Nursery Resources Talks to Shonette Bason-Wood

July 28, 2016 9:54 am
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Nursery Resources team went to a childcare conference to meet and listen to EYFS consultant and trainer, Shonette Bason-Wood. 

Shonette encourages early years leaders to ‘Be different, do different and then see different’ by providing inspirational ideas for all areas of the curriculum. Importantly, she helps childcare practitioners to enhance their paediatric culture by demonstrating how creative play-based learning activities can be developed and implemented while meeting Ofsted’s guidelines. At the end of the conference, Nursery Resources caught up with Shonette Bason-Wood to discuss the benefits of play…

One of the main focus points from Ofsted’s recent inspections was ‘working with parents. Do you have any advice for childcare practitioners trying to encourage their parents to get more involved with learning through play?

Absolutely! I’ve compiled a list of 100 things a child should do before they are six to help parents see how precious memory building with their child is, and how settings can work on the relationship with parents by challenging families to do the activities and share experiences. You can download it for free here.

Certain settings may say it can be too cold or wet to play outdoors. What’s your answer to this?

There is no such thing as bad weather! You know this quote but what I say is going outdoors is stopped by a bad adult attitude. Children don’t care what the weather is like and in a modern world, it’s our duty to their development to take them outdoors and dance in the rain!

What do you get asked most from childcare professionals about learning through play? 

The most popular question is how we can make it exciting. The answer is easy and it doesn’t come in a catalogue. Each and every setting has the best resources – it’s the people! Each and every adult has the potential to create amazing play-based learning by participating, exciting, challenging and enhancing the children’s experience through their knowledge.

Your Dough Disco, which is your own re-make of Play-Doh, is proving extremely popular in the childcare industry. Where did the idea for Dough Disco come from?

Dough Disco is a fine muscle exercise that accelerates brain to finger control. I’ve done this for about seven years and it’s proven to be very popular. It’s wheat-free, the UK made and at present, even children who have extreme reactions to other doughs are finding they can play with it without reaction.

Why do you think outdoor play is essential to a child’s development?

Outdoor play is essential for many neurological reasons but the main reason for me is that the modern 21st-century child spends very little time outdoors in the UK.  Safety, fear, technology and working (hard) parents are a few of the reasons. Plus, think about your childhood. Most of your great memories will have been from an outdoor play experience.

Do you think there is enough emphasis on outdoor play or play in general in the EYFS? Do you think this should be encouraged more in all setting types?

I think the emphasis is there it’s just excuses that stop it. I think when people understand, and I include parents in ‘people’, the vital importance of outdoor learning for children, a lot more people would stop worrying about the weather and get their ‘happy on’ outdoors with children.

Please visit Shonette’s website, where here you can shop and search for up-and-coming courses and conferences.