Tuesday, 24 November 2020

The importance of Positive Language in the Early Years | Guest Post

 Why is positive language so important in the early years and how can you adjust your own language to be more positive?  Create a more positive behaviour management system and learn how to rephrase your responses to some common scenarios...

Today, I have Lucy from @home_ed_at_the_weekend writing a guest post for us all about the importance of positive language in the Early Years. You can find more information about Lucy and how to contact her at the end of this post...


positive-language-in-the-early-years

Positive language plays an important role in the Early Years – both at home and within a childcare setting. Avoiding the use of negative or authoritarian language is an excellent tool for positive behaviour management. It also allows children to feel equal; part of a two-way, respectful relationship with their care givers - as opposed to being under the control of certain adults. 
Rather than always dealing with negative behaviour and picking up the broken pieces, using positive language allows us to prevent some negative behaviour and thus prevent the pieces becoming broken in the first place – at least some of the time, anyway. This is because it empowers children to believe in themselves & their choices and it fosters independence and self-confidence...

Monday, 16 November 2020

11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Whether you’re a yoga devotee, a part-time ‘sometimes’ partaker or you simply bought a yoga mat once with the intention of breathing better, but you’ve done nothing but sigh at the sight of it…fear not! I have just the info you need to re-imagine your yoga mat, fall back in love with it, or even make you want to purchase more!
 
11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

If you follow me on social media you will know that I have recently fallen in love with a form of exercise called Gyrotonic. Although different, its not TOO dissimilar to the underlying principles of yoga and pilates and certainly benefits the body in the same way. When living in London, I used to do yoga and pilates every single day at home – in between my nursery practitioner job and my Nanny job. Working with small people (or even just having small people!) can really take its toll on your body. Every lunchtime I’d go back to my Balham flat, unroll my yoga mat and (usually) stick on my Darcy Bussell DVD and make way for a few stretches and poses before heading off to start round 2 of my day. Fast forward a few years, and add in a couple of children and I’m lucky to find a ‘lego free’ area of floor space to pop down my yoga mat! However, you know how much I love to re-use every day items and incorporate them into play as well, so here are a few ideas for you of different ways to use your yoga mat… some for the kids, some for the adults….

Sunday, 15 November 2020

10 Questions to ask when choosing a Primary School

Are you currently looking around Primary Schools for next September ready for your child to start in Reception class, or, Foundation stage 2? Are you wondering what questions you should ask when choosing a new school? What things you should be looking for when looking around a new school or classroom?

 I found it really hard to approach this task with my 'parent hat' on, rather than my 'Teacher hat'. As many of you will know, I am a Primary School Teacher who specialised in the Early Years (EYFS) and I am extremely passionate about active, free-flow, play based learning. 



10 questions to ask when choosing a primary school

I have compiled a list of questions to ask when trying to choose a primary school below, some of which I asked when looking around the schools...some that I wish I had asked! Anyway, here is the benefit of my hindsight, carefully set out for you to use when researching schools for yourself... and once you've chosen, you can pop back and read my post all about school readiness and how to help our children prepare for Reception class. 

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Can wall art encourage creativity?

When we think about stimulating and encouraging creativity - most of us tap into various senses to help us find the right headspace and atmosphere to ‘create’. Depending on your primary sensory preference this could be a type of music, the right lighting, a warm open fire, or something visually stimulating such as fine art or framed prints.
 
wall art print of some sandstone rock caves and sunshine

AD: Disclosure: This is a collaborative post
There is no doubt that having all of these elements working in harmony can help to create the perfect environment to BE creative, although certain conditions are temporary or require additional effort, having a permanent fixture such as a poster or wall art which will always be available to ‘tap into’ is an easy way to encourage creativity on a daily basis.

The key is in finding the right kind of wall art to stimulate your own personal creativity...

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Creating a work space with the BenQ WiT e-Reading Lamp | Review

Having recently turned our spare bedroom into a home office, something we chose to do due to covid working restrictions and also with the launch of my shop ChildLedPlay.co.uk, one of the biggest issues was finding appropriate lighting solutions. I needed something that would allow for computer and screen work during the day and evening, alongside close up painting and craft work with true colour lighting.
 
benq wit e reading lamp review

AD: This post includes gifted items

I was recently asked if I would like to try out the BenQ WiT e-Reading Lamp, giving an honest review, which seemed like the perfect solution...

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Play-Based Learning Gifts for 3 year olds

Are you looking for gifts suitable for a 3 year old, which also have an element of 'learning through play'? Within this post, I will be showing you some of my top choices for play-based learning gifts for three year olds, and explaining which areas of development they help to cover...

play based learning gifts for 3 year olds

NB: Some of these items were gifted items for us to review honestly for the purpose of this post. Some items we bought ourselves and others are from my own shop ChildLedPlay.co.uk. This post may contain affiliate links. Any gifted or affiliate items will be highlighted with an asterisk next to them. 

It can sometimes be tricky to see the learning potential with certain toys and resources, or, to know which areas of learning you should be focusing on at this stage. This blog post will guide you through some gift options and explain the learning opportunities available...

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Technology Ideas for the Early Years

When we think about what ICT and technology looks like for young children, it can be easy to assume that the focus is placed firmly on screen technology such as computers, ipads, tablets and other screens, but this isn't the case at all...

 

Technology for children, particularly in the Early Years, involves objects which work in different ways, for different purposes...Equipment which involves 'technology' to achieve an outcome or an effect. Mechanical toys with simple mechanisms, which allow children to investigate those "what will happen if..?" ideas...and of course, child-safe resources for children to act out scenarios within their play which may mimic real life technology used by adults.

Within this post I am going to suggest some ideas for technology for young children which can help to enhance learning through play  by offering exciting resources. I will also be adding a list of technology ideas to my Amazon Associate storefront (affiliate) for you to browse through. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Embedding children's interests in all aspects of learning

Have you ever wondered what it means to follow the children's interests? It's a phrase you will likely hear a lot if you work within Early Years or have EYFS aged children. Best practise is for practitioners and educators to tailor the learning experiences to the individual child or children, so that engagement is high, learning is enjoyable and lessons are likely to be remembered and retained.

 following childrens interests - gift from fairy

This idea of making learning appealing to an individual by incorporating something that they have a fascination with, into the learning opportunity doesn't just have to stop with Early Years. Many teachers have had huge amounts of success in teaching maths and literacy by following certain interests (such as football) in order to engage students and maximise the chances of them retaining the skills they have learnt. 

Today I have Sam and Immy from Sam Goldsworthy Childminding, explaining the process of embedding children's interests into all aspects of learning - with a run through of how they set this up within their setting, and progressed over time...

Friday, 24 July 2020

School readiness – preparing your child for Reception Class

School readiness…its something you’ll probably hear quite a lot if you have a child who is preparing to start Reception Class in September, but what does it actually mean??
school readiness - preparing your child for reception class

How can we, as parents, make sure that we are helping and not hindering when preparing our 4 year olds for big school?

Most of my Teaching career was spent teaching Reception, and so this is something I thought long and hard about when passing on information to Parents. What would I hope, as their Teacher, they could do already? What sort of things would I discuss in the Parents meetings for new starters? Where would my expectations be bearing in mind I don’t yet know the children or what level they are at?

Its not what you might expect….



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