Mathematics

A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

Mathematics can be a tricky subject… for grownups. Unfortunately, many adults grow up to think of maths as tedious at best and intimidating at worst. It’s not helpful to be confronted by this feeling when we’re faced with unavoidable tasks, such as measuring up a room or working out our share of a restaurant bill.… Continue reading A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

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

Expressive Arts & Design

Imaginative play: how children create their own storylines

As an experienced early years educator, I’m very comfortable with planning and sharing fun learning activities with my three-year old granddaughter, Daisy. But it’s important to remember that our grandchildren are developing all the time, even when we’re not watching or guiding them, and that sometimes you can learn as much simply by observing their… Continue reading Imaginative play: how children create their own storylines

Physical Development

Children should play with their food

Given the importance of healthy eating to physical development, and the way that many governments have struggled to deal with childhood obesity, not just in the UK but around the world, it’s surprising that we don’t spend more time encouraging our children to play with their food.  Well, perhaps not during mealtimes (when it can… Continue reading Children should play with their food

Mathematics

Building preschool mathematics: from 1 to 100

As grandparents, we’re used to early wake-up calls when Daisy visits us. The fleeting peace of the morning is broken by my granddaughter's demands for a story, or for us to witness her play acting as a dragon. Last weekend she bounced excitedly into our bedroom to inform us that “the thing in the bathroom”… Continue reading Building preschool mathematics: from 1 to 100

Literacy

How silly sounds prepare your child for phonics

A guest post by Grandpa Smith. As we look to support our preschool children in the very early stages of reading and writing, it can be easy to forget that the most enjoyable and natural preparation they can undertake will involve exploring sounds. I was driving back from the beach with Daisy recently when I… Continue reading How silly sounds prepare your child for phonics

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

Literacy

As libraries reopen, the Summer Reading Challenge begins

Local libraries across the UK have begun to reopen as lockdown restrictions, triggered by the pandemic, gradually relax. With this in mind, I began to gather up our library books (those I’d borrowed for Daisy, and my own), ready to return them when I had an opportunity. As I collected the books together, I reflected… Continue reading As libraries reopen, the Summer Reading Challenge begins

Expressive Arts & Design

Weaving: a fun, flexible activity for preschoolers

Weaving is a fun, flexible and creative activity for children. Not enough preschoolers are exposed to this simple pastime, which helps to build vital skills that will support development through their early years. The basic skill of weaving will help a child to improve their fine manipulative skills and dexterity. Weaving strengthens the hand muscles… Continue reading Weaving: a fun, flexible activity for preschoolers