So, you’re looking for a messy play class for your little one and a few pop up on your search bar. They all have cute names, they all look pretty similar, so why not just click on one that’s nearby and hope for the best! They’ll all be much of a muchness…..won’t they?!
Nope! So Little Learners UK was founded by a Primary Teacher with a huge passion for child-led learning and in particular, mark making. She had seen the benefits of exercising those all-important fine motor skills and the impact that can have on children’s writing abilities later on in education. After all, you can have all the best ideas and knowledge in the world, but if you struggle to write them down legibly and clearly, you’re going to struggle to share them with the world!
So, a syllabus of different marks was devised, each making up different components of letters, numbers and shapes, now known as ‘The Mark Makers’. They form the basis of our Little Learners classes! It’s widely known within Early Years that children learn best by ‘doing’, through interest-based, child-led play and also through repetition. In following the Mark Makers programme, week by week, children are exposed to each of the marks repeatedly and so the learning becomes embedded, packed into their writing ‘toolkit’, to be used as and when they need it!
Each session starter – song and gross motor practice, tuff tray and level of adult support are carefully planned in line with the mark of the week, enabling children to practice it, in a relaxed, child-led way that excites and engages them in their mark making and messy play journey.
This is exactly what got me hooked on Little Learners classes, years ago, as a mum. The fact that I could take the boys to a class where, one, they could play freely and get as messy as they wished, two, they had multiple opportunities to mark make within each session and, three, they were learning all the marks, in a unique, fun way, which has prepared them so well for writing now they are at school.
I love what I do, and although there is a lot of hard work involved setting up, tidying away, preparing resources, ongoing training and all the health and safety aspects, it’s SO worth it, knowing that my classes have such huge developmental, social and educational benefits for all the little ones who come along.
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