Block play math and literacy
Making the most of water play

Mathematics

Natural loose parts can be used in a multitude of mathematical ways. An assortment of pinecones can be used for classifying, sorting, and counting. Leaves can be used to investigate shape and symmetry. Rocks can be measured and compared by weight or size. All the foundational areas of early maths...
A lot of emphasis is put on reading, writing and storytelling and maths, but actually, if you can’t be creative, how can you solve problems? That’s what the blocks help you to do – you turn a problem over, not only in your mind, but you also turn it over in your hands.
Given a chance, children will always find opportunities for messy play whether in a garden, an outdoor classroom, or neighbourhood park. So how do we as adults, teachers, or parents get ready to support this type of play?
With just three folds and a cut, even a young child can create a beautiful star out of a circle of paper.
After six years of facilitating professional development sessions on the exploration of materials with teachers, I am more convinced than ever that blocks are one of the most essential materials for the early childhood classroom.
Paper chain making is relatively simple, yet requires incredible concentration and gives those finger muscles a fine-motor workout.
The value of the quality of interaction, alongside meaningful contexts for learning, is one which has to be shared with parents and carers. We need to consider the family learning opportunities for that extended shared understanding of how young children learn about maths so that they, in turn,...
Role play is how children make sense of their world, acting out experiences, ideas or stories. Here’s how role play can incorporate all seven EYFS areas of learning and development.
The last few years have seen a surge of interest in woodworking in early years education. Some settings are starting from scratch, while for others it’s a case of dusting down the workbench and digging out the tools after many years of neglect.
Resonating with the work of early years pioneers such as Rousseau and Froebel – as well as Montessori – there has been a recent resurgence of interest in the UK in the potential of the outdoor environment for supporting children's learning.

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