Personal, social and emotional development

Well versed

Rhyme is a fantastic medium for inspiring children to engage with narrative and develop vocabulary. Get into your own poetry rhythm by checking out these activities.

PSED: Poised for action

This article is the third in the series exploring mindfulness moments, linking children's physical movements to self awareness and self control, while also practising breathing and meditation.

PSED: Take a moment

Following on from last month's article on breathing techniques, now is the time to move on to basic meditation skills. Observe how quickly children find their focus, using natural materials as props to articulate their thoughts and feelings.

PSED: Take a deep breath

While children have a natural ‘mindfulness’ this can be developed to help them sustain focus and self-awareness. In the first of a new series, Judith Harries provides a practical guide to breathing techniques which promote well-being.

PSED: Moving house

Whatever the circumstances of a house move – planned or unplanned – it can be a confusing and stressful time for children. Claire Hewson outlines ways to explore the subject while making children feel more confident about the transition.

PSED: Trees for life!

National Tree Week, which runs from 28 November to 6 December, is a great opportunity to discuss the importance of trees. Support children to identify different varieties, express their own ideas and listen sensitively to others.

My little mermaid

Take a look at this month’s practical supplement which has a wealth of seasonal ideas to support children’s learning through play. Use our expert pointers on the Characteristics of Effective Leaning to create meaningful observations and enhance your knowledge of each individual child.

PSED: Let's get together

Hilary White suggests ways to use art, song and discussion as a starting point for celebrating our differences and exploring togetherness. Children will enjoy creating a picture of their friend and talking about what they like about them.

EYFS reforms: Specific areas of learning

This second in a four-part series focuses on the Specific areas of learning, flagging up new points for reflection and providing a practical guide to support every day best practice in your setting.

EYFS reforms: Identifying opportunities

In the first of a three-part guide, Nicola Watson focuses on the statutory changes to the Prime areas of learning and provides advice on how to positively implement them in your practice.

PSED: We are family

Judith Harries suggests books and simple activities to support children's understanding of how the families of their friends may be different to their own.

While we can’t hug…

Following on from his bestselling book The Hug, author Eoin McLaughlin has written this genuine book for our time, talking to young children about social distancing. Find out more about how to share this book!

PSED: Helping hands

The books of Rosie Wellesley are a wonderful starting point to explore the rewards of being helpful, doing chores together and sharing precious things with others.

PSED: A merry band

Tom Knight's Jimmy Finnigan's Wild Wood Band is a great book to pick up at this time to explore ideas of community spirit and social awareness.

Things to do on a rainy afternoon

A rainy day in doors doesn’t have to mean a day stuck in front of the TV or computer. There are lots of activities to keep children occupied – and still learning. Painting, baking, and other arts and crafts are just some of the great ways to boost their creativity. Here are some activities that are perfect for wet weather days.

Wash, wash, your hands!

The coronavirus has highlighted the importance of washing our hands to help prevent illness. Here are some activities linked to the EYFS which will inform children about why it is essential to regularly wash their hands, giving them the skills to do this effectively.

PSED: When I grow up

Being aware of how girls and boys are accessing your resources and spaces can help to combat any gender bias. Judith Harries suggests ideas to stimulate children's use of all the opportunities that are available in the setting.

PSED: Pitch perfect

The final article in this series on different ways to inspire a love of music, looks at ways to support children to play in pairs or small groups, and bring it all together as an exciting class band.

Literacy: Sharing traditions

Sarah Davies urges settings to celebrate ‘International Mother Language Day’ on 21 February. Its a great excuse to bring children, families and the wider community together to share their cultures, songs, stories and rhymes.

PSED: Feel the love

Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You is a simple, classic story that provides a safe space for children to explore their feelings and their place in the world. Support them to think about ways to express how they feel.

PSED: Come into my den

The creation of small, cosy areas are important for allowing children to occupy private spaces, either on their own or with a friend. These secure, comfortable environments provide an ideal place to share emotions and ideas.

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