Understanding the world

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.

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.

Building positive futures through intergenerational contact

Bringing old and young together for meaningful interactions is now proving to have many benefits – not just for children and the elderly, but for society as a whole. Stephen and Denise Burke explain how they are working to maximise these benefits.

Take a look at the June issue of EYE

Want to keep up-to-date with the latest pedagogical research and ideas from the experts, be challenged in your thinking and innovative in your practice? Dip into this month’s pages for a taster of EYE’s in-depth, professional coverage.

‘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.

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?

Everything under the sun

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.

‘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.

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?

How to be a responsible pet owner

Getting involved with National Pet month provides a great way to educate children about the care and characteristics of household pets. While keeping pets in an early years setting is not generally advisable, there are lots of ways to build on children’s natural enthusiasm for them through books, role-play, small world play and discussion.

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.

Expressive arts and design: Fleeting beauty

Enhance children’s understanding of transience by encouraging them to make artworks from blossom and ice. Support them to experiment with a range of natural materials, appreciating their delicacy.

Glorious mud!

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.

Understanding the world: Hair raising!

Whether children have experienced a visit to the hairdresser, or had their hair cut at home, they will all enjoy hairdresser role-play. Through this they will grasp the practical and social sides of hairdressing.

Slime, glorious slime

It's easy to understand why slime has become such a popular resource with children in the last couple of years. Squishy, stretchy, jiggly or like putty, it's fascinating to manipulate, deeply mysterious and curiously addictive!

Understanding the World: Fresh new shoots

It’s time to get ready for Spring and plan outdoor adventures, where children can spot butterflies, birds and wild flowers. Support them to understand seasonal differences, change and the passage of time.

Embrace creative fundraising

Taking part in fundraising events creates happy memories for children and tells them that they can play a part in changing the world. There are also lots of ways to link events to learning in the EYFS.

Get ready for a fresh start in January

It may come as a shock having to match your energy levels to the children’s when they arrive back after the Christmas break – so lay plans to get them outside and letting off steam, while supporting their learning and physical development.

Celebrate the dark

While adults may complain about the lack of daylight hours and the long, dark nights, for children darkness is mysterious and exciting. Build on their fascination by making it a theme for learning.

Wrap up!

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

Living the moment

Discover how a new resource is helping pre-schoolers to develop a passion for the past with an audio experience that transports them to momentous events such as the Great Fire of London.

Grab a pumpkin and have fun on Halloween!

Discover how this spooky celebration can provide an exciting springboard for children's creative activities, including artworks, story-telling, role-play and lots of fun with friends.

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