Play at Barnies


What is meant by play?

Play is vital for children, it’s through play that babies and young children learn, grow and have fun. It helps them understand the world, to develop socially and emotionally and to gain the confidence to handle whatever life brings them. All children should be able to play and learn in a fun environment with adults who understand and care about them. Barnies provides a variety of play experiences.

Free Play– Free play provides a period of time when the children have an open choice for what they wish to play with.  They can move freely from table to table or around the floor without restriction.

A range of toys available for free play may include; duplo, stickle bricks, car mat cars and garage, train set, bricks, books, lego, small world toys, animals etc.

Child initiated– As children advance through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) opportunities for child initiation is encouraged. Older children may become involved in the actual planning of activities, may request changes to the set up or may independently clear away and choose other resources.

Children will be encouraged to take turns, self select, clear away, maintain aspects of health and safety or take lead depending on their individual development stage.  

Key Person Group Activities – The positive input of a dedicated key person is clearly identified in the EYFS;  A Key Person has special responsibilities for working with a small number of children giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents.

The daily routine will include sessions of key person group activity where play is planned specifically to enhance development on an individual basis. These periods may often include an activity linked to the needs of certain “focus children” for that session which may involve individual or group play.

A range of equipment for this area may include; jigsaws, board games, sorting, matching, small discussion groups, large group projects etc.

Creative, Mark making and Malleable Play  -  Opportunities for creativity includes a wide range of activities which may involve imagination, awareness of colour and design, mark making and malleable materials but above all it encourages experimentation. A range of these activities will be offered to all children on a regular basis and participation encouraged.Thought needs to be given to the younger children and activities adapted to meet their abilities. 

A range of creative activities may include; sand, water, playdoh, gloop, role play, music etc.  These opportunities are further enhanced with the provision of tools; pots, pans, funnels, scissors, spades etc.

Family Times - Barnies recognizes the importance and positive benefits children gain from experiences with older or younger peers and siblings. Opportunities for mixed age groupings are planned as part of the routine and children are encouraged to form positive relationships which promote high self esteem. It is greatly recognized that children learn equally from their peers as well as other adults and mixed family groups enhance greater opportunity for sustained shared learning. 

Activities may include; story time, register, group singing, meals and snacks, parties and celebrations etc.   

The role of the practitioner in play is:

  • To plan a challenging environment.

  • To support the children’s learning through planned play activities.

  • Extend and support spontaneous play.

  • Extend and develop language and communication.

  • Observe and assess children’s development in all areas.

Barnies doesn’t have special equipment to deliver the EYFS but plans and utilises all its resources to ensure that the children have access to a variety of toys, tools, equipment and materials. Care is always taken to ensure health & safety issues are assessed as part of the planning stage, but we do believe that children should be taught to behave in a safe and proper manner as part of their play rather than limiting their experience.

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@ Hadlow


This Barnies is situated within the grounds of Hadlow Primary School, near Tonbridge, and has been registered since January 2004.


@ Hop Farm


This Barnies is situated within the grounds of the Hop Farm Country Park, near Paddock Wood, and has been registered since 1999.


Head Office
Head Office

Head Office

Established since 1996 primarily for nursery care Barnies now provides an all encompassing child care provision for parents with children from birth to eleven years.

British Values

British Values

Barnies actively promotes the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs.

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Barnies understands and promotes the statement Parents are childrens first and most enduring educators. Hadlow: 01732 850 033 | Hop Farm: 01622 872 788 | Sevenoaks: 01732 464 670