Personal, social and emotional development

PSED: Animal empathy

Martin Wardell’s books, including the best-selling Owl Babies, are perfect for helping children to explore their feelings. Use them to tap into their ideas about what is fair and unfair.

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.

Parent: Be my Valentine

Many settings love to celebrate Valentine’s Day – not only does it brighten up what can be a bleak month but it’s an opportunity to talk about love and kindness with children, says Annette Rawstrone.

Embrace creative fundraising

Taking part in fundraising events creates happy memories for children and tells them that they can play a part in changing the world. There are also lots of ways to link events to learning in the EYFS.

Parents: Returning to nursery

Returning to nursery after the festive season can be difficult for both children and parents, but there are a number of strategies that can help make the process easier.

PSED: Social sand play

Sand tray activities can be a great way to help children achieve personal, social and emotional development goals; for example, by developing sand tray rules together and inventing new games.

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.

Physical development: Full of beans

Beanbags are easy for young children to hold, catch and throw. They can be visually pleasing, tactile and can have the added element of weight, smell and sound. Jenni Clarke shares some simple, fun and increasingly challenging physical activities to share with young children.

Personal social and emotional development: A day with Elmer

The creator of Elmer, the famous patchwork elephant, is David McKee, writer and illustrator. Judith Harries looks at how to explore his books which are renowned for tackling issues such as cultural differences, acceptance of others, and how to form positive relationships.

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.

Get to know Percy

This month Nick Butterworth is in the spotlight. Use his books to support children to make connections with others, learning to share their thoughts and ideas about family and trips out of the setting.

Caring for baby

Kate Williams outlines ideas for role-play with a baby doll, to encourage boys and girls to develop empathy and begin to understand the needs of a real baby. Observe how they engage with caring.

Marvellously messy!

Don’t be surprised if your child comes home from pre-school looking a little grubby. They will have been exploring messy play, an activity which is all about tactile exploration, says Annette Rawstrone.

PSED: Bedtime blues

Share Jill Murphy’s wonderful books – including Peace at Last – to explore ideas of being sensitive to the feelings of others. Observe how they take turns and listen to each other’s ideas.

Developing the ability to sound the right note

In this new three-part series Hilary White kicks off by exploring the meaning of the term self-regulation in the context of modern pedagogy and research, and how reflective practice is needed to support it.

Time to enjoy your vegetables

Helping to grow, harvest, cook and eat their own vegetables contributes to healthy lifestyles for children, but vegetables can also provide many other opportunities for play and learning.

Whatever the weather we play

There is one thing you can predict about a British summer, it is completely unpredictable! But as we know, with the right assortment of clothes, we go outside come rain or shine.

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