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Wooden Toys


The Montessori approach supports children to unfold their own unique inner potential by

allowing them to have the freedom to explore an environment that is designed to meet their developmental and individual learning needs. 

Inside Out are inspired by aspects of the 'Montessori Theory' and share very similar values and principles on how early years education is approached.  The EYFS also shares some of the same values and principles as 'Montessori'. 


     Some of the values that Inside Out share are;

  • A prepared environment

  • Freedom of movement and choice

  • Individualised learning

  • Independence

  • Respect for the child

Wooden Toys

How will Inside Out implement this ? 

The facilitation of our environment for our sessions is well thought out and created by our qualified and experienced practitioners that are familiar with the EYFS and Montessori approach. Our environment and resources are frequently adapted and changed to capture the interests of children and to help them develop. We at Inside Out understand the value of freedom, movement, and choice, and recognise that children should not be made to sit for long periods including during adult-led sessions. Our specific activities offer short periods of adult-led activities in which are designed to draw children through interest however, children are not limited to the specific activity and are free to explore other areas of the facilities if they wish to do so. 


Our qualified practitioners have experienced observing children,  planning in the moment, and differentiating activities, and  teaching techniques, to meet the needs of children as individuals. Practitioners will be located in different areas of the facilities, carrying out activities and interacting with children. 

We aim to support children to be independent learners and promote risky elements of play. 


Our sessions promote independence by enabling children to, have a choice, encourage problem solving, and having extended and open ended activities available. Inside Out encourages children to, take off their shoes and coat, find their individual coat peg, and take part in tidy up times. We value positive relationships, communications, and respect one and other. We promote consistent language and boundaries, and expect practitioners and visitors to model positive relationships, and follow the rules of play and the 'Golden Rules' system.

Baby's Grasp

Attachments Theory 

Mary Ainsworth

The attachment theory is a psychological model that describes dynamics of long term relationships between humans. John Bowlby proposed the theory is 1950. Attachments theory suggests that humans are born with the need to form bonds with caregivers as children and that these bonds have an influence on attachments throughout their life. 

Mary Ainsworth, a developmental psychologist, elaborated on Bowlby's research and identified three main styles of attachments that children have to their caregivers. 

Baby's Grasp

What are the 3 main styles? 

  1. Anxious attachment- This refers to the child having a concern that the caregiver will not reciprocate a level of availability and/or has learnt that the carers are unreliable and inconsistent with responsive care towards their needs.

  2. Avoidant Attachment- This refers to the child who tends to avoid interactions with caregivers and shows little to no distress when leaving their caregiver. The child usually struggles with expressing feelings, thoughts, and emotions. 

  3. Secure Attachment- This refers to the child who feels secure, who will openly express and regulate their feelings, thoughts, and emotions and are able to trust those close to them. They are usually comfortable being left alone. Usually caregivers ensure the child feels reassured, heard, and valued.

Straw Baskets

Treasure Baskets

Elinor Goldschmied trained as a teacher and psychiatric social worker. She had a huge impact on early years policies. One of her main innovations included 'heuristic play' and the 'treasure baskets'. Elinor Goldschmied pioneered the key person approach which is a requirement of the EYFS today.Treasure baskets support children's gross motor skills and encourage the first steps of making choices and being independent. Treasure baskets also support the 'curiosity approach'.

Straw Baskets

What are Treasure Baskets? 

Treasure baskets are a collection of recycled, household objects also known as 'loose parts'. They are placed into wicker baskets for babies around 5 months plus, to explore. A range of different textures and natural materials are needed for babies to explore through their senses. Parents must supervise children at all times whilst exploring treasure baskets and allow the child to choose objects of interest. 

risky play
Pine Corn

 The Curiosity Approach: Loose-parts play

(Simon Nicholson 1971)

'Loose-parts play' supports open ended learning and involves using and manipulating a range of materials and resources. It encourages children to critically think, be creative, and problem solve. 


Inside Out values the positive impact that loose parts play can have on children's development however, we recognise the element of risk involved with small parts, heavy items, and items that are not listed specifically as toys. We therefore carry out risk assessments on all of our items and emphasise the importance of parent and carer supervision at all times. 


(Parents and carers are responsible for evaluating the risk and capability of their children's ability to take part in activities provided.)

(Parents and carers must agree to our terms and conditions stated during the registration process.) 

Pine Corn

What is 'risky play'?

'Risky Play' involves supporting children's curiosity and exploration. It has elements of risks attached to it that is managed by the supervision of adults. 


Some examples of 'risky play' are;

  • Loose parts play

  • Climbing

  • Using 'tools'

  • Emotional risks (a child taking the risk to climb when being afraid of heights)


It is important that risks involved in this play are assessed and that the parents and carers have an understanding of their child's capabilities. 'Risky play' supports freedom of choice, encourages independence, enables children to think critically, problem solve, and be creative. ​

Baby Playing with Building Blocks

 Schematic Play

(Jean Piaget 1920)

Schematic Play is not a specific type of play in itself, but rather how a child chooses to play, and the type of repeated actions they like to take. These repeated actions are called 'schema's'.


There are many different types of schema's including;

  • Transporting

  • Transforming

  • Enveloping

  • Rotation

  • Trajectory positioning

  • Enclosing connection


Baby Playing with Building Blocks

How will Inside Out implement this ? 

We will facilitate an environment and provide resources to enable different schema's to take place. We are able to incorporate all 7 areas of learning into schematic play, to engage and encourage children to discover and learn. Our qualified staff will support and observe the schematic interest children may have, and scaffold learning to expand their concepts and ideas.

Schematic Play...

  • Promotes critical thinking

  • Encourages the imagination

  • Creates, offers, and effects different learning opportunities for children

  • Increases levels of children's involvement in play

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