Food Play Policy
Westside Pre-School are committed to supporting the importance of play, both indoors and outdoors, and the value of risk taking. Practitioners support children’s play throughout the session while considering the age, interests and individual needs of each child. We provide a provision in which children can play in a safe and secure environment and adjust schedule of play activities throughout the day to meet the individual needs of the children. Transitions between daily activities, where possible do not interrupt the children’s play experiences and routines are flexible. Children are encouraged to make choices and think critically through independent play in a one to one, small group or larger group. Play experiences will also promote understanding and acceptance of diversity. Practitioners encourage children to experience spontaneous/ unplanned activities like snowfall. Westside pre-school use the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012) as guidance.
We encourage activities which involve tasting different types of food, and activities which involve children in preparing and eating different food types. However, as we understand that learning experiences are provided through exploring different textures the following may be used as play materials but should be presented in ways that make the food appear differently to the way it would be presented for eating (e.g. in trays, coloured blue): Jelly Cornflour Dried pasta, rice and pulses Cooked/dyed spaghetti etc.
Food items are incorporated into the role play area to enrich the learning experiences for children, such as:
· Dried pasta, rice
These items are only used when something significant is planned for that area to support the children’s learning. When children are participating in food play staff supervise to discourage children placing items put into their mouths or dropped onto the floor creating a slip hazard. All toys and equipment used are thoroughly cleaned afterward and the “play food” disposed of.