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Continuous Provision Ideas to Inspire Your Teaching

Continuous provision is about inspiring curiosity in children, igniting a love for education, but also giving kids a nudge in the right direction. 

The latter can be a real challenge, especially with bigger targets to work towards. But if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to do just that, both for EYFS or KS1, then you’re in luck!

continuous provision Adam Morris

A Quick Recap: What is Continuous Provision?

Chances are you’ll have your fair share of knowledge on continuous provision (you can follow the link for a deeper understanding or refresher though if you want), but it’s a tricky balance to get right. Expert or not.

Overdo the learning, the children can lose interest. Leave it to 100% chance, your class aren’t challenged.

Activities for Continuous Provision

The scope is endless. But with an increasing need to track progress, it’s easy for continuous provision to get lost in all the assessments, routines and admin. And if you’ve learned the hard way like me, they can be a shortcut to children disengaging completely.

So every now and again, it’s nice to go back to the activities. You can’t be expected to accomplish everything. As educators, you can build the scaffolding. Your classes will do the rest with their imagination.

Let’s get inspired with some activity ideas:

Making Music 

The beauty of this learning area is you don’t even need proper instruments, You can make instruments from anything, out of everything (although a xylophone is excellent if you can get one):

  • Chopsticks are brilliant for turning your surroundings into one big percussion instrument. 
  • Tape some cups to a flat surface, and kids can drum with their hands. 
  • Wind chimes are great for outdoor sounds. 
  • You can also recycle plastic bottles to make shakers. 
  • Whistles and party blowers are wonderful too. 

It’s a bit of a hassle, but if you can hang onto everything, you’ll have plenty of supplies to make a constant stream of musical instruments.

Engineering Area 

Areas like this have lots of potential. They’re changeable. And you can show children lots of different aspects of engineering:

  • Create a construction site, using wooden blocks in a sandpit.
  • Set up a modelling area for clay. This can also come with challenge cards where children try to make the same shapes or structures.
  • Put together a series of tools for digging and sculpting sand.

You can read about a teacher here who created an architectural area as part of their continuous provision for KS1.

Lending Library

What continuous provision area isn’t complete without a reading corner? No doubt you’ll already have one of these. But you can mix this up in lots of ways:

  • Seating such as plush rugs or bean bags.
  • Using audiobooks, children listen to stories or read along.
  • Create a hideaway or snug to make it cosy.
  • Create mood lighting.
  • Add a scent diffuser for some relaxing aromatherapy.

Whatever you decide, the takeaway is this: the dream isn’t to get kids reading, it’s to inspire a love of reading.

Scientist Centre 

A healthy dose of STEM is in short supply. So having an area dedicated to science can really help to inspire scientific thinkers.

Here are just a couple of ideas you can choose from:

  • Create a water tower with platforms, water chutes and pouring equipment.
  • Get creative with water and colours. All you need is a few drops of colouring dye.
  • Collect some magnets and let the kids experiment with the surrounding objects. Do they stick?
  • Mix up some soapy water, and create a bubble-blowing station with some bubble wands. 
  • Make slime using glue and liquid starch and let kids play with the texture and elasticity.

This is a great learning area to have outside, even during the colder months if you can house it under a sheltered area. Just make sure your kids don’t forget their coats and gloves.

If you’d rather have this continuous provision indoors, keeping the area separate from the others can help to minimise the mess.

Counting Corner

You don’t need me to tell you maths is important. And how an early start can make such a difference. 

Looking to build those skills up? Try these ideas on for size: 

  • Making shapes and structures with counting cubes. 
  • Shopping role-play area with fake money.
  • Set up a shape scavenger hunt.

Numeracy has lots of real-life applications. Helping your pupils to see that from an early age will support them in seeing the value of the subject early on.

A Final Note on Continuous Provision

Alistair Bryce-Clegg describes continuous provision as a chance for children to explore through their own interests. In other words, the kids do their own thing (and that’s not always what you expect!)

So while any idea might not lead the way you think, it helps to plan activities with different learning opportunities. 

Even if your kids don’t use the areas as you predicted, that’s okay. You can adjust and respond later. 

The key takeaway is you’re doing your bit to help nurture all that curiosity. And that’ll work wonders in your EYFS and KS1 classes – whatever happens.

Looking for more?

You can pick up this handy guide on continuous provision as well. It’s just what you need if you’re looking to get started.

You can also visit Alistair Bryce-Clegg’s website for more unique insights on continuous provision as well.

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The author

Adam Morris is a Content Executive for the UK with Twinkl Educational Publishing. He loves writing about education, learning approaches, sustainability, technology, and literacy. In his free time, he loves browsing through a good book or exploring the great outdoors!

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