What is Aistear?
Aistear is the early childhood curriculum framework for all children from birth to six years in Ireland.
Aistear can be used in the range of early childhood settings including children’s own homes, childminding settings, daycare settings, sessional services and infant classes in primary schools.
The Framework uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children’s learning and development: Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking. To find out more click HERE for more details from National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Why is Aistear important?
This curriculum is important to parents, carers, childcare professionals and teachers as it is formal curriculum through which children will learn, grow and develop. The curriculum puts child led learning at the forefront and encourages children to explore and investigate. It is also really important as a way to assess how children are progress, though thankfully without any formal testing or assessments!
How does Messy Play support Aistear?
One of the fantastic things about Messy Play is that supports all of the four themes of Aistear. As Messy Play is child led and open ended it encourages children with ‘Exploring and Thinking’. Messy Play engages all children, equally and is incredibly accessible this links to ‘Identity and Belonging’ theme of Aistear. Children who have SEN needs, use different languages, have different cultural backgrounds can play together. I like to think of Messy Play as providing a ‘level playing field’.
Play is consider a form of communication in the Aistear curriculum, Messy Play particularly encourages verbal and non-verbal communication though conversations, sharing and experiences. Lastly the theme of ‘Well being’ can be reached through Messy Play with the physical development it brings. Messy Play has been proven to help develop fine motor skills and brain development.
If you would like to find more about Messy Play and Aistear please click HERE to go to our Messy Play Training page.