Practical

Mathematics: Getting into shape

Develop children's mathematical skills by supporting them to cut food into shapes to produce a varied and colourful salad. Help them to link the shapes they have created with those in the environment.

Buttercups and daisies

Wild flowers such as daisies, buttercups and dandelions may be considered weeds but they have a special place in childhood and provide a great resource for Expressive Arts and Design projects.

Parent: Weighing up dummies

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.

Tantrums, tears and fun

The books of Tony Ross are packed with humour and misdeeds that are engaging to young children. Use them to develop Communication and Language skills that involve attentive listening and self-expression.

Exterminate the germs

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.

Shaken and stirred

Home-made sensory bottles will fascinate children as a way to experiment with different liquids, and how they look and react. Record how their predictions support their Understanding of the World.

Literacy: Roll up with Coralie

Develop children's literacy skills by engaging them with the book Cannonball Coralie and the Lion. Its story and literary devices explore ideas to do with friendship and having the courage to be yourself.

PSED: Saying thank you to Dad

Make the most of Father's Day on 16 June to organise Personal, Social and Emotional Development activities which encourage children to talk about their fathers and their family life at home.

On a fairy tale adventure

Embark on an exciting learning journey inspired by The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Encourage children to enact the story's physical challenges and create their own follow-on narrative and characters.

Marvellous museums

Use International Museum Day as a springboard for children to explore the role of museums and think about them as a way to share knowledge and ideas, and preserve memories of the past and present.

Catch a star in your net

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.

‘Let's get a take-away’

What is children's favourite – a cafe with healthy snacks or a pizza restaurant? Invite them to role-play their favourite eateries and support them to use new vocabulary and learn about the world.

Following a pattern

Identifying patterns in the natural and man-made worlds is a great way to develop an awareness of sequencing and basic geometry, as well as developing vocabulary and powers of observation.

‘Let's get gardening’

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.

Get a feel for number

Try these ideas for using resources to create tangible ‘number frames’ from one to ten. Children can have fun engaging with number physically while developing key mathematical thinking skills.

Going on a shopping spree

In the third article in her series on role-play, Judith Harries focuses on the activity of shopping, giving children creative scope to open up their very own shop and extend their understanding of the world.

On the trail for clues

Introduce children to the excitement of discovering ‘hidden things’ and link picture books with a discovery theme to events in their own life. Can they understand how one clue leads to another?

Physical development: All dressed up

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.

Communication and language: Join the dance

Moving to music delivers the feel good factor and when children make up their own dances they have fun working as a team, listening to each other’s ideas and remembering sequences of moves.

Maths: Shape shifters

The sand tray is a great place to focus on numbers and shapes. Use a variety of materials in wet and dry sand to encourage children to sort, count, name and measure a variety of shapes.

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