There are few things more exciting for a grandparent than buying and presenting a toy to a beloved grandchild, and watching it being incorporated into their imaginative play. As an educator, I find it especially interesting to observe which toys ‘catch on’ with a child, and crucially when they catch on. Sometimes a toy doesn’t… Continue reading Back to the magnetic drawing board
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
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
Messy Play is such an important part of the Early Years’ experience; in nurseries children will have plenty of opportunities for messy play using ice, cold pasta, jelly, sand, water, dough, compost.... they're all enjoyably messy for young children! When the weather is fine enough to be outside then you can also practise messy play… Continue reading Managing Messy Play At Home
When Daisy comes to visit us she has plenty of play time. There's a different set of toys her for her to play with, she has our garden to explore, and I enjoy having those special one-to-one moments with my granddaughter. As well as joining in with her play-time, I try to prepare a few… Continue reading A Simple Autumn Craft Activity for a Three Year Old
I know that, at some point on most days, I will use a pair of scissors: to cut open a sealed packet, to cut a piece of string and, in my crafting time, to cut some fabric or yarn. Daisy is increasingly aware of what we do; wanting to join in and use the equipment… Continue reading Helping your grandchild with Scissor Skills
Indoors or outdoors, Daisy regularly enjoys messy play. Of course some of her messy play is spontaneous and sometimes we plan activities for her. Messy play can involved all different types of media from mud and compost to things found in the kitchen like flour, custard and jelly. Setting out the play For a recent… Continue reading Wibble Wobble, Messy Jelly learning on a plate
For several days recently, a delighted Daisy would keep telling me that it wasn't my birthday yet! When the day finally arrived, almost bursting with excitement, Daisy handed me an envelope. This was of course a special birthday moment for me as Daisy had 'written' on the envelope and 'signed' a birthday card for me.… Continue reading Left, Right, Ready to Write?
Lately we've been using Daisy’s easel and a set of magnetic letters to play short activities/games to give her practice in learning about letters. To start, I filled the whiteboard side with a random selection of the magnetic letters. We sat together and talked about the colours of the letters and together we sorted the letters… Continue reading Introducing letters and letter sounds to your toddler grandchild.
From experience I’ve found that one type of play can often inspire another activity a few days later using the same play equipment but with a different focus and different results. Messy play remains a regular activity for Daisy and since their recent introduction funnels have become a permanent part of her activities. Having watched… Continue reading Pouring activities for hand-eye coordination using gross and fine motor control