There are many different approaches to program planning. It sounds to me like you are considering something similar to what is known as the “Project Approach”.   This is an approach that builds themes based on the children’s interests – the teacher expands and builds on the children’s ideas!

This is can be good as it keeps the children and the teacher’s interest, but it is important to make sure that the teachers are watching the children’s lead so that they can manage and modify the length of time spent focusing on a particular topic.

When you observe the children in your care, you might notice that there are several interests going on in the classroom all at the same time. For example: You might have six children in your care – three might be interested in camping, two might be interested in airplanes and one might be interested in sports.

You can accommodate all of the children’s interest in your program by letting the children use their imagination and provide them with an open ended activity. An open ended activity might include something like finger painting to encourage creative, sensory and fine motor skills.  This allows the children to choose what they are going to create, while using materials that meet your learning objectives!

You also might find that some of the interests are fleeting, while some seem to be longer lasting or capture the interest of other children in the group.  Use your judgement, and base your program plan on what you think will work well with your group.

For more information on the “Project Approach”, click here