Outstanding Outdoor Spaces – Cool Canvas

abc doesOutdoors8 Comments

I first heard of Cool Canvas after I had delivered a conference in Bolton. I got an email from a delegate to say that they had had a brilliant creative artist come in and completely transform their outdoor space into a fantastic learning environment. It seems that that setting were not alone, as I am seeing and hearing lots more on my travels about the high quality work and the creative ideas that Oliver and his team are spreading through our outdoor environments.  Although there is loads of info and inspirational photos on the Cool Canvas website. I have manages to persuade Oliver to take some time out of his busy schedule to write me a quick guest blog post … Read More

Seed Bombing!

abc doesChild Initiated Learning, Creativity, Outdoors6 Comments

Now that the weather has finally decided to warm up a bit, you might want to get your children to partake in a little bit of Seed Bombing. Seed Bombing originally started out as a way of bringing a bit of 'nature' and 'colour' to disused and derelict pieces of land in towns and cities, but now you can buy ready made seed bombs to scatter in your own garden or outdoor area. But, why buy when you can make your own? (I was ably assisted by my youngest son, Geordie and my niece, Mabel). The concept of a Seed Bomb is a ball of seeds wrapped in compost and red clay. The clay gradually disintegrates when it is left … Read More

Shaking the Foundations – Cathy Nutbrown

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Last year Cathy published her Government commissioned review of early education and child care qualifications which began by saying: ‘Learning begins  from  birth, and high quality early  education  and care has the potential  to make an important  and  positive  impact on the learning, development and wellbeing of babies and young children, in their daily lives and the longer term’  Who, I ask, could disagree with that? Anyone who works in early education knows this to be a fundamental truth. A year on though, it looks like many of Cathy's recommendations have been ignored. The current proposals by the government will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the quality of care and education that our youngest children receive. This week Cathy has … Read More

Café Culture and the not so humble snack…

abc doesChild Initiated Learning, Continuous Provision, Environment, Role Play, Talk12 Comments

Like with every area of your provision, it is worth asking the question 'what is snack for?' before you start to plan for it. At it most basic level, snack is an opportunity for young children, who burn lots of energy in their play and exploration of your environment, to re-fuel. But, in truth there is SO much more that snack could and should be than that. At best it can offer some brilliant leaning opportunities. At worst it is a bag of apples and some cartons of milk dumped on a table. Halton Lodge have a small but perfectly formed snack area with a 'Have a go if you want to' waiting area with leveled challenges in it There … Read More