It is a truism that most people resist change. Think of how you felt the last time you changed jobs, moved house or even walked into a room full of strangers.

Think, then, how much more intimidating change can be for children who are swept up in situations not of their choosing.

Negative thinking? Yes, but it is easy to slip into. There is, after all, great comfort in the familiar and this is something nurseries, playgroups and out-of-school clubs actively nurture.

Most under-fours will have a keyworker who will greet them when they arrive, kiss them when they fall over and organise their day for them.

That day is based around activities in familiar play areas: Construction, role play, messy play with sand and water, painting and modelling.

And then, suddenly, this routine is disrupted.

It could be something short-lived like one of the recent freak snowstorms. What do the staff do? Continue with the work as planned or embrace change by taking the children outside to explore the unexpected and learn something new and exciting in the process?

There is, after all, a glory in the spontaneous.

Yes, children love the security of the familiar world but breaks in routine can increase their enjoyment and expand their knowledge of the world.

When a child laboriously makes a snowball and takes it into the warm playroom only to find it turns into water, they are learning an early and hugely enjoyable lesson in physics.

So far, so good. But what about other, more profound, changes?

In these days of expanding childcare, for example, it is not unusual for nurseries to go through radical changes. Lottery funding and, more recently, funding through the Neighbourhood Nursery Initiative, means that nurseries increasingly find themselves in the position of extending their premises: A new wing, improved facilities, more resources. Wond-erful.

But in the meantime, what does a parent do if her child's nursery is planning changes of that sort? How will the nursery and the children survive the disruption, the noise, the inconvenience of being next to a building site for weeks on end? The temporary rearrangements and myriad adjustments necessary when a major upheaval takes place?

What was that about negative thinking earlier?

Any change of this sort can be - and almost always is - productively absorbed into the learning day. Many nurseries, faced with this situation, will channel the distracting activities into a theme that broadens the children's experience.

For example, one local nursery finding itself in that position chose the theme of change. Another chose that of building and construction.

In other words, even major change like this offers endless scope, from projects on vehicles such as cranes and bulldozers (every little boy's fantasy), through construction itself to an overview of the jobs and skills involved.

You have doubts? Then imagine a group of small children inspired by a visit by an architect, drawing, with adult help, plans of their play areas then transforming those into models.