Understanding the World

Keeping your grandchild safe online

Recently, my granddaughter Daisy attended a school home-learning session, where her nursery teacher talked briefly to the children about internet safety.  Daisy is already using the internet, apps and smart screens as part of her everyday routines – she joins videoconferenced classes, she practices her reading skills on apps such as Reading Eggs, and watches… Continue reading Keeping your grandchild safe online

Literacy

Using magnetic letters for remote phonics fun

The third UK lockdown has brought families and educators new challenges and new ways to do so many things. In fact, during a recent family video call I discovered a new activity to enjoy with my four-year-old granddaughter Daisy – one that is only possible when we’re not in the same room!  Last year Daisy… Continue reading Using magnetic letters for remote phonics fun

Misc

Instrumental sounds: create a cacophony with your grandchild

With a third lockdown in place in the UK, following a period of tiered restrictions, we’re all trying to find new ways to interact with and educate our young children. Many grandparents – myself included – have had to return to virtual contact with their grandchildren. Painful though this has been (especially after weeks of… Continue reading Instrumental sounds: create a cacophony with your grandchild

Misc

The Best of the Blog in 2020: making learning fun

It goes without saying that 2020 has been the most tumultuous year in the short life of this blog, which I started in 2017 with a focus on sharing my experiences and play ideas following a career in teaching and early years education. But then, it has probably been the most tumultuous year in living… Continue reading The Best of the Blog in 2020: making learning fun

Understanding the World

When screen time meets playtime

During the precious summer months with our granddaughter Daisy, we experienced many fun days of play followed by relaxing time ‘down time’ together; during those special, cosy periods we might watch Sarah and Duck on TV or find something downloaded on the family iPad to watch. It was during these moments that I realised just… Continue reading When screen time meets playtime

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

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

Literacy

As libraries reopen, the Summer Reading Challenge begins

Local libraries across the UK have begun to reopen as lockdown restrictions, triggered by the pandemic, gradually relax. With this in mind, I began to gather up our library books (those I’d borrowed for Daisy, and my own), ready to return them when I had an opportunity. As I collected the books together, I reflected… Continue reading As libraries reopen, the Summer Reading Challenge begins

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