At this stage, exploring and thinking are about children making sense of the things, places and people in their world by interacting with others, playing, investigating, questioning, and forming, testing and refining ideas.
What you need to know
Children use their senses, their minds and their bodies to find out about and make sense of what they see, feel and experience in the world around them. They gather information and develop new skills, including thinking skills. They form ideas and theories and test these out. They refine their ideas through exploring their environment actively and through interacting and communicating with adults and with other children. Much of this happens through play and other experiences that allow children to be creative, to take risks, and to make discoveries.
Knowing how the world works
In early childhood, most children develop physically and cognitively through exploring their environment, though some have disabilities that make this more difficult to achieve. As well as building knowledge and developing skills, children also need to develop positive dispositions and attitudes towards learning. They have an innate drive to get to know the workings of their world. This means planning activities that are suited to children’s individual needs and which connect with their experiences and interests, while at the same time challenging your child to extend their knowledge, refine their skills, and work together to solve problems.