In the Early Years Foundation Stage, design and technology forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World' branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum, which also covers geography, history, ICT, and science, alongside Expressive Arts and Design.
Your child will learn through first-hand experiences. They will be encouraged to explore, observe, solve problems, think critically, make decisions and to talk about why they have made their decisions. Here are some of the typical learning experiences your child will have:
Constructing: Learning to construct with a purpose in mind, some children use scissors, glue, string and a hole punch to make various products to enhance their play.
Structure and joins: Following a trip, story or disussion, the children may build vehicles, buildings and other structures using a range of loose parts.
Using a range of tools: Through this, your child will learn about planning and adapting initial ideas to make them better. For example, a child might choose to use scissors, a stapler, elastic bands and glue to join bits together to make a toy vehicle. But they might then modify their initial idea by using masking tape.
Cooking techniques: Some children take turns stirring the mixture for a cake and then watch with fascination as it rises while cooking. They will practise stirring, mixing, pouring and blending ingredients during cookery activities.
Exploration: Children will dismantle things and learn about how everyday objects work. For example, a child might dismantle a pepper grinder and discover how it is put together and the materials different parts are made of.
Discussion: Your child will be given opportunities to discuss reasons that make activities safe or unsafe, for example hygiene, electrical awareness, and appropriate use of senses when tasting different flavourings. They will also learn to record their experiences by, for example, drawing, writing and making a tape or model.