Communication and language development

How to be a responsible pet owner

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.

Glorious mud!

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.

Communication and language: Causing a stir

Now is the time for children to harvest a range of exciting new natural objects, including catkins, blossom, dandelions, twigs and leaves – to take to the mud kitchen and have fun mixing them into magic potions.

Communication and language: Relax and chat

Support children to extend their conversations and ideas while they are busy at the sand play area. As a shared place to play it provides fantastic opportunities for building confidence in speaking.

Social and emotional development is EasyPeasy

The EasyPeasy app engages families and children with game ideas and supports children’s social and emotional development and school readiness, according to a research trial. Sal McKeown explains.

Communication and Language: Listen to this

Playing outdoors with friends is a perfect way to boost communication skills and these simple games are easy to set up. Children will enjoy sharing and talking about their tactile, sensory experiences.

Physical development: Against the grain

Revisit your sand trays with these new ideas to promote concentration, hand-to-eye co-ordination and ne motor skills. Children can also get to grips with how tools can effect changes to materials.

Communication and language: A rhyming artist

Nick Sharratt is a prolific children’s author and illustrator famous for his rhyming text and colourful illustrations. The following activities use his work to develop children’s communication and language skills.

Get ready for a fresh start in January

It may come as a shock having to match your energy levels to the children’s when they arrive back after the Christmas break – so lay plans to get them outside and letting off steam, while supporting their learning and physical development.

Wrap up!

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

Living the moment

Discover how a new resource is helping pre-schoolers to develop a passion for the past with an audio experience that transports them to momentous events such as the Great Fire of London.

Grab a pumpkin and have fun on Halloween!

Discover how this spooky celebration can provide an exciting springboard for children's creative activities, including artworks, story-telling, role-play and lots of fun with friends.

Find quality time

It is important for parents to find the time to interact directly with their child whenever they can. That means ensuring too many other things do not get in the way, says Annette Rawstrone.

Catch the moment

A trip or outing is full of new sights, events and experiences and by photographing them children can make sense of their memories. This also gives the practitioner a unique insight into their thinking.

Take your cue to get conversations rolling

In this Practical Pre-School Book extract Jenny Barber outlines how carefully considered interactions can be used to support children at different developmental stages, encouraging their confidence and ideas.

Quietly getting on with it

It is important to develop a support plan for a child with hearing loss, so that all staff understand how practice and resources can be adapted to ensure he makes progress with learning, language and social interactions.

Snap happy

Photos are a great resource for one-to-one time and group discussion. Make them a focus for discussing holiday destinations, memories and expectations, drawing on their own experiences.

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