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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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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