Children transition into the Saplings room at around 20 months old and stay until they are developmentally ready for a pre-school room environment (usually at around 36 months).
Saplings is divided up into different areas for the children to explore. There is a messy area for malleable and creative play. A construction area for building and working with shapes and incorporates vehicles and other resources. A story/cosy area for looking at books, singing and group activities and a role play area for supporting the children’s imagination. There is also a small sleep room that allows the children to have undisturbed rest, if needed.
At Pathfinders we promote outdoor learning in a variety of ways including going for a walk or exploring the gardens. We encourage toddlers to play outdoors throughout the year allowing them to explore their environment during different seasons and weathers.
Toddlers access the outdoor environment on a regular basis: riding bikes, using the large play equipment and helping to manage the outdoor growing areas.
Learning in the outdoors is educational and the older Saplings children are given opportunities to explore the forest school base camp under close supervision where they learn about the natural environment and wildlife.
We maintain strong community links. We make regular visits to the local care home so that toddlers can interact and share creative activities with people of all generations. We also explore the local village, visiting the dentist and shops including post office and butcher.
Other professionals such as police officers, veterinary nurses and animal in hands have provided learning opportunities within the setting.