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

Best of the Blog 2021: raising a confident, curious grandchild

Here’s a roundup of my best educational content from 2021. It's filled with activities and observations to make learning fun for your child or grandchild... I’ve been reflecting on the many blogs that I’ve written during 2021.  A lot has changed in the past year. My granddaughter Daisy started the year in a Nursery class… Continue reading Best of the Blog 2021: raising a confident, curious grandchild

Literacy

Learning the uppercase alphabet

For most children, learning the alphabet is an experience that takes place over a long period of time and involves a lot of repetition and familiarisation across many different contexts. There is a lot to learn, from the names of the letters to their order, to the fact that there are lowercase and uppercase versions… Continue reading Learning the uppercase alphabet

Literacy

Nurturing a love of books and reading

As preschool children grow, their leaps into independence become impossible to ignore. With her fifth birthday on the horizon, I’ve noticed that my granddaughter Daisy has become more content to play on her own for longer periods, where previously would insist on the participation of an adult playmate. While her parents cook, do chores, or… Continue reading Nurturing a love of books and reading

Expressive Arts & Design

Preschool colouring fun: learning within the lines

Why do children enjoy colouring so much? Perhaps it’s because, like adults, many children find colouring both absorbing, relaxing and creatively fulfilling.   Most adults appreciate that colouring has some parenting value, at least because it holds a child’s attention without much need for supervision – it’s a great way to encourage focused quiet time, which… Continue reading Preschool colouring fun: learning within the lines

Literacy

Teaching your child to write their name

I remember well the family conversations that were shared about possible names for our grandchild, Daisy. Now it’s impossible to imagine her having any other name!  We’ve watched as she’s grown and have seen how she’s taken ownership of her name and become a ‘proper’ Daisy.  Our children and grandchildren take their name and invariably… Continue reading Teaching your child to write their name

Understanding the World

Keeping your grandchild safe online

Recently, my granddaughter Daisy attended a school home-learning session, where her nursery teacher talked briefly to the children about internet safety.  Daisy is already using the internet, apps and smart screens as part of her everyday routines – she joins videoconferenced classes, she practices her reading skills on apps such as Reading Eggs, and watches… Continue reading Keeping your grandchild safe online