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.

Understanding the World

Where am I? A fun activity for grandchildren during ‘lockdown’; Guest Blog by Daisy’s Grandpa

It’s been eight weeks since we last spent time with Daisy.  We’ve learned, like so many grandparents, to navigate our way around Zoom, FaceTime and other ways of keeping in touch by sight and sound.  We all know that none of these technologies are any substitute for that hug administered in a tangle of bendy… Continue reading Where am I? A fun activity for grandchildren during ‘lockdown’; Guest Blog by Daisy’s Grandpa

Physical Development

Managing Messy Play At Home

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

Understanding the World

Making the most of the daily walk with your young children

Now that we're all having to settle into a very different daily routine it means that we, like most grandparents, cannot spend time with our granddaughter.  So instead of describing activities that I've done with Daisy I'd like to share some of my ideas that Daisy's parents are using at home with Daisy.  I hope… Continue reading Making the most of the daily walk with your young children