Thursday, 21 April 2011

Heaping and Scattering? What could that possibly be?

When children follow a fascination in scattering they enjoy placing objects into a pile or scattering them into space for example they may tip all the bricks out onto the floor and/or scatter shredded paper or dry leaves.

One of the good things about children who scatter is that they like to heap. This can therefore be managed both ways. For example, scattering and then heaping is ideal because the child who wanted to throw the oats in this photo above also wanted to heap the oats thus encouraging him to tidy up after activities. Later in the blog I will gather some suggestions from staff around the nurseries and creches on how they manage our heapers and scatterers in the setting.

If a child is following a scattering schema offer them activities such as:
  • Shredded paper in troughs
  • Lolly pop sticks
  • Watering can with a rose
  • Dust pan and brush
  • Feeding the birds
  • Spray bottles
  • Sieves and colanders in sand and water
  • Whisks placed in liquid and taken out again whilst still spinning
  • Pasta, oats etc in flat trays or builders trays
  • Small Lego bricks/wooden blocks to scatter
  • Ball ponds

Allow children to scatter items into troughs, tuft trays, bowls; they can even throw wet sponges against a plastic sheet, use flours in flour shakers and blow and pop bubbles.

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Transporting Water
 from one end of the garden to the other end.
Children transfer objects from one place to another often using trundle trolleys, buggies and buckets, or wheel barrows. Exploring transporting develops understanding of quantity and number.
Transporting a friend!

When transporting items these children will fill bags, prams, wheelbarrows (enveloping) and then transport them to another part of the nursery. They have been known to move furniture and even the whole of the role play area describing their play as 'moving house' or 'going on holiday'.

Do any parents recognize this schema at home?

The child who carries everything from one place to another and causes disarray in your home; moving furniture etc is likely to be following a transporting schema because nothing is ever left in its place.

But your child is learning! Transporting schema particularly involves mathematical and language development. When children collect objects or make heaps of things we can encourage them to estimate quantity and predict size and weight.

We can extend their language by making comments such as 'I can see you are...'
    These children used drain pipes and buckets
    to transport the water
  • pushing
  • pulling
  • going fast/slow
  • coming
  • going
  • carrying
  • collecting
  • forwards
  • backwards
  • weaving
  • making a pathway