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
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
Almost from the moment our children enter the world, our thoughts turn to their development. We notice – and are encouraged to monitor – their progression, from hand-eye coordination to first words, onto first steps, and then sentence construction, toilet training, simple counting and letter recognition, then phonics and so on. All this can leave… Continue reading Understanding your child’s emotions
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
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
Have you noticed that when your young grandchild goes to play in someone else's house, she quickly discovers the toys that are different from the ones she has at home and she starts to play with them? We noticed that, on a recent visit to relatives, Daisy enjoyed playing with all kinds of vehicle and… Continue reading Green Toys to the rescue!
Daisy has a small wooden pram but for a while she wasn't particularly interested in it. It was just where all her cuddly toys and teddies were stashed away at the end of each day. Then Daisy started going to the playgroup regularly. Watching at Playgroup The playgroup always has plenty of different wheeled toys… Continue reading A buggy of her own – the value of play with toy buggies and prams
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.
After several wet days prevented us from visiting the nearby playground with Daisy we decided to visit a local Parent and Toddler group, and ended up returning on the following two wet days. It's the first time that Daisy's been to Parent and Toddler sessions and experienced some free play opportunities in a well-equipped environment, along… Continue reading Parent and Toddler groups: a guide for grandparents
Daisy's parents are lucky that between them, they have the time to provide her with plenty of hands-on experiences. So they've decided to limit her access to tv during the day (even if Daisy already seems to know how to work a tv remote control). However in recent weeks Daisy's evening routine has changed and… Continue reading Daisy in the Night Garden