Case study- reporting on in-setting in the EYFS


The children had previously been discussing how plants grow. Nadia was showing a plant to children In response to a previous idea “plants grow by magic “

I invited children to draw magic flowers with me on large paper

“my flower is inside a seed. It’s growing and growing. It’s growing taller like my dad. It’s a big magic coming and growing”

“my dad puts a seed in the mud and gives it water and then waits and it grows”

“Pens grow when you sharpen them with a sharpener”

“Scissors grow if you put water on them this scissors is bigger than that one”

“You can get magic flowers from a shop”

“The magic flower is only gold”

Leading to exploration of philosophical concepts

Changes and growth



Questions about the concepts identified in the play

Does a plant know if it has to grow big or small?

Would you grow if I watered you?

Can we plant a baby?

How do we know if we are growing?

Is it just our body that changes as we grow?

Is magic the same as pretend?

How do we get magic inside something?

Is a witch magic if she doesn’t have a wand?

Is there a best colour?

Why is gold magical?

What if everything was gold?

What if there was no such colour as gold?



I Joined children on the cutting and sticking table and started to make my own flower. I asked whether it was a magic one ? this led to more thoughts and ideas about the concepts and questions I presented as we played and made flowers.

*Thoughts and stories from children about our wonderings

“My flower gets pink. It’s magic because there’s long grass in it. It dances and it has a magic flower wand”

“my gold flower is going to have a big tail. It’s going to get a long nail. He’s going to scratch the sofa”

“so, I don’t like this flower. I want a different one. ( he crawls and wags imaginary tail) like a jelly “

In response to my question can we plant a baby?

“ we can’t plant a baby because it would get all dirty”

“mums buy babies”

“ no, from the witch’s  house. Baby doesn’t want to go to the witch’s house. He’s scared the witch will put baby in fire, him be scared”

“the mummy and the daddy took the baby home to the house which was big”

“it wants to go home to its own house far, far away, and have a birthday at home.”

“the witch no don’t take the baby. The witch got and got the fire and put it on all the babies.”

“ The mum is going to be so sad”

“and the dad so grumpy. The babies throw the fire away and the burn all go away. Then mummy get the fire and puts it in the witch”

More wonderings from this story –  questions for  the Question board.

Does a plant know what it will look like?

Would it be good or bad if babies grew from seeds in the ground? Or if we could buy babies in the shops?


Nextmagic flowers.JPG steps

Share the child’s story about the witch’s house and the babies and ask children to act it out. Facilitation could explore such ideas as why would a witch need a baby? Would a witch be a good mum?-

More activities to explore thoughts and ideas-  create a magic flower shop making and selling flowers


Children’s thoughts from the making table

“Pink is a good colour. It makes people good and happy. If someone be sad we could use it”

“ my spell turns people into tigers that scare people and eat them “

“mine turns you into a good spell witch”

“ my flower turns you into a cat- it’s a bad spell”

“ my gold flower its got a bad tummy. It’s a wolf one- it got sharp fingers and it turns you into a leaf”

Further suggestions

Continue to create more flowers and plants for the magic flower shop. Make signs that children suggest. This could involve discussion about bravery, fear and danger. Ask children to decide upon a method of payment for people to buy the flowers. What can we use for money? Do we need money? Why do we have to buy things? What if everything was free? Will we charge more money for good spells or bad spells?







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