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

Mathematics

A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

Mathematics can be a tricky subject… for grownups. Unfortunately, many adults grow up to think of maths as tedious at best and intimidating at worst. It’s not helpful to be confronted by this feeling when we’re faced with unavoidable tasks, such as measuring up a room or working out our share of a restaurant bill.… Continue reading A Numberblocks Numberblog: reaching One Hundred

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

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

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

Misc

Grandparents and toys: the time and means to buy and play

As you may already know my husband works in the toy industry. He shared a report he had seen (from the USA) that said: Grandparents account for about one-quarter of sales, or nearly $7 billion, within the $28 billion U.S. toy industry.  Most readers of my blog won’t be surprised with this news and will… Continue reading Grandparents and toys: the time and means to buy and play

Physical Development

A Top Danish toy for active play; Mini Top

When Daisy was just six months old one of Grandad’s friends gave us a Mini Top made by the Danish company Gonge. This brightly coloured plastic child-sized ‘bowl’ is now so widely used in young physical education that it has become the logo of the company that makes it. Gross Motor Control It's important for… Continue reading A Top Danish toy for active play; Mini Top

Physical Development

Ideas for using sensory tubes with toddlers-‘filling holes and spaces’.

At the start of the year I wrote my blog 'Using everyday items to develop eye and hand control in toddlers' and in the weeks since, I can see how Daisy's eye and hand control skills have flourished (she recently hit her 16 month eye and hand control milestone), particularly as now, as well as… Continue reading Ideas for using sensory tubes with toddlers-‘filling holes and spaces’.