Tweenies Room: 18 months – 2 years
Our new Tweenies Room opened in 2022, and was created in response to staff feeling that the oldest children in Babies Room needed greater challenge to support their learning and development. What better way to respond to this need, than by creating a purpose-designed room?
The Learning Environment: Inside
Consisting of two spacious areas, Tweenies Room aims to bridge the transition between Babies and Tots.
The first half of the room contains a home corner where our Tweenies explore and take their first steps towards role play, enacting tasks and routines they observe at home and nursery, whilst beginning to build relationships as they interact with their peers.
There is also a well-stocked construction area that supports the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Construction play provides a rich opportunity for language development, as words, both new and familiar, are embedded in our activities.
We also have a cosy corner, which is a place where we come together to share stories, look at photos of ourselves and our families and relax. The area has a comfortable rug and plenty of soft cushions, and is a calming space where our Tweenies can sleep after all of their exciting play!
The second half of the room is our creative, messy space! Here we have a sand and water table – these natural resources are an excellent way for children to build sensory development, as well as promoting imaginary play and developing social and language skills. We also have an extensive mark-making area, where our Tweenies can explore their self-expression through the use of paint, chalk and playdough.
The Learning Environment: Outside
Tweenies’ garden boasts a large walk-in sand pit, mud pit, mud kitchen, construction area, water area, and planting station where we grow and care for herbs. At the heart of the garden, there is a cosy wooden hut where the children can build relationships, share stories, play peek-a-boo and much more.
As with all of our rooms, Tweenies also have access to our outstanding forest and farm area. They walk on the uneven forest floor, exploring the natural textures, sights, sounds and smells. Being outdoors provides endless opportunities for our Tweenies to learn new language and to develop their understanding of the world they live in. We think there is no better place to learn!
The Hidden Curriculum
In Tweenies, we continue to embed the key features of our curriculum, so that children learn and develop through play. As with Babies Room, we use key points to create a natural rhythm to the day, creating a solid foundation upon which learning can take place in a safe, supportive environment. We begin each day with our Good Morning song, followed by spending time as a group reading and talking about our book of the week. The song bag plays an important part of this time, and our Tweenies like nothing more than selecting an object from the bag and singing a nursery rhyme.
Messy play forms a key part of each day in Tweenies. Our skilled practitioners, place different, engaging resources out for the children to encourage and stimulate language and sensory development
And no day at Explorers would be complete without time outdoors. Our Tweenies love nothing more than going for long walks to explore the farm, watching the animals in the fields and learning about the machines as they go about their work.
As children move from Babies to Tweenies, our staff continue to work with parents and carers to establish and develop each child’s individual care routine. We really value the open dialogue we have with parents and carers, and recognise the vital role that this relationship plays in a child’s development. As in Babies Room, we continue to share the Home Book each day, detailing key moments in each child’s day.
As an eating routine is well-established for many children by the time they join Tweenies, we focus on the continued development of independence, allowing children to explore new tastes and textures for themselves, whilst also enjoying the wonderful social opportunity that mealtimes at Explorers bring.