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.
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.
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.
Jenni Clarke provides a guide to how mathematics can be enhanced through in the moment planning, with continuous provision which helps practitioners to identify and extend learning opportunities for all children.
What could be more fun than making your own musical instruments? Start with these simple ideas using recycled objects to inspire children's love of music and appreciation of how sounds are made.
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.
Furoshiki is an environmentally friendly, Japanese technique for wrapping gifts which will give children the opportunity to test their creative skills and learn about why conventional wrapping paper is bad for the planet.
Explore the books of David Walliams as a great resource to introduce key mathematical concepts, such as counting, writing numbers and comparing sizes. Making playdough snakes is guaranteed to be a hit.
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.
What goes on at your local recycling centre is often a subject of fascination for children. Karen Hart suggests ways to build on this curiosity with activities which will help them to understand the importance of managing waste and recycling unwanted objects.
Both girls and boys will enjoy making friendship bracelets, using their imaginations to create their own unique designs and deciding which friends and family to gift them to. Observe how they persevere and are proud of what they have made.
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.
‘Playing and exploring’ focuses on how your child is engaging in what they are investigating and experiencing firsthand. Support your child to develop these important ‘soft skills’ that will put them on the path to becoming a lifelong learner.
Jenni Clarke kicks off a series exploring ‘in the moment planning’, outlining how this approach to children's learning can be harnessed effectively. Here she provides scenarios for using picture books as a key resource to support a ‘my family’ theme.
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.
Children's musical experience begins very early in their life, from hearing their mother's singing in the womb to spontaneous singing as they play. This is the first in a series of articles providing practical inspiration to develop their musicality.
Air pollution is one of the most complex aspects of the environmental crisis facing our planet. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed by its seriousness; what can we do to make a difference, and how can we address such a difficult issue with young children?
Most parents have heard of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) but it is also important to be familiar with the Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) which are integral to it. Annette Rawstrone provides the first of a four part guide.
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.
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.
Christmas is the perfect time of year to teach children the importance of helping others and sharing. The books of Raymond Briggs are a fantastic resource for instilling children with these values during the festive period.
Children's natural fascination with snow and ice provides a strong impetus for counting when practitioners weave in rhymes and use resources imaginatively. Extend this to small world play with penguins and icy landscapes.
Use the classic picture book The Smartest Giant in Town to help children reflect upon the joy of receiving and giving a gift. Explore ideas for giving, including a bake sale, to raise funds for a charity.
All these ideas are designed to encourage reflective practice – and help you identify your children’s individual characteristics of effective learning. Use them as a starting point for exploring learning areas – while being receptive to the directions that children want to go in and tuning in to their responses.
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.