Expressive Arts & Design

Back to the magnetic drawing board

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

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

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

Physical Development

Children should play with their food

Given the importance of healthy eating to physical development, and the way that many governments have struggled to deal with childhood obesity, not just in the UK but around the world, it’s surprising that we don’t spend more time encouraging our children to play with their food.  Well, perhaps not during mealtimes (when it can… Continue reading Children should play with their food

Understanding the World

The Lid on a Teapot: fine motor control, the world around her and early number.

Recently Daisy became really interested and wanted to help whenever Daddy made Mummy a cup of tea. Each time she signs 'Hot', says 'Tea' and 'Stir' as she reaches to help Daddy. So it was an obvious choice to purchase a little tea set for Daisy. Mummy then enhanced the play by making a simple… Continue reading The Lid on a Teapot: fine motor control, the world around her and early number.