Teaching and Learning Centre

A selection of examples for Early Years Teachers

Creating an Art Area

The images below provide ideas on how to set up an attractive art area for young children:

Considerations

Ensure that the area looks inviting to children with the resources laid out and easily accessible.

Resources

Paints, paint brushes, stamps, sponges, stencils, paper, card, pencils, pens, paint pots, chalk, chubby stamps, glue, glue sticks, tissue paper, sequins…

Story Time

Watch Verity read a story to children.

Using Outdoor Space

Below you can see examples of how to use the outdoor space to incorporate all areas of learning.

Books to Support Behaviour

These books are written as stories to share with your child and include parent/staff guidance sections.

Supporting Fussy Eating

Find out how to support a fussy eater.

Supporting Biting

Guidance if your child is biting.

Story Time

Join Sam who read The Gruffalo’s Child.

Note how he uses a puppet to add interest to the story session.

How Children Learn

Here are a few pages from our How Children Learn Module

Activity Ideas for Children Aged 0-3 Years

This is a great activity for babies who cannot crawl yet.

What you’ll need:

  • Large sandwich bags
  • Tape
  • Background items like oil, rice or sand
  • Feature items like buttons, beads or glitter

What you do:

  1. Start by filling up a large sandwich bag with the background item for your babies to explore. This might be something like oil, rice, sand, shaving cream, or crushed crackers. These form the background substance for the sensory play.
  2. After this, you can add small featured items for the babies to find and explore within the background items. These might be things like buttons, beads, glitter, marbles, or seashells.
  3. Tape the bag down to the ground to make sure all the items are safely sealed in and stay in place while the little ones explore.
  4. Place the child on their tummy to explore the bag, as this can help with crucial muscle and motor development as they happily explore in a safe way, without putting anything into their mouths!

This is a perfect activity to support and develop babies’ physical development as well as offering a wide range of safe sensory materials to explore. Some babies do not like to be on their tummies for too long as it quite hard work, so being with your child and using descriptive words along the way supports with longer term vocabulary building.

This activity introduces different sensory items to young children.

What you’ll need:

  • A basket
  • Household items
  • Natural items
  • Materials and clothing
  • Craft items

What you do:

  1. The list of what you can add to your sensory basket is endless. Prepare your basket with lots of interesting items that your child can explore. Ensure items are safe to play with.
  2. For children under 12 months, it is best to start with around 5 items so as not to overload them.
  3. There is no limit as the child gets older – although do not have so much that you then lose your child’s interest.

This activity is perfect for children to explore different shaped items as well as the texture of items. This is great for children to start to discover and understand the world around them. Use language such as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ as well as ‘big’ and ‘small’. For the youngest children touch and feel the items and pass them, or brush the item, onto the child’s skin. This helps with sensory processing – understanding the feel of an object. Enabling children to physically experience something enables them to have an understanding of its meaning – this is the first part of writing – they become able to make connections in play.

Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with. Playing with Gloop is a fabulous sensory and science activity to learn about the concepts of what a solid and liquid is.

From birth, children are exploring their senses and processing new information. They begin to make sense of the world around them as they grow through the exploration of new textures, materials and resources. Sensory play is a valuable way of engaging children in activities that will heighten their senses and enrich their learning.

Active sensory play helps children become more self-aware and body-aware, which helps them develop a better sense of space around them.

PROCESS

Mix cornflour with water in a bowl or tray until it creates a paste.

Add a small amount of food colouring or flavouring for more fun.

As your child picks up the Gloop it will become a thick liquid which will run through their fingers and back into the bowl/tray.

Once finished, leave the Gloop overnight so that the cornflour and water separate.

You can then pour the liquid down the drain and add the solid to your bin.

Creating a Cosy Baby Room Environment

The images below give inspiration when creating a baby room in your Kindergarten:

Let's Make Playdough

Join Amelia as she shows you how to make your own playdough.

You will need:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Food colouring (optional)

Talking About Emotions, Well-Being and Mental Health

It is very important for staff to be able to understand and talk to children about their emotions and well-being.

Colour Monster Story

The Colour Monster is a great story to help explain emotions and feelings with young children. Listen to the story read by Jodie.

Colour Monster Activity

A great activity which is inspired by The Colour Monster story which supports children to share their feelings and emotions in Kindergarten.

Room Support Posters

Useful information to display in rooms for staff

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