The fairly new concept named in the moment planning is all about capturing the children’s current interest at one particular time. A child’s current interest is easily identified but can change week by week, meaning there is no need to plan in advance due to basing activities on what the child is doing. If you are working in childcare, we recommend that you interact with the child to build upon what the child is already doing.

Why is it beneficial?

This type of planning is simple and effective as it allows those crucial moments to be captured and extended there and then, rather than introducing new steps in a week or two. It is completely child lead and requires real-time planning. This form of planning takes into consideration the needs, interests and stages of development of each child, enabling you to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for individuals.

Young children’s brain activity is at its highest when they are deeply engrossed in something which fascinates, challenges and makes them happy. Every child is unique and we cannot predict or impose what will spark a deep fascination within them. Without stimulation the brain, children may not develop fully. In the moment planning can help maximise brain stimulation for children.

How to be successful at in the moment planning?

Each practitioner needs to recognise the three core elements for in the moment planning; environment, quality interactions and observing.

  • Environment
  • Quality Interactions
  • Observing

Providing an environment that stimulates curiosity can help children explore and find new things they wish to learn more about. Each child will have different things that stimulate them – while one might enjoy painting, another may like dressing up.

As a practitioner you will need to spend time with each individual to really monitor their interests and development. Praise and reinforce positive learning experiences. Instead of you telling them to focus on one thing you need to listen to them. Ask open ended questions that ask for a description, for example ‘What do you like about that? Rather than ‘Do you like that?’

Observing and quality interactions go hand in hand. Observing and listening closely to each child will benefit you to follow the child’s lead and then plan accordingly. Create a sheet or booklet for each child and record what they’ve done retrospectively each session. In this booklet reflect on what each child has done/learned/found interesting during that session and feed it back to your records. Through this you can make learning outcomes for each child and tick off their progress.

To conclude, in the moment planning can be a fun and relaxed way for children to learn and progress. With the addition of both the children and practitioners being more enthusiastic, more engaged, more relaxed and forge better relationships. Let the children choose what to do, join them and support them in their pursuits and then write up what has happened.

For more information on in the moment planning and how you can include it in children’s learning, get in touch with a member of the team today by visiting our contact page or giving us a call on 0300 300 8131.