Functional play

Does your baby or toddler enjoy repetitive play with everyday objects? Is she less interested in ‘proper’ toys? This is functional play, the first of four types of play outlined by Sara Smilansky, a developmental psychologist who studied how play develops in young children. The rest of the series is here: Preschoolers are happy to …

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Colouring in | Your secret weapon for great handwriting

A child colouring in a picture

As a child, did you love colouring in? It felt a bit like cheating, didn’t? Filling in someone else’s drawing. But it was satisfying – even therapeutic. But it’s not really drawing, is it? Does it have any value? Some early years teachers frown on colouring in because it’s not creative and has a pre-determined …

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Outdoor play

A child enjoying outdoor play

How often does your child play outdoors? Do they go out even when it’s raining? Do you believe that there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing? I once worked at a famous ‘open air’ nursery, where the children were free to come and go as they pleased, inside and out, in all weathers. Teachers were …

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Junk Modelling | The Perfect Preschooler Activity

A junk model made from a cardboard egg box

There is construction play – and then there is junk modelling. Junk modelling is by far the most creative and challenging type of construction play for young children. Toys like Lego and wooden blocks are excellent and rightly popular – but their strength is also their greatest weakness. Regular sizes and straight lines make construction …

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