A Naíonra is a group of children of between 3-5 years of age who come together for a few hours each day, under the guidance of a ‘Stiúrthóir’ or leader, to play and to learn through play, in a hall or a house or some other suitable accommodation. The Naíonra has two main objectives:
- to help the child to develop in every way;
- to help the child acquire Irish or to improve his/her knowledge of Irish by using it as the means of communication
The child will be involved in a wide range of activities and games, using sand and water as well as playing with appropriate toys. Art and craft activities are emphasized. Some preliminary work is done in the development of the skills involved in reading, writing and mathematics. Irish is the only language used by the ‘Stiúrthóir’ in organizing and discussing these activities with the children.