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Stay and play sessions

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by kaz_allan, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Does anyone do these, ifif so how do you organize it. Do you ensure it is curriculum led or is it just free play time.?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. One of our nursery nurses runs two of these sessions in the Summer term. She invites all the new cohort and sets up the hall with various play based and activities and toys. The children come with their parents and have a lovely time! It gives the parents a chance to chat and bond, plus they get to be in the school environment and ask any burning questions they may have. Works really well at our school and is very popular with parents.
  3. May2

    May2 Occasional commenter

    We have stay and play once a week for the first half hour in the morning. We just run it similar to our other mornings where the children choose from activities we put out on tables and floor and art area before our carpet time. Sometimes we may have a certain theme and all activities could be PRSN or may be topic related sometimes just a selection of things from our normal continuous provision. We tend to put books out on one table for them to read stories and a game that a group of parents and children can play together. We tend to have the role play and sand closed at this time as we don't find the adults join in very much with those activities.
    We do not allow younger siblings to come which restricts the numbers. As the parents know it is every week those that work or have younger ones usually manage to arrange to come occasionally. We only allow one adult per child and it is quite nice as we do get some dads, grandparents, and child minders.We normally have approximately half the children with an adult but those that don't just play with their friends and their parents and don't seem to mind.
    We end by putting our tidy up music on 5 mins before the end. The children tidy and then sit on the carpet and sing one song while the parents stand behind . I then just get the children to all say good bye together and the parents get the signal to go. My T.A ushers them out so we don't get any lingerers!
    I am in Nursery and I usually wait for half a term for them to settle before we start, but Reception do the same as us.
  4. We have a much more relaxed approach! Siblings are welcome, as many adults each as they like and all toys/areas available. Last year we put out some topic related toys/ activities and some free choice, this year we are planning to focus on a different area of learning each week. hoping to cover all areas each half term
  5. Hi - we 'Stay and Play' once a month with a different curriculum focus each time. I try to send home ideas for how to support learning at home too. Parents stay on after our sharing assembly. A quick intro - and we put out a selection of activities/resources to support the curriculum focus....inside and outside, siblings welcome. Parents can also use this time to look through learning journeys, and ask questions in a more relaxed and informal way. We feel that it works well and have now extended it throughout the school. We also invite parents to 'book talk' once a week at the end of the day (and plan to extend this time to develop our range of story sack resources!)
  6. Hi,
    We do 'Stay and Play' sessions. We try to aim for every 3 wks or so. We started it last year and the parents loved it - we had a really good turn out and they all commented on how good it was to be able to see what the children get up to on a day-to-day basis; since the majority don't want to tell their parents anything about school. The first one we used as an introduction to how we would normally set up the class - to show the parents the different areas in the classroom. We then had a different focus for the other ones - ranging from learning outdoors, PSRN, Christmas crafts etc etc. We invite the parent to come and join us 45mins before the end of the session (we tried half an hour and it flew by), then the children just go home with their parents after the sessions (no issues with any children wanting the parents to stay half way through a session).
    Stay and Play made a huge difference in terms of our partnership with parents. It's also a good chance to model how you deal with different situations etc... whether it's behaviour, speech and language issue or even just sharing a book with the children... sounds simple but much needed sometimes.
    Most of all the children absolutely love it!! Yes some parents do work or the children have younger siblngs. The younger siblings come along and where parents can't make it we've had grandparents, aunties and family friends come along. (We even 'borrowed' older siblings from other classes when it was possible). It sounds cheesy but the worst part is sending them out because nobody wants to leave!
    I guess you would have to vary your sessions according to your cohort/parents etc what suits and also if you've got lots of gardening or something big to develop - lots of helpers and all children involved - works a treat! Just try them see what suits and even ask the parents if they've enjoyed it! and change it if needs be. The only thing I would say would be... don't say it will be every... just give out dates in advance; then you won't get complaints if you don't have a session one week if there's something else going on.
    Have fun!

  7. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We do about once a month for the free play sessions. Parents stay for an hour and one of our office staff sorts out teas and coffees beforehand so we have the chance to register and get the chidlren settled.
  8. We call ours 'family sessions'. They happen every half term from Autumn 2 and we do a different afternoon each half term so people with different work commitments can usually do at least one of them.
    Anyone is welcome, hence 'family' sessions. We also do some that are curriculum based, where we ask the additional adults to help their child and some of their friends to do a specific task. In the past this has included making a number book, working on computers in the ICT suite, making clay faces, doing observational drawings, junk modelling and other stuff I'm sure I've forgotten. This works really well at getting all children to complete something in one afternoon!
    For these sessions we ask adults not to bring little brothers and sisters, but younger children are welcome to all the others, where it's informal and we have just got 'stuff' out. It's been a very good transition time for Nursery aged siblings who then come to us in Reception.
    We have also had regular song times in the hall where the children love to see me getting their grown-ups joining in with our dafter songs, especially the ones with daft actions!
    Hope there are some ideas there you can use.

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