Autumn Make – Apple Shrunken Heads!

Alistair Bryce-CleggChild Initiated Learning, Creativity, Talk5 Comments

I first made these a couple of years ago and they were a HUGE hit with the children. There is lots of opportunity for talk as well as observing how the apples change in size and colour. As I say later in the instructions, the process takes about 2 weeks from start to finish so it is worth getting going on them early. The process of the initial making and then the ensuing decay is fascinating. Not to mention the end results. I love them! They are dead easy to make (excuse the pun)! You need Apples (any sort will do) Apple peeler Play dough utenstils Blunt wooden skewers or sticks Lemon juice (optional) Water (optional) My boys loved making … Read More

Books to Encourage Conversation in the Early Years

Alistair Bryce-CleggChild Initiated Learning, Diversity, Gender, Race, Reading, Talk4 Comments

This week on my Facebook Page I posted some books that I’ve found useful when talking to younger children about identity. In my view children are never too young to have these (age appropriate) conversations. As Early Years educators we are in the privileged position of working with children right at the beginning of their journey through education. We can encourage an open mindset, foster a culture of acceptance and show children how to celebrate difference. We can have a HUGE impact. It’s vitally important that children see themselves and their familiar culture reflected in books but equally important that they read (and listen to) stories that broaden their knowledge of identity, providing them with an informed, rich view of … Read More

A Brain-Based Approach to Supporting Children’s Transitions – Guest Post.

Alistair Bryce-CleggChild Initiated Learning, Transition33 Comments

In a time before Covid 19, I asked Mine Conkbayir to write a guest blog post for me  from the point of view of the psychological impact that effective and not so effective transitions can have. In these now uncertain times when children will be returning to a very different ‘version’ of school life, it is more important than ever that effective transitions are at the forefront of our thinking. Whether children return before the Summer break or in the Autumn term, it is really crucial that (as much as is possible) the provision  they return to is centred on their wellbeing . There will huge uncertainty for children and staff, but it is imperative that we avoid a ‘catch … Read More

(At Least) 50 Fantastic Ideas To Try At Home…Can You Help?

Alistair Bryce-CleggBoys Learning, Child Initiated Learning, construction, Continuous Provision, Creativity, Environment, Malleable Materials, Mark Making, mathematics, Messy Play, Mud Kitchen, Music, Outdoors, Play, Water Play44 Comments

As more people are self-isolating and schools and childcare settings across the world are closing, we thought we would contribute to easing the burden by providing another place you can direct parent’s /carers to for support. We are part of a wonderful, international community of Early Years practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge and a HUGE bank of ideas and activities. So, let’s gather together and share them! As a starting point I am going to use my blog to share activities that can fairly easily be done at home. I’ll gather a collection of ideas each week and post them on the website – with links from social media. If you would like to contribute please email me … Read More