TCH child led learning explained

Child led learning is when a child chooses the activity rather than the adult.  The child has control of the activity but the nursery practitioner can adapt their language to gain learning and further the child’s development.

This might be a child choosing to play with a particular toy in a particular area, e.g. writing in the home corner or building site, animals in the sand play. The possibilities for child led learning are endless.

Staff will use the child’s curiosity and choices to inform planning and assess learning through observing this play.

Child led learning at Childrens House Nursery in Southwell

A child could take ownership of an activity by changing it to a different purpose from the one intended. For example, pouring water into a hole to make a puddle rather than watering the plants as the adult intended.

A child would use knowledge gained during everyday routines and adult led activities to enforce rules during role play, or solving conflict, or just generally problem solving.

On a bigger scale a child arriving at nursery after a camping weekend could lead to the nursery room being transformed into a camp with tents and stoves and singing around the campfire.  Children and staff using their imaginations, curiosity and wonder to make and explore their new environment.


Staff can bring counting, colours and new language into the activity and have in mind each child’s next steps developmentally – all whilst the children are engrossed in the new adventure.

Research shows that children are more relaxed and engaged when they are in control of activities. They are less resistant to learning (as they are learning whilst doing something that they enjoy). Click To Tweet

Example of child led learning

An example of a child led activity here at Children’s House Nursery was during a hot spell in July.  Maybe to keep cool, maybe because it seemed a long way away but a child wanted to talk about Christmas.

Child led learning at Childrens House Nursery in Southwell

This led to the children dressing as elves and making toys, cutting out wrapping paper shapes and wrapping the toys.  We had Christmas in July!  With lots of learning, fine motor skills, language development and memory recall as it’s seven months since Christmas.  The children were engaged and focused because they had chosen it – magical.

Getting the correct balance of child led and adult led activities ensures that we are sharing and modeling skills children need to become independent, unique individuals.  By using skills and ideas that they enjoy and are enthused by, the adults ensure safety and maximum learning is applied to any activity whether child led or adult led.

This website only gives a small glimpse of what we have to offer here at Children’s House Nursery in Southwell so why not call 01636 378130 and book a nursery visit now?

This will give you a chance to see for yourself why we believe we are a little different from the rest.