Why is it we are so afraid of change? Is it inborn or do we learn it at our parents' knee?

Think small and there's the sudden change from a sunny autumn day to unexpected snow. Oh, the threat of cold, the risk of slipping, the bother of wet mittens.

Think big and there's the anxiety of moving house, which is heads of the top ten of stressful experiences.

How dreadful but, also, how exciting. Why should we assume change is something to be fought against?

The up-side of a freak snowstorm for a nursery or out-of-school club is the opportunity for creative play: Looking at a snowflake under a microscope and then creating snowflake pictures with glue and glitter; painting frosted cobwebs or constructing a snow scene with cotton wool and soap powder.

Then, there's the excitement of building a snowman.

It also works muscles, exercising the body and the brain.

The children will need to sort the stones to use as eyes (mathematical skills). They will want to improvise a hat and a scarf (communication skills and creativity).

Above all, they will be working together (social development).

But let's go back to the stressful experience of moving an increasingly common experience for playgroups and after-school clubs now more funding is becoming available.

Imagine the anxiety of parents at the prospect of their children having to move premises lock, stock and barrel.

But this, too, is an opportunity for creative play.

One small nursery found itself in this position when it successfully bid for funding to convert a vacated building next door.

The manager and her team chose change as the topic for the term leading up to the move a particularly apposite choice as one child was expecting a baby brother or sister and another was moving house.

Excitement was high as they observed progress from a distance and met the site foreman, a frequent visitor to the nursery with his hard hat.

Soon, all the children had their own hard hats and entered into the spirit of safety at work.

The foreman also showed them the plans for the site and explained that this was a picture of how their new nursery would look in the near future.

This prompted a series of activities devoted to change: 1) They drew their own plans and built their own new nursery in playdough.

2) They kept a pictorial record of the changes taking place, each dated by an adult.

3) On a supervised visit to the site, they observed how quickly mechanical diggers can change a site and had the chance to sit in them, once parked safely.

4) They learned, in a meaningful way, about the days of the week and the months of the year.

5) They cut out pictures of all the paraphernalia of a building site and modified a calendar, which they then used to monitor developments.

Tellingly, when they all moved to their new premises, not a single child cried or pined for the old nursery.

As my grandmother used to say, change is the spice of life.