Physical development in early childhood

Clare Devlin, Early Education Associate What aspects of physical development should we focus on within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and other early years curricula? In this article, I explore the importance of physicality at this crucial point in a child’s development. The article explores two key aspects, “moving and handling” and “self-care”. It […]

Treasure baskets and heuristic play

by Anni McTavish What are treasure baskets?  “Treasure Baskets” are a collection of ordinary household objects, that are chosen to offer variety and fascination for babies who can sit up comfortably but are not yet crawling.  When babies begin to sit up by themselves, they are often fascinated by the world around them. It can […]

What is loose parts play in the EYFS?

loose parts play

by Debi Keyte- Hartland The term “Loose Parts” was coined by Simon Nicholson, a British architect and designer whose parents were artists Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.  He wrote a paper called The Theory of Loose Parts: How not to cheat Children in 1971, and this has become hugely influential in the ensuing decades since. […]

Learning mathematics through play

Learning mathematics through play

by Helen J Williams Early mathematics is essential for children’s full development, it is also predictive of later, wider achievement. Early mathematical learning is critical in sparking interest in STEAM subjects, as long as we approach EYFS mathematics in a way that is engaging for us all – adults and children alike. Too many of […]

Outdoor learning in the early years

outdoor learning

by Kathryn Solly The benefits of outdoor learning in the early years have now been firmly recognised for  both educators and young children’s learning and development. Being outside in the fresh air for three hours every day helps benefit brain and body functioning. Simply being outside improves health, social and emotional wellbeing, improved immunity, sight, […]

Continuous provision in EYFS

What is continuous provision in EYFS? By Ben White Continuous provision in EYFS refers to the resources and learning opportunities accessible to children all of the time within a provision.  When developed well it will invite children to interact, explore and of course, learn.  When effective, the adult’s role in continuous provision is to interact […]

Families’ access to nature project

The Families’ Access to Nature Project was undertaken by the Froebel Trust and Early Education between October 2021 and January 2022. Children, their parents, and their early years educators talked to us about their access to nature and being outside together. The document below summarises key findings from the project for early years practitioners interested […]

The importance of early experiences

by Leslie Patterson At the very beginning of the 1970s I was lucky enough to attend a playschool, at a time when there was very little early years provision available. It was a very informal provision run by a lovely lady from her house around the corner from where I lived but, despite its informality, […]

Risk: A Forest School Perspective

Guest blog by Sara Knight Why are opportunities for risk and adventure essential for normal development in the early years?  Tim Gill (2007) identifies four arguments: helping children to learn how to manage risk (understanding safety) feeding children’s innate need for risk with reasonable risks in order to prevent them finding greater unmanaged risks for […]

Can guided play enhance younger children’s learning?

Guest blog from Dr Elizabeth Byrne, University of Cambridge Most educators will be aware that “what works” in support of children’s learning and development is the subject of seemingly endless debate, with the role of play in education one of a number of hotly-contested points. It is not unusual to hear both researchers and practitioners […]