Mathematics

Rekenrek Revolution: a fresh approach to simple maths

How can a Dutch counting frame make it easier for a child to learn times tables and number bonds? In this blog I’m going to look at the rekenrek, a simple arithmetical tool that is growing in popularity.  Now, in the decades I’ve spent as a qualified teacher, I’ve seen plenty of changes in the… Continue reading Rekenrek Revolution: a fresh approach to simple maths

Mathematics

Slicing and sharing takes the cake

Children have the right instincts about cake. They’re usually very excited to have some for dessert, and so they should be.  Not only is cake comforting and tasty, but as I’ll explain in this blog, it’s useful too! Serving it is a great way to practise fine motor skills, to learn about sharing and even… Continue reading Slicing and sharing takes the cake

Expressive Arts & Design

When Paper Dolls meet Number Bonds

Paper dolls, or ‘cut-outs’ have been an inexpensive craft and play option for children for more nearly two centuries. They’ve inspired a lot of play since then and some great stories too. I recently discovered that, as with many toys, it doesn’t take much imagination to build a counting activity into paper-doll play – my… Continue reading When Paper Dolls meet Number Bonds

Understanding the World

STEM ideas for early years play

Many parents and grandparents will have heard of STEM in the context of education, but will not know what to make of it, or how to encourage more STEM learning.  This is especially true if you’re caring for a child who is still in their preschool years. In this blog I’ll unpack what STEM means… Continue reading STEM ideas for early years play

Expressive Arts & Design

Construction play: building a child’s creative skills

Construction play with bricks and blocks gives children an opportunity to handle, manipulate and examine 3D objects. Here are some ideas about how you can support those creative play sessions As an early years educator, I’ve always felt that construction play can offer huge benefits to young children, especially when there are no time constraints… Continue reading Construction play: building a child’s creative skills

Misc

Beginner Readers: the right books to read with young children

Most children enjoy having a story read to them by an adult. But how can you give them the confidence to read to you? My granddaughter Daisy is a beginner reader. I know she has the phonetic skills to read words. The list of words that she can read on sight is growing daily. The… Continue reading Beginner Readers: the right books to read with young children

Literacy

World Book Day: Tabby McTat & Samuel Sprat

World Book Day is here and my granddaughter is dressing as a very special kitten. Here are some purr-feet resources so you can get in on the fun... Happy World Book Day 2022!  I hope you’re making the most of all the excellent resources that are available for readers of all ages.  This year for… Continue reading World Book Day: Tabby McTat & Samuel Sprat

Literacy

World Book Day 2022: fun resources and useful links

World Book Day 2022 is drawing closer, and I’ve assembled some useful links and ideas to help you make the most of this special day My granddaughter Daisy has always enjoyed sitting down with a book.  While she doesn’t need a special occasion to prompt her to read with me, she always enjoys World Book… Continue reading World Book Day 2022: fun resources and useful links

Literacy

Fun Fridge Phonics: blending simple sounds and reading sentences

Building early reading skills can be simple and fun for children and carers alike. A set of magnetic letters and a fridge door leads to a lot of phonics blending fun... The kitchen is a great place for young children to learn. But those discoveries don’t have to be limited to fun food science, not… Continue reading Fun Fridge Phonics: blending simple sounds and reading sentences