top of page

What happened to authentic experiences?



As we fill our settings with lots of wonderful authentic resources, what happened to authentic experiences?


How many times do we set up a beautifully curated home corner and then serve snack like it’s a military operation or plant cress seeds into little plastic pots whilst never once creating a vegetable patch in the outdoor area.


Different things work for different settings and we all have access to different resources, we must do the best with what we have; planting outside might be impossible for you and cress cups are a great alternative but sometimes we don’t notice how we could create more authentic experiences when we focus on the aesthetics of our continuous provision, when we focus on creating a certain ‘look’ or invitation.


I will openly admit that I, on many occasions, have created a play dough cupcake invitation with authentic resources such as cupcake tins and cases but I rarely bake with the children - I’m not saying that this isn’t a great invitation, it would be impossible to bake daily but once in a while I could do real, authentic, baking rather than just supplying the authentic tins.


Another area that I definitely fall short in is providing authentic experiences when it comes to natural materials. I often collect conkers and pinecones to add to the continuous provision and I might provide context about where these came from but there is a conker tree on the same road as my nursery that I could actually walk the children to. However, in my bid to create a certain aesthetic I overlook this worthwhile experience.


I could go on, for example, how many of us create a beautiful cosy corner with books, fairy lights and cushions but are too busy to sit with the children and create these authentic connections; instead we are constantly thinking about the next learning opportunity rather than just practicing what that area is created to do - to create a sense of belonging and security.


The purpose of this post is not to point out where I think you are going wrong but more a personal reflection on my own practice that I hope encourages you to do the same thing.




bottom of page