At Young Friends Nature Nursery, we welcome children of all different ages in all pods. These natural groupings are typical of a family, where children follow, laugh and learn with their siblings and have fun with each other. Providing a pod based on family life offers many benefits to both older and younger children. Everyone is considered a role model as we learn about each other. Groups have a balanced span of all ages, giving opportunities for all types of groupings and play.
When a young baby first starts with us, it is of course possible that they may be apart from their mother/family for the very first time. We find that the atmosphere created by children of all ages allows much younger children to settle quickly and they soon delight in watching children who also love nurturing them! Children of differing ages tend to work together; they share resources and enjoy being helpful and co-operative as they engage in purposeful play and consider each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The very young child loves to observe all that is going on and we find they are keen to get up and want to do the same as their older peers.
Children of all ages feel secure, younger children thrive from being with older children. Older children flourish as they nurture the younger ones and their self-esteem grows as they become ‘teachers’ to the younger ones. Maria Montessori believed that grouping children of this age (or any age) is unnatural and seeing the never ending benefits we absolutely agree.