Cursive Writing in Reception – A Good Idea?

Alistair Bryce-CleggMark Making, Writing30 Comments

I am regularly get emails from Reception practitioners saying that they have been told they have to teach cursive writing to their children, even though it is against their better judgement. They usually ask two questions. 1) Would I recommend it? and 2) How do you teach it? My my answers are usually : ‘I wouldn’t’ and ‘don’t’. Or, ask the person who has told you you have to do it. They must have a plan! I appreciate none of the above are actually very helpful, but fundamentally I don’t think that it is developmentally appropriate for Reception children to be cursive writing. Most (not all ) of the teachers that I have worked with who do cursive writing with Reception tell … Read More

Tales Toolkit Update and a Discount Code!

Alistair Bryce-CleggBoys Learning, Creativity, Giveaway, Mark Making, Talk, Uncategorized12 Comments

This Saturday I have the great pleasure of sharing a guest blog from Tales Toolkit. If you haven’t come across Tales Toolkit before…I think you are going to love it! Hello, It’s me again, Kate, founder of Tales Toolkit! We love Alistair so much we’re back for another blog and this time we’re making it official and taking up permanent residence in Alistair’s website sidebar. Whoop. Big thank you Alistair for backing and believing in us. Like you, we know that story is a super powerful learning gizmo. So Tales Toolkit provides interactive, child led resources all using easy to remember symbols to represent story structure. Our kits give children the independence to create stories around their interests using anything they … Read More

How to Make Coloured Porridge Oats…

Alistair Bryce-CleggCreativity, Malleable Materials, Mark Making, Texture Kitchen2 Comments

This is a really simple and easy one to do. You can use your coloured oats as a sensory experience, not to mention as an addition to Small World, Creative play and many, many more areas of provision. You will need: Porridge Oats – I have found that the LARGE porridge oats work best. Measuring cup Measuring spoons Small container (like and egg cup) Zip Lock freezer bags Water Food colouring or liquid water colour What to do: Put one cup of porridge oats into a Zip Lock freezer bag Mix 2 tablespoons of water with a few drops of food colouring in your small container. I used this cake decorators gel colour Pour a SMALL amount of the coloured liquid into … Read More

Simple Snow Recipe

Alistair Bryce-CleggChild Initiated Learning, Dough Gym, Malleable Materials, Mark Making, Mud Kitchen, Talk, Texture Kitchen, Uncategorized7 Comments

I am off to London at the end of the week to deliver From Mark Maker to Writer and looking forward to hopping on and off the train in the icy winds and snow! As it looks like most of us are going to get the first snowfall or flurry of the year I want to share with you my best and easiest recipe for snow. You can prepare this in advance, but I usually do it with the children or let them have a go on their own. You only need 2 ingredients Bicarbonate of Soda (or Baking Powder) Both bicarb and baking powder work well although the texture is slightly different – not that the children ever seem to notice! Shaving … Read More