…so one of the things //celebrateplay// is best known for is our approach to play planning in the home. Want to know our secrets that have made it work for us so far and how it could work for you? Keep reading!! Play Planning has been a game changer because it has made play easy, alleviated stress, eliminated waste, increased productivity and encouraged variety. After looking online for ideas and inspiration and months of trial and error, we have a system that works for us.

//SECRET #1-CREATE A TEMPLATE// Creating or buying a template that works for you is critical when planning for any project to ensure it is used and with ease. You may prefer the traditional paper and pen (as I tend too) or digital. Whichever way you choose, it needs to cater for the focus areas of play that are important to you and meet the requirements of the users. We have changed our template twice so far and find the second template to be working better. It combines our daily schedule with our play plan-so everything we need is in the one place. We have included sections for Toy Rotation, Play Based Learning Stations, Daily Activity Tubs and Shopping/Gift Ideas. In another section we record developmental milestones and observations. You may find this template works for you which is available when you join our mailing list .

//SECRET #2-SCHEDULE TIME TO PLAN// Scheduling for planning play just as you would for other tasks such as meal planning, appointments and social events is an important part of the process. It is where the magic happens-where you can see what resources are being used or have been forgotten, where your time is spent and whether changes can be made to accommodate more time for play and come up with some gift ideas based on your child/children interests. We schedule a time every Sunday to plan and record our play ideas and shopping items (if any needed) for the week ahead. Each night (sometimes we miss some due to unforeseen circumstances) we set the clock for 15-20mins and set up our playspace so the activities/experiences are ready to go first thing in the morning or when they are needed. The benefit of doing this is our little learners don’t lose concentration whilst waiting for an activity to be set up, we have a rough plan of what is happening in our playspace for a set time and our space is in an orderly manner for periods of time (cluttered surfaces make for a cluttered headspace).

//SECRET #3-TAKE OBSERVATIONS & RECORD// With anything of significance it is important and special to capture these moments. By observing and recording (photo and/or written notes) what our early learners are playing with we are able to plan for future play experiences…by extending upon the play of interest or seeing areas they need further practise in and simply a beautiful record noting their growth and development. For more on recording these special moments check out our blog about PROJECT LIFE.

//SECRET #4-CREATE PLAY SYSTEMS// By creating play systems you are setting up a way to establish and maintain a routine as best as it can be with young children. Our most beneficial play systems in place are:

•Daily Activity Tubs

•Play Based Learning Centres

•Weekly Themes

•Busy Bags

•Play Planning

•Visual Timetables/Routine Charts

•Toy Rotation

•Pack Away Routine and

•Bucket Filling

//SECRET #5-CREATE AN INVITING PLAYSPACE// Children love learning in a space filled with a balance of colour, brightness, creativity, simplicity, nature and wonder. So how does this fit in the play planning process? For me, it is one of my favourite parts and all you need is a plan with a spot of creativity and a sprinkling of personal touches to create a pretty, practical and SPECIAL play space. From a splash of paint, pops of colour from decor, user-friendly furniture and adequate lighting. 


Have a play space that is pretty, practical and inviting we would love to see it.