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Two members of staff from Oldfield Road Children’s Nursery in Bath recently attended a training session in Austria to learn about the nature of children’s play.

Louise and Ioanna took part in the course, which was run by the International Federation For Original Play, to learn more about shared ideas for supporting children and parents, through movement, gentle touch, care and kindness, based partly on how animals make their young feel safe. Louise and Ionana spent several days with play specialist, O Fred Donaldson Phd, discovering more about this unique approach to building bonds.

The duo have now introduced their experience into the Bath nurseries, sharing their knowledge with the whole staff team as part of its commitment to developing best practice and creating safe, nurturing environments throughout both of our nurseries.

“At our nursery we understand play is vital to children’s learning and development, so we attended an Original play training course in Austria to learn more about the nature of children’s play,” explained Louise.

“Play is the quickest way to learn, and when scaffolded by an adult it can be glorious. When children enjoy physical play, their brain strengthens pathways to aid concentration and focus. We learnt that when children naturally play, there is no competition, no blame and no aggression. If a child is showing anger and aggression, we can change these feelings through certain touch sequences, eye contact and ensuring their is no contest.

“We have begun some Original play sequences within our nursery already and have noticed how calm and happy the children are after a play session,” added Ioanna. “We have also noticed a big change in children with challenging behaviour, using a touch sequence to support children in understanding how to self regulate themselves and others.”