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.
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.
The books of Emily Gravett provide a great focus for activities such as walking to the post box to post a letter home, going on a litter pick to clean up the environment or making and operating a finger puppet.
Maureen Lee describes how a study visit to Denmark has inspired a group of practitioners to take their forest school practice to the next level and use it as a springboard for important research.
Through the lens of ‘in the moment planning’ Jenni Clarke outlines scenarios which maximise opportunities for children to challenge themselves physically. It is all about being spontaneous and guided by the child.
Encouraging children to build their own dens and special spaces will help them to extend their physical capabilities, and experiment with ideas and resources. Observe how they persist with trial and error.
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.
In part two of her series on music, Judith Harries outlines ways to tap into children's innate ability to move to the beat. Encourage them to combine singing and movement, and observe how their confidence and enjoyment grows.
If pitched at the right level, a trip to a historical or cultural location can be just as valuable in the early years as it is for pupils further up the school, as we found on our trip to Hampton Court Palace, says Elaine Booth, teacher at Latchmere School in Kingston-upon-Thames.
Try stopping a young child from kicking a fir cone, stone or ball – it's not easy. There is a natural tendency for children to interact with their environment and the objects in it, so encourage them and support their skills by playing football.
Hitting a ball with a stick is fun. Add in a target and it becomes a challenge. Use the correct terminology and it becomes a new hobby. Let children experiment with golf equipment and develop their own swing style, says Jenni Clarke.
As the autumn and winter months bring more opportunities for cold and flu bugs to spread now is the time to be extra vigilant about handwashing in your setting. Try these activities linked to the EYFS which will educate children about the importance of regular handwashing and give them the physical skills to carry it out effectively.
At its most fundamental level, mastering hygiene and self-care practices involves children working on physical development skills. Jenni Clarke suggests activities that will build their confidence.
The official rules of rounders can be simplified for young children, enabling them to learn the basics of the sport, be active, concentrate on developing their skills and, most of all, have fun with their friends.
Badminton is a great way to introduce racket sports to young children, helping them to practise the hand-eye coordination that will come in useful for different games as they develop their sporting prowess.
Parents should give careful thought about whether to introduce a young child to a dummy and they also need to think about how their child will be weaned off it at a later time, says Annette Rawstrone.
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.
Nets are a cheap, readily available, versatile resource. Use them to make dens, catch carboard stars and all sorts of other objects. Talk about how they keep us safe and have fun crawling beneath them.
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.
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.
Mastering the skill of dressing involves fine motor skills, body awareness and co-ordination. These games deliver the fun factor and the impetus for children to become independent.
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.
Extending conversation around exercise is a great way to help children to make connections with how their body works. It also helps them to focus on setting their own physical challenges.
Children aged between 18 months and three years can sometimes go through a phase of biting others. A careful approach is needed to address this, taking into account underlying, developmental factors.