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Friday 6 October 2023

Mud Kitchen | Ideas & Accessories for Outdoor Play | EYFS

Would you like to understand more about what a mud kitchen is? What the benefits are of having a mud kitchen in your outdoor area? How can you you effectively use a mud kitchen and plan for activities for kids? What do you need in a mud kitchen? Where can you buy a mud kitchen and accessories and what are the learning outcomes? 

This post aims to give some useful ideas and inspiration for using your mud kitchen and mud kitchen accessories effectively for outdoor play...

 mud kitchen with pump action sink, large outdoor blackboard and pet bowl mini mud kitchen

For young children to really benefit from outdoor play, the outdoor area should be an extension of the indoor area - not a simply a separate place for 'limited' playtime, a reward for hard work or somewhere to simply 'have a run around'. I have talked before about this separation of indoor and outdoor play, and the negative consequences that this can have in my post about the importance of learning through play outside which can be found here. One of the key pieces of equipment for an outdoor learning space, which will tie into lots of different areas of learning is to have a mud kitchen. Whether you are looking to encourage role play, speaking and listening, relationship building, mathematical concepts or simply to create a space where children can learn and explore and play with what they know or just make mud pies - a mud kitchen provides endless possibilities...

Thursday 5 October 2023

Exploring the Benefits of Coding for Young Learners

It is no secret that the world of technology is changing and evolving at a rapid rate, and in order to cope with this constant evolution, it is more important than ever that coding and the various essential elements of computer programming be taught to students at a younger and younger age.

benefits of coding for young learners - child sat at computer coding

What seems difficult to grasp to an uninitiated adult will hopefully feel like second nature to a young person growing up with all of the education and tools provided to them, and this is what is needed to ensure that generations of the future are adequately prepared to face all of the changes that are inevitably coming. Whilst there is plenty to read at Codemonkey on the subject, here is an exploration of some of the biggest benefits of coding for young learners.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

57 Tuff Tray Activity ideas for open ended Play

I love our tuff tray, (probably even more than the children do), and thinking up tuff tray ideas - and although it can be a challenge to set them up sometimes - I love the wow factor a new tray play activity brings to young children and how excited and enthusiastic they are to go and explore straight away! I know that my carefully laid resources will be scattered around within minutes, but honestly, that's the beauty of it. A well played with tuff tray, where learning opportunities arise, does not come from children feeling like they can't touch, move, reorder or explore. A day without some 'mess' has usually been an unproductive one....

images of tuff spot tray activities with text 19 tuff spot tray activities for open ended play

I often post new tuff tray ideas over on my Instagram or my Facebook page - usually they never make it into a blog post because I'm just too excited to share our learning straight away! Please pop over and give me a follow if you'd like to keep up to date with new activities.  You can also subscribe to my blog using the box at the bottom of this post. I've picked out 57 (originally 19 but i keep updating!) of our current favourite tuff tray ideas here for you to enjoy and feel inspired! I also have a post showcasing our best sensory tray play ideas here.  If you want to learn more about tuff trays first - have a read of our complete guide to tuff trays here. 

You can find many of the resources mentioned over in my Amazon affiliate ideas list here (click here for USA version).

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