Play and learning blog

girl stacking Outlast wheels

Maths in the great outdoors

“When you look closely, the everyday living world is intriguing and magical, and full of awe and wonder: think of the excitement when a child finds their first ladybird; how many times as a child did you count the dots on the ladybirds back? Young children feel this need for exploration, discovery and creative learning strongly and we will have done our job if we can help them to retain this throughout their lives, ” writes Michelle Wisbey.

 

Looking for ways to expand the range of mathematical activities in your outdoor environment? Michelle outlines the importance of these activities and provides some suggestions. Read the article.

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boy on a rope swing outdoors

Rae Pica: The 3 things that have changed

“Early childhood educators tell me lots of stories when I keynote or train,” writes US early years consultant Rae Pica. “Since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine how many stories I’ve heard. But lately I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers, repeatedly. It’s disturbing—and it needs to be addressed.”

 

If you’re in the early childhood field you can probably guess what these three issues are. Read Rae’s take here.

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little girl playing guitar on the floor

Singing new songs

“Singing and music are part of children’s development. We miss opportunities for learning if we rely on singing only a limited number of the good old favourites,” writes Marjorie Ouvry. “Have we an appropriate repertoire up our sleeves?” Here are some helpful tips and ideas.

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child in stream with Outlast blocks building dam

Outlast block play in the mud

Spring is here and children will start heading outdoors to enjoy the rain and sunshine. What other environment offers such opportunities for creativity – and such freedom to make a mess? With Outlast blocks and a bit of imagination the possibilities are endless! Watch this.

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little girl removing or returning carry crate to its shelf

Every moment matters

Much of what occurs in a child’s day may seem trivial or monotonous from an adult’s perspective: going out, coming in; jacket on, jacket off; choosing a toy, putting it away… However, because children live intensely “in the moment”, it is precisely within the context of these seemingly ordinary routines that learning happens.

 

As early years educators we need to find ways to capture and celebrate the regular rituals in a child’s day and “turn the ordinary into the extraordinary”. To get started, try these ideas from Dr. Sandra Duncan: The power of everyday moments.

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