PLAY PROVISION AND EQUIPMENT

1. THE PLAY ENVIRONMENT
(a) The play environment should be spacious and uncluttered and laid out in a way that enables children to have free choice of activity and to encourage independence.
(b) Equipment and materials should be clearly and attractively displayed. Low-level shelving should be provided so that all activities are visible and accessible to children. This facilitates free-flow play which is based on child's own choice of activity.
(c) Wall friezes, posters and charts should be displayed where children can easily see them.
(d) Tables and chairs should be chosen with the child's size and comfort in mind. Each individual child, when seated, should be able to touch the ground with his/her feet. Furniture should have washable surfaces.
(e) Floor covering in the play area should be washable: this helps to ensure that children are not restricted from engaging in messy play with paint, playdough or water.
(f) All children should have the opportunity, through play, to be physically active, to explore, to be creative, to pretend and imagine, to develop language, rhythm and movement.
(g) Children should have access to more than one play area during the day, with the choice of a wide range of unstructured activities, as well as opportunities for quiet restful times and either indoor or outdoor active play.
(h) While the provision of a structured pre-school/playgroup type session is desirable for a short period during the day, it is important to remember that a full day-care programme should offer wider opportunities to the child, in that it should offer the same type of provision as the home environment.

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