PSED: The Big Draw

The Big Draw is a festival that runs throughout October to celebrate the power of drawing. Every man-made thing we see started as a drawing, from our houses to the clothes we wear. For children, mark making is also a way of communicating, developing their ideas and also sharing their feelings, after all, mark making is a form of self-expression.

Maths: Operating on numbers

This article looks at books that explore big numbers and different number operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There are ideas for activities inspired by the books to help introduce and develop these mathematical skills.

Physical development: Pants-tastic performances

Claire Freedman is a highly successful author of many entertaining picture books for young children, featuring pants-obsessed aliens and dinosaurs, best friends Oliver and Patch, and lots of different monsters.

Parent: Toilet training

Becoming toilet trained is an important new skill that takes time and patience for both you and your child. But when is it the right time to start doing this and how should you go about it?

Expressive arts and design: Make the change

Against the background of the pandemic and global warming, the theme of The Big Draw 2021, an art festival which takes place this month, is ‘Make the change’. The focus is to explore the ways we look after each other and the natural world to make a positive impact on the future.

Understanding the world: Apple day

The following activities are all inspired by UK Apple Day; traditionally held throughout the UK each year on the 21st October as a celebration of apples, orchards and the diversity of wildlife they support.

Literacy: Hooray For Pooh

Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates his 95th anniversary as a favourite literary character in 2021 and gives children an exciting way to explore creative problem-solving.

Understanding the world: Web designers

Explore the wonderful world of spiders and webs with the children in your setting, helping them to better understand these often-maligned creatures and to value the contribution they make to our world.

Communication and language: Making friends

The communication and language activities here have been designed to encourage conversation and the discovery of new vocabulary while looking at the important subject of friendship.

PSED: New term, fresh book corner

As well as fostering a love of reading, the book corner is somewhere children build personal, social and emotional skills. Claire Hewson discusses how practitioners can support children's development by giving them ownership and responsibility for a book corner that reflects their interests.

Parent: Postnatal depression

It may seem unexpected to feel down and anxious after giving birth, but this is entirely normal after what a mother's body has been through and the big new change in her life.

Expressive arts and design: Bubbles and colour

The sensory aspect of water play strengthens children's learning, adding engagement and excitement. In her series on water play, Jenni Clarke leads us on a creative path through the wide opportunities of experimenting with bubbles and colour.

Maths: Water as liquid, solid and gas

Exploration with water can bring so much more on top of the all-important sensory opportunities. Jenni Clarke suggests many ways in which the three different states of water can be explored through maths.

Parent: Tips on teething

Uh-oh, teething! Your once placid baby is unsettled and their sleep pattern is disrupted. It's highly likely that your child's first teeth are starting to emerge.

PSED: Try on a no-need-to-worry suit

During a period in all our lives where worrying and anxiety has reached epic proportions due to the pandemic, take time to read and share some of these great stories and activities with the children in your setting.

Physical development: Urban ecosystems

Urban nature field trips, modelling controlled movements and engaging in observational behaviour…Hilary White invites us to explore micro ecosystems on our doorstep which open up so many vast learning opportunities.

Literacy: Afternoon tea

Learning about traditions always involves so many interesting insights. This includes discovering new texts, people, practices and opening up opportunities for mathematical literacy as well as extending language.

Communication and language: Shade and Shadows

Shade and shadows are always a fascinating concept for children, with so many learning opportunities across all areas. Here, Karen Hart focuses on the underpinning area of communication and language.

Understanding the World: Hedgehog SOS

In the past decade more than half of rural hedgehogs and a third of those in towns and cities have become extinct. Judith Harries provides ideas for educating children to ensure that these spiky friends survive.

Parent: About dummies

Annette Rawstrone provides a practical guide to weighing up the pros and cons of using a dummy, including how to wean your child off their dummy when they reach six months.

Literacy: Find your wonderland

Immerse children in the surreal world of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, introducing its characters and story as a springboard for their own imaginative play and exploration of concepts of time.

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