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

No girls in my construction area! Does it matter?

abc doesBoys Learning, Continuous Provision, Environment6 Comments

It is a common occurrence across the land. The creative area is teaming with girls and the construction area is awash with boys. To try and rectify this issue I have tried many things. Banning the boys from the construction areas (to give the girls a chance) Buying pink construction kits Putting the pink construction kits into pink boxes I even bought pink construction role play costumes (yes, such things do exist!) Did any of the above solve my issue? In short, no! I just ended up with a construction area full of boys that looked like 'Village People' rejects! My preoccupation was with gender equality. The girls who were not coming into the construction area were staying away because … Read More

Shaking the Foundations – Cathy Nutbrown

abc doesUncategorized1 Comment

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