Understanding the World

Take your child on a smartphone safari

As my four-year-old granddaughter Daisy learns the fundamental skills needed for her early years – from numeracy to phonics to healthy eating – she’s becoming increasingly curious about how adults go about their business. Her curiosity extends to all of the specialised tools and equipment that we grown-ups use for our hobbies: the giant bamboo… Continue reading Take your child on a smartphone safari

Understanding the World

Secrets of the shallows: exploring incredible rock pools

A guest post by Grandpa Smith Like many British families, we were forced to change our summer holiday plans this year, cancelling our trip to sunnier climes for something a little closer to home. Holidays abroad are always a wonderful opportunity for children to expand their perspectives and learn about the world beyond their own.… Continue reading Secrets of the shallows: exploring incredible rock pools

Understanding the World

Make the most of a zoo visit – with animal silhouettes and matching games

In recent weeks we enjoyed a family visit to Colchester Zoo, which recently reopened with a number of changes in place to manage capacity, social distancing and hygiene. We had a fantastic day out – lions, meerkats, giraffes, penguins and hyenas emerged as particular favourites – and the outing only strengthened Daisy's interest in wild… Continue reading Make the most of a zoo visit – with animal silhouettes and matching games

Understanding the World

Take your child for a virtual walk; a guest post by Daisy’s Dad.

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown presents unprecedented challenges for children in the UK. Most of their comforting routines have been disrupted; many have disappeared completely. Familiar destinations such as schools, cafes and soft-play centres are off-limits and visits to beloved friends and relatives are forbidden. Even with some restrictions now lifted, travel is often limited and… Continue reading Take your child for a virtual walk; a guest post by Daisy’s Dad.

Understanding the World

Where am I? A fun activity for grandchildren during ‘lockdown’; Guest Blog by Daisy’s Grandpa

It’s been eight weeks since we last spent time with Daisy.  We’ve learned, like so many grandparents, to navigate our way around Zoom, FaceTime and other ways of keeping in touch by sight and sound.  We all know that none of these technologies are any substitute for that hug administered in a tangle of bendy… Continue reading Where am I? A fun activity for grandchildren during ‘lockdown’; Guest Blog by Daisy’s Grandpa

Understanding the World

Making the most of the daily walk with your young children

Now that we're all having to settle into a very different daily routine it means that we, like most grandparents, cannot spend time with our granddaughter.  So instead of describing activities that I've done with Daisy I'd like to share some of my ideas that Daisy's parents are using at home with Daisy.  I hope… Continue reading Making the most of the daily walk with your young children

Understanding the World

Sharing and Learning from what happens in Autumn

We adults are familiar with the sequence of the seasons and the gradual changes that take place in nature during autumn. As part of beginning to understand the world around her (part of the Early Years curriculum), this year we've started to talk to Daisy about the way trees change in autumn, and to observe… Continue reading Sharing and Learning from what happens in Autumn

Understanding the World

The National Children’s Gardening Week: gardening with pre-school children

"What doing Grandpa?" "I'm going to put some plants in the garden." "My help?" (Daisy's preferred personal pronoun is 'my', as in "my do it") Daisy squatted down next to her Grandpa and while he sorted out the small geranium plants; Daisy grabbed Grandpa's trowel and started to randomly dig in the soil. It didn't… Continue reading The National Children’s Gardening Week: gardening with pre-school children

Understanding the World

How small world animals can inspire early role play

I'm sitting on the dayroom floor playing with Daisy and we are surrounded by her array of small world animals.  I can see a variety of animals from her wild animal collection and her Happyland sets that she's had for nearly a year.  Daisy regularly plays with them in different scenarios including hiding them in… Continue reading How small world animals can inspire early role play