Communication & Language

Double the fun – playing with pairs to develop and encourage children’s speaking skills

When was the last time you learned a new word? Maybe you had to look up some newly coined piece of internet slang, or found yourself stumped by an obscure answer to a crossword clue – either way, opportunities for adults to expand their vocabulary are limited unless we seek them out.  But for a… Continue reading Double the fun – playing with pairs to develop and encourage children’s speaking skills

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

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

Misc

Feeding Rudolph and his friends with RSPCA recipes

Daisy and the family will be staying with us this Christmas so I am planning activities I can prepare ready for their visit.  One thing we will be making this year we will be a reindeer food mix for Daisy to sprinkle on our lawn on Christmas Eve; the perfect snack for Rudolph and the… Continue reading Feeding Rudolph and his friends with RSPCA recipes

Literacy

Grandparents and YouTube; a great combination to help preschoolers learn new words

Research shows that pre-school children have a vocabulary of around 1,000 words by the time they are three and they will continue to learn another 500 - 600 words by the time they are four years old. Recently I had been sitting on the floor with Daisy while she played with her mixed collection of… Continue reading Grandparents and YouTube; a great combination to help preschoolers learn new words

Literacy

Using Story Sacks to bring Story Books to Life

Back in May, I wrote a blog about 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar  and described a visit to the local library with Daisy where we selected some books and a Story Sack to borrow from the library.  While Daisy is now familiar with borrowing library books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was her first… Continue reading Using Story Sacks to bring Story Books to Life

Physical Development

Free the penguin! Investigating ice with a preschool child

A guest post by Daisy's Dad In recent weeks there’s been speculation about the likelihood of a chilly weather front reaching the UK, but freezing conditions have already taken hold in Daisy’s world.  This weekend, we had to free a penguin that had became trapped in the ice! Messy activities with Daisy are usually the highlight… Continue reading Free the penguin! Investigating ice with a preschool child

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