Understanding the World

A child’s eye view of life cycles in springtime

Here in the UK, our gardens and parks are starting to fill with new growth on plants and colourful flowers have begun to appear. It is an ideal time to take young children out to have a look and to talk about spring and what happens in springtime The world is changing around them –… Continue reading A child’s eye view of life cycles in springtime

Understanding the World

Making tracks, outdoors and indoors

“‘Did you know, Granny, we found some footprints! They went in a straight line and around the corner and just stopped – like an L shape!". My excited granddaughter Daisy was telling me about her afternoon bike ride with her daddy. During their outing, they had found a track of footprints along the pavement. So… Continue reading Making tracks, outdoors and indoors

Expressive Arts & Design

Mixing it up: paint, pumpkins and primary colours

Eighteen months ago, when I first set up a new painting easel for my granddaughter Daisy I made one big mistake. The art paper roll was correctly fitted, the brushes were ready, each paint pot was full and the easel stood out on the lawn, ready for Daisy to begin her artistic endeavours.  So what… Continue reading Mixing it up: paint, pumpkins and primary colours

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

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

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

Understanding the World

Sharing and Learning from what happens in Autumn

We adults are familiar with the sequence of the seasons and the gradual changes that take place in nature during autumn. As part of beginning to understand the world around her (part of the Early Years curriculum), this year we've started to talk to Daisy about the way trees change in autumn, and to observe… Continue reading Sharing and Learning from what happens in Autumn

Understanding the World

The National Children’s Gardening Week: gardening with pre-school children

"What doing Grandpa?" "I'm going to put some plants in the garden." "My help?" (Daisy's preferred personal pronoun is 'my', as in "my do it") Daisy squatted down next to her Grandpa and while he sorted out the small geranium plants; Daisy grabbed Grandpa's trowel and started to randomly dig in the soil. It didn't… Continue reading The National Children’s Gardening Week: gardening with pre-school children