Arranging and equipping the sand and water area
Treasure baskets
Playing in the sand
Colour and sound in your nursery setting

Early years

Early childhood educators tell me a lot of stories when I keynote or train. And since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine just how many stories there have been. Lately, though, I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers throughout the country.
In an early years setting, a child’s key person will become a familiar figure while their primary attachment figure is away during the day. Jack's dad has just dropped him off at nursery. Laura, a practitioner Jack knows well, welcomed him as his key person Rose wasn't available.
Regardless of SEN, many children find paying attention a key challenge. A number of proactive strategies can help, such as allowing the use of sensory-rich resources to provide feedback; providing quiet spaces to sit in calmly and take time out; minimising other distractions; and using attractive...
Although a bird may seem like an unlikely role model for teachers, the bowerbird, a small native of Australia and New Zealand, has a lot to teach us about early childhood classroom design.
Unless children actually want to read, they’re unlikely to put in that effort. Endless lessons in ‘phonics’ and ‘comprehension’ won’t make them any keener. In fact, the most motivated children are those who learn to read without much explicit teaching, as a result of pleasurable experiences...
Did you ride bicycles around the block and play Hide-and-Seek outside with friends until you were called inside for dinner? These experiences helped us develop our senses and taught us to self-regulate our actions, preparing us ultimately for the more formal education of school.
So often we when we think of learning we think of paper and pencil. Or maybe we think of watching an educational program or listening to an engaging speaker. It’s important as parents and caregivers to know that movement, and especially movement in free play, is a major contributor to brain growth.
Adult-imposed responses to behaviour, whether positive or negative, can take away a child's own feelings of control and stop them learning to think for themselves.
Are their qualities that we, as more experienced learners, display when we engage with little children in their learning?
Children first learn to listen, to speak, to sing, to enjoy rhymes, stories, and books before they can read or write. What we often forget is that this foundation in oral language is a critical step in developing literacy.

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