Students get stuck into gooey fun for child care courses

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CHILD care workers of the future spent time getting gooey and learning the value of fun and messy play for youngsters.

The students from Hartlepool College of Further Education in Stockton Street, Hartlepool, were given the task of planning a sticky session for kids they may one day care for.

About 40 students thought up weird and wonderful ideas that they thought would keep a group of tots entertained and help with their development.

Despite no children being there, they came up with a number of activities including hand printing, paper mache, crafts and sticking their hands in gloop which would provide children with valuable demonstrations and experiences of materials and textures.

In addition the students – who are on the college’s CACHE Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce course – were also allocated a colleague to observe throughout the session to enhance their skills of observation.

This is also just like what they will have to do one day in the world of childcare work.

Lynne Ferry, Early Years lecturer at the college, said: “The session did not actually involve children on this occasion.

“The students had to plan a session they would do with children and they actually played with the activities themselves to help understand the value children would get from it.

“As part of a unit they were asked to plan and implement a play session to demonstrate their awareness of suitable activities for young children.

“As well as a way of keeping children occupied, play is a vital part of how they learn about the world around them.

“And when carefully structured and guided can be of enormous educational value in the development of tactile, cognitive and observational skills.

“There were 39 students involved in the activity, however they worked in small groups.”

She added: “To staff and students walking past it probably looked like they were having a riot, but as those working in the early years sector recognise, fun is a serious business!

“They all had a great time and it was of a benefit to them and the youngsters that they will one day be responsible for in their work.”