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Life at two – playing with key person

33 months – Socialising with peers and the importance of the key person role.
  • Key person builds on Ava's interests
  • Discovering about weights through play with key person
  • Practising empathy through play with key person
  • Elfer - key person's presence helps child's thinking
  • Mealtime - socialising with peers

Reflect

  • What does Ava compare the monkey tree to?
  • What has Ava learned from the monkey tree game?
  • What names does Ava give the soft toys?
  • How does Claire introduce an emotional theme to the soft toy game?
  • What does Ava think will make baby hedgehog feel better?
  • What is Ava learning from the soft toy game?
  • Why is it important for Claire to follow Ava’s lead when they play Contents of section together?
  • How does Claire enhance Ava’s play?
00:07
It's six months since Eva first visited
00:09
the nursery with Molly.
00:21
The staff often make observations of the children
00:24
so that they can see what to plan for them.
00:27
Claire has observed Eva's likes and dislikes
00:29
and how she tends to learn.
00:31
She likes pretend games with small toys.
00:42
That was a shock it frightened me.
00:45
What should we do?
00:47
She's learning about weights
00:49
and how the physical world works.
00:51
Look around about
00:55
It's a wheel
01:10
Maybe to put two more so now.
01:13
What happens if you put too much on?
01:17
It will fall off again.
01:20
One of the most striking things
01:21
about watching children playing in nursery
01:24
is how much they would like to have
01:26
the attention of an adult watching what they are doing
01:29
or initiating some playing activity.
01:33
The key person, any adult in nursery can do that
01:37
but the key person for a child may have a particular
01:41
knowledge or understanding of that child's interests
01:44
or concerns.
01:49
I've seen many times the key person
01:52
just sit with the child
01:54
and be interested in what they are doing
01:56
and you can see the child's interest
01:58
almost physically expand and their engagement
02:02
with an activity increase.
02:04
It's really quite remarkable.
02:06
It's not that the key person does anything
02:09
or certainly not that they take the lead.
02:11
It's very important that the child is taking the lead
02:14
but just the presence and quiet interest of
02:17
the key person seems to make such a different
02:20
to children's thinking and engagement with activities.
02:26
She often instigates pretend games
02:28
with soft toys.
02:35
This is Emmy.
02:42
Emmy's baby is falling down off Claire's leg.
02:46
Quick let's go down.
02:51
I think he's sad cause he fell down.
02:53
What should we do?
02:56
How can we make him feel better?
03:04
Okay he wants to go home.
03:06
Does that make him feel better?
03:08
Yeah
03:11
Claire follows Eva's lead
03:13
encouraging her understanding of thoughts and feelings.
03:16
Thank you Eva you rescued my baby
03:20
you made him feel so much better now he's happy.
03:28
All friends, you can sit on the top.
03:33
Eva will become more socially competent
03:35
as she gradually develops an understanding of all
03:38
those various emotions.
03:45
It is happy again.
03:48
He's happy again.
03:51
It looks to be sad.
03:53
Eva now plays really well with Claire
03:56
and she's also beginning to be more interested in
03:58
the other children and be sociable with them.

Claire delights in playing with Ava and Ava loves the interactions. As well as mostly following Ava’s lead in the games, Claire sometimes expands the play by suggesting new ideas and asking open ended questions. She is getting to know Ava well now and knows what kind of games she likes to play. Because of the close relationship they have formed Claire can really develop Ava’s learning in a way most suited to her. She knows Ava’s likes and dislikes from observing her and as she communicates well with Ava’s mum they pass information between them about her interests.