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Magic me into a kitty cat

A group of two year olds are playing in the nursery garden with their key person. Isaiah has found a stick and wants it to be his want. A game of hide and seek turns into a pretend game. The group have been together at the setting for 10 months and are settled well.

Good for looking at

  • Socialising
  • Language & Communication
  • PSED
  • Pretend play
  • Physical play
  • Effective adult support


  • What cues can you see that show what the children are interested in? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • In what ways do the adults support the children’s learning?
  • How does the environment support the children’s learning?


What are your thoughts about:

  • How the children were learning during their play?
  • The areas of development you observed?
  • Their level of development?
  • The role of the adult in this interaction – how did she support the children?
  • The value of this type of pretend and physical play for the children?


What would you do to:

  • Support the children’s game?
  • Encourage the children to cooperate as a group?
  • Extend their learning – e.g. supplying other materials to develop the game further?
  • Model behaviours for young children and show how useful they are?

What next:

  • Do you need to encourage more of this kind of play and learning for the two year olds in your setting?
  • Did you recognise any particular skills you have in particular areas of relating to and supporting children?
  • Did you recognise any areas of practice that you could improve?
  • What do you need to do next to put any thoughts you have had into practice?