Play and learning blog

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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three children playing with outlast, kitchen role play

The value of outdoor play

“Not all children attend well-equipped nurseries with exciting and challenging outdoor areas...but all early years settings should be providing outside play opportunities regardless of their facilities,” writes Sue Durant in her book Outdoor Play.


“Children should enjoy learning and you can help them to develop that all-important disposition to learn by providing them with an environment which they can explore, modify and use themselves." Read more.

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girl looking through outlast block

Play: a key dynamic in early childhood development

How do we support children’s learning through play? An effective play educator “engineers learning experiences that put children in the driving seat and then gets out of the way for a while”, write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff. “They (genuinely) smile a lot, provide constant reassurance, and are fun to be with.”


Read the fourth article in the “Model for living” series, which encourages and inspires us towards helping children develop a playful approach to learning and life.

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children and adult sharing storybook on outlast benches outdoors

Encouraging literacy in children with SEN

A child's first experiences with books and stories, paper and crayons build the foundation for language, reading and writing.


“Teaching language and literacy via the use of books demands the highest quality teaching. This in turn requires knowledge, insight and curiosity about how children learn and develop alongside their unique interests and needs,” writes Kathryn Solly. Kathryn explains how children with SEN can become inspired about books and reading.

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baby in crib looking up at caregiver

The importance of sleep in the early years

“How do you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep or your bedtime routine has been disrupted? Grumpy, irritable, unable to concentrate?” write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff, co-directors of International Early Years. “Our modern lifestyles and 24/7 pressure have resulted in many of us being sleep deprived. Children are no different…In fact, every living creature is physically healthier and more responsive when adequate sleep is consistently maintained.”

Read the third article in the “Model for living” series, which considers the significance of sleep patterns and the impact of sleep on early childhood development.

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