards the resources and environment, the children are likely to be more engaged (and share the same excitement!). Simply adding one or two new cross-curricular resources can benefit all areas of continuous provision and all areas of development in the EYFS.

Types of open-ended resources:


Alice and Olivia talk about the power of reading and continuously refreshing the book corner. Olivia suggests using books that follow the children’s interests. What stories (or picture books) will engage, inspire and encourage them to enjoy reading and challenge their comprehension?

Loose parts play

Loose parts play allows children to take the play wherever their imagination wonders to! Loose parts can include resources such as reels, acorns, rings, boxes, crates, planks, containers – anything that children can make into whatever they choose. This might even include recycled materials or materials you find in the great outdoors. With a little thinking and imagination, boxes can be turned into skyscrapers or race cars. 
For all this inspiration and so much more, listen to season 2, episode 4 today via Podcast.co or your preferred streaming platform.

Watch on YouTube

(The views expressed throughout this podcast are the speakers’ own, and TTS does not take responsibility for the views and guidance highlighted as part of this recording).

(Please note: When referencing the speaker’s views, theory and work for the development of your own materials, please ensure the academic reference of the speaker is cited).

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