Communication & Language

The joy of cooking together with your grandchild

Whenever my granddaughter Daisy comes to stay with me, her visit creates a series of highlights in my day from early morning cuddles to evening bath times.  These special moments now regularly happen in the kitchen. As she’s grown older and more independent, Daisy has discovered that, if she drags her little red chair over… Continue reading The joy of cooking together with your grandchild

Mathematics

Measuring up: teaching children about non-standard units

Measures – we adults use them every day and all day, responding to our alarm clock in the morning and checking our pedometer step count at the end of the day.  On a daily basis, we use measures for time, distance, weight, temperature, volume and capacity, and that’s before you consider the more ‘abstract’ measurements… Continue reading Measuring up: teaching children about non-standard units

Mathematics

Weighing up Autumn produce – a seasonal activity for preschoolers

As the English seasons roll around, the pumpkins and squashes are piling up in the supermarkets, and the conkers and acorns are falling from the trees. Although I’ll dearly miss the longer days of summer sun, autumn is a season that always brings special experiences to our family.  From the Harvest Festival to Halloween, Autumn… Continue reading Weighing up Autumn produce – a seasonal activity for preschoolers

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

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

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

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.