Book corners need to be inviting and accessible spaces to ensure their constant use. Their popularity will soar when you ask for children's input on how they would like them to be planned and stocked.
Communication and language development
The Big Schools’ Birdwatch runs from 6 January – 21 February. It’s an opportunity for children to contribute to the world’s largest wildlife survey, the Big Garden Birdwatch, by spotting and counting birds in the grounds of the setting.
Teaching children the value of re-using and sharing their old toys by role-playing a charity shop will introduce them to the importance of staying sustainable while developing their confidence and language skills.
Karen Hart suggests guessing and memory games that will support children to explore new vocabulary linked to seasonal celebrations and make choices which they can confidently communicate to their group.
In part four of her series on sustainability, Hilary White explores the different ways we can reuse materials such as picture books to teach children the value of breathing new life into old objects.
Ailsa Chapman re-visits that stalwart of early years resourcing – the tuff tray, and suggests ways to extend its scope, with a range of imaginative ideas that children can take in any direction.
Sally Player, Foundation Stage leader at Quilters Infant School in Billericay, Essex, urges teachers to adopt a creative approach to ensure all new children develop a love of reading, and recommends resources such as 100 High Frequency Wordcards.
From creating a small world play area to hunting for apples, there are lots of innovative ways children can explore poetry and rhyme.
The experience children take from their first days at pre-school can have a lasting effect on the way they anticipate future transitions. Communicating effectively – and helping them to do the same – is key to success.
Explore Quentin Blake's sense of fun and inspire children to experiment with words. Challenge them to write their own rhymes and have fun creating new adventures for popular characters.
The books of Tony Ross are packed with humour and misdeeds that are engaging to young children. Use them to develop Communication and Language skills that involve attentive listening and self-expression.
Bringing old and young together for meaningful interactions is now proving to have many benefits – not just for children and the elderly, but for society as a whole. Stephen and Denise Burke explain how they are working to maximise these benefits.
What is children's favourite – a cafe with healthy snacks or a pizza restaurant? Invite them to role-play their favourite eateries and support them to use new vocabulary and learn about the world.
In part two of her series exploring how communication skills link to wellbeing, Paula Brown challenges stereotypical notions to do with the extrovert and weighs the cognitive and emotional benefits of silence.
In the part two of her series exploring high quality provision for babies and children, Yasmin Mukadam looks at the importance of them being actively involved in planning their own learning experiences.
Wonderfully natural and inclusive, sensory exploration leads to children's self-expression and wellbeing. Give them time to immerse themselves fully and observe how they go with the flow.
National Gardening Week is an excellent opportunity to showcase to the local community what you do in your setting to grow and use produce, and to encourage a healthy and productive outdoor experience.
In the third article in her series on role-play, Judith Harries focuses on the activity of shopping, giving children creative scope to open up their very own shop and extend their understanding of the world.
Introduce children to the excitement of discovering ‘hidden things’ and link picture books with a discovery theme to events in their own life. Can they understand how one clue leads to another?
Make the most of the warm and sunny days of summer to introduce the topic of holidays and travel, and organise a variety of outdoor activities, including water and sand play, picnics, sports and trips.
Try these ideas for using resources to create tangible ‘number frames’ from one to ten. Children can have fun engaging with number physically while developing key mathematical thinking skills.
Moving to music delivers the feel good factor and when children make up their own dances they have fun working as a team, listening to each other’s ideas and remembering sequences of moves.
Getting involved with National Pet month provides a great way to educate children about the care and characteristics of household pets. While keeping pets in an early years setting is not generally advisable, there are lots of ways to build on children’s natural enthusiasm for them through books, role-play, small world play and discussion.
Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.