Understanding the world

Understanding the world is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to develop a child's familiarity with technology and their understanding of geography, people and communities. Children can show this in range of ways including talking about themselves and their family, the similarities and differences between people, observing animals and plants how they differ and how the world around them is different from place to place. They also learn about the range of different technologies in the world and how each one has a specific role or purpose.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover understanding the world to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Understanding the world: Be kind to bees

This is the second article in an occasional series looking at endangered animals and includes information and activities to enable young children and their families to be more aware of how to help bees.

Understanding the world: Signs of winter

Winter is upon us! Learning about the seasons is an important part of Understanding the World, and this ‘snowflake challenge’ activity offers a fun introduction to the signs of winter. Use the activity flexibly throughout the season, and repeat popular challenges.

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.

Understanding the world: Time to grow

When spring is sprung, it's time to introduce children to some elementary gardening skills. Learning about life cycles and taking responsibility for growing plants will give them an enormous sense of achievement.

Understanding the world: Natural symmetry

When a child is excited by something they identify in the natural world, there is a valuable opportunity to seize the moment and extend learning. Jenni Clarke explains how the adult can prompt and support without taking over.

Latest Features

Focus: Outdoor learning

Audit your space and take a fresh view on how to optimise its potential.

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.

Forest school: Working its magic

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.

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