EYFS - England
Pyjama Drama Learning delivers drama and imaginative play training and resources for preschool teachers and parents. We’ve been working with children’s incredible imaginations since 2005 and have a wealth of games, activities, songs, music and drama activities that support the three Prime, and four Specific Areas of Learning, and their associated Early Learning Goals.
COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Interacting with teachers and peers in imaginary environments supports the development of communication and language use, conventions, grammar and vocabulary. All of our games and activities place children in a range of real and imaginary worlds, worlds that they are encouraged to engage with and respond to, providing them with ‘opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.'
1) Taking on the role of a doctor one day, a frog the next and a racing car driver the week after that encourages children to learn how to listen attentively in a range of situations (ELG 01)
2) Helping the witch make a magic potion, the lost bus driver find his way home or the inventor create an invisibility cloak encourages children to follow instructions (ELG 02).
3) Taking on the role of a doctor diagnosing a sick worm with the flu, a parent helping their child learn to cross the road, or Miss Polly learning to drive helps young children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners' needs (ELG 03)
Movement is a great way for young children to develop physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Our original action songs can easily be integrated into the curriculum and is a simple way to increase the amount of time spent in physical activity - download our songs here. Our drama games and our approach to dramatic play preserves children’s joy and exuberance, and allows teachers to focus on process, and avoid comparison and competition. That’s why every single one of our music and movement-based activities provides 'opportunities for children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement.' For example…
1) Balancing on a tightrope, tiptoeing over Crocodile Bridge, jumping in puddles, floating on the surface of the moon - these physical activities all help children develop good control and coordination (ELG 04)
2) Tentatively creeping past a sleeping lion or taking care not to slip on an icy lake help children safely negotiate space (ELG 04)
3) Being a doctor, a fitness instructor or a lion who has just trained for the Olympics helps young children understand the importance for good health of physical exercise (ELG 05)
PERSONAL, SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Our activities encourage children to 'act out' a range of emotions in the safe and supportive environment of imaginative play (‘trialling’ situations before they happen), so are more likely to develop 'confidence in their own abilities' and 'develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings'. The collaborate nature of our games help children 'understand appropriate behaviour in groups', and the dramatized approach we advocate, delivered through exciting and joyful play, music, movement and song helps them 'develop a positive sense of themselves and others' as well as 'form positive relationships and develop respect for others.' Some specific examples of our games and activities include…
1) Learning to take turns and taking an active part in our range of games develops self-confidence and self-awareness (ELG 06)
2) Tackling difficult situations through an imaginary world such as burying a much-loved goldfish or starting school supports children in managing feelings and behaviour (ELG 07)
3) Singing, playing and pretending – these activities all support children in making relationships (ELG 08)
When you pretend you can do anything; even if you haven't mastered 'real' writing you can still help Monkey write an imaginary birthday card, create a pirate map, leave Dad a note when you go outside to play, write an apology on an imaginary piece of paper to the three little pigs – all these pretend writing activities instil a joy for, and an understanding of, writing and helps develop early Literacy. Also, reciting our original, dramatic rhymes and singing Pyjama Drama songs help children develop phonological awareness, in preparation for reading and writing.
Our approach to imaginative play can provide young children with a variety of mathematical explorations and applications. Through our movement, music, and drama activities, children develop spatial sense, pattern recognition, and the language to express mathematical thinking. For example...
1) Counting the number of slugs that are eating Auntie’s roses, and working out how many roses are left, give children opportunities to count reliably with numbers as well as add and subtract 2 single-digit numbers (ELG 11)
2) Discussing how best to help the Troll mend his broken bridge encourages children to use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position (ELG 12)
3) Telling Grandma about a rainbow you see on the top of the hill in Fairy Land helps us recognise and describe patterns (ELG 12)
UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
All our activities are designed to help children develop their Understanding of the World – helping to decorate the house in time for Diwali, doing the dragon Jive at Chinese New Year, roasting a Turkey on Thanksgiving or walking down the aisle with your best friend on your arm (all of which can be done through drama games, role play and music and movement) all help young children make sense of the amazing world in which they live, and know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. (EGL 14).
EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN
Pyjama Drama Learning promotes an imaginative approach to learning across the curriculum. We have over 70 original actions songs and music activities, (children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them ELG 16), hundreds of tried and tested games and a vast range of simple, easy to implement activities designed to ignite the imagination and help children learn while having fun (children represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories ELG 17).
If you're looking for ways to approach your teaching with a more imaginative slant, why not take our free lesson - Bringing Nursery Rhymes to Life!