Superhero play is ever present in most settings, but it can be difficult to accommodate or ensure that learning is taking place.
However, this new book from Nicky Simmons and Ginny Morris, can really help to identify learning. Usefully linked to the EYFS, ‘Enhancing Provision Through Superheroes‘ is arranged into the areas of provision, from outside, maths, literacy to investigation and creative areas. This makes it very easy to use for planning and organising superhero play in the setting.
Other great aspects of this book are the explicit links to the characteristics of effective learning, under each of the three areas (engagement, motivation and thinking), which extends this from a simple activity book to one that encourages practitioners to challenge children’s thinking and creativity.
My favourite activity in the whole book is ‘Exciting Explosions’, a great mixture of science, maths and glitter, which encourages investigation as well as following instructions.
This book is very useful to give practitioners ideas and inspiration whilst working in the setting, but is doubly useful for reflective practitioners who are looking to link their practice to the curriculum and extend learning in a creative way to meet children’s interests.
I can’t go without mentioning the companion book to this one, also by Simmons and Morris, ‘Planning for Learning in Early Years‘ which is subtitled ‘A practical approach to Development Matters’.
This book is laid out in exactly the same format at Development Matters, making it familiar and easy to navigate. The left-hand column is the familiar Development Matters statements, however, the middle column is ‘suggested learning statements’ (eg I am learning to balance when running) and the far right-hand column is entitled ‘Looking ahead’, which contains the next stages of learning and development, by age.
This format means that it is a very logical book to use when writing planning as well as formulating next steps.
Put together, these two books make activity planning for Superhero play, observing play and interests, and choosing next steps incredibly easy and quick to do.
A definite Super Power!
I was lucky enough to get free preview copies of both books.