The Yellow Door Blog

Free downloads, hints and tips, product updates and a peak at life behind the Yellow Door - you'll find the latest here on our blog.

25th August 2016

There’s a familiar sense of change in the air as the autumnal mornings bring that fresh coolness and the sunlight has a feeling of maturity. September is a time of new starts – for children, their parents and practitioners. Whether it’s a first step for young learners from home to nursery or school, or a change from one setting to another, these are certainly times of adjustment that require sensitivity, discernment and often inspiration!...

17th June 2016

Have you ever stopped to think of the dramas taking place in your setting’s outdoor space? Just like EastEnders or Downton Abbey, there is so much going on, even excluding the children’s dilemmas:

  • The ants at the beck and call of their queen
  • The lone wasp ready for a fight
  • The gossiping sparrows
  • The fearful hedgehog.

Every outside classroom...

4th April 2014

Head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw’s comments about the preference of the middle class parents for play over education in nurseries following the recent publication of the early years annual report has unleashed a backlash by educationalists. 

Sir Michael argued at the launch of the new early years annual report that children from deprived backgrounds were at a disadvantage in nurseries because middle class parents think their children’s childhood is...

5th March 2014

Between 1st September 2012 and 31st October 2013, Ofsted carried out comprehensive inspections of 17,434 nurseries and child-minders using a stricter assessment regime. The results of these inspections were published recently and have raised concern amongst both parents and educators alike. 

Figures reveal drop in standards since last Ofsted inspections

The BBC reported that of the nurseries and child-minders assessed, 33 percent were found to be no better than satisfactory. Only seven percent were found to be “outstanding” and 60 percent were “good”. The BBC also...

19th February 2014

What is subitising? 

185 Subitising is a term that was coined by the theorist Piaget and defined the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects...

29th January 2014

180 The debate about the value of phonics in early years teaching was once again re-ignited yesterday when a researcher, Andrew Davis from Durham University stated that phonics lessons are “almost...

19th September 2013

We are delighted to announce that Lawrence Educational is now part of the Yellow Door family.

Lawrence Educational has been publishing innovative resources to support early years education since the 1990s. With an impressive selection of experienced consultants as authors, Lawrence Educational is well known for practical and relevant books full of ideas and inspiration. It is also the home of Ros Bayley’s pioneering Steady Beat and Beat Baby® ranges.

“We’ve been huge fans of the Lawrence Educational resources...

7th August 2013

In episode 7 of “Love Your Garden” with Alan Titchmarsh, the team were challenged to build a sensory garden for four year old Harvey and two year old Megan who both suffer from a rare genetic eye disorder that means their vision is severely limited.

Two of our products, sensory stones and dinosaur bones were featured in the programme as part of the sensory sandpit which proved very popular with both children,...

5th June 2013

Each set of Sensory Stones includes a fantastic leaflet full of activities written by play specialist Wendy Usher. The ‘mark making with toast’ idea caught our attention – see step-by-step details of the activity below along with our results!

You will need...


30th May 2013

Sensory Stones enable children to have sensory experiences by experimenting with raised and indented shapes and patterns. Here, author and play specialist Wendy Usher shares her ideas on introducing the stones into a setting and some sensory play activities.

Introducing the Sensory Stones
Introduce the stones to the children and encourage them to look at and to feel the stones. Ask the children to describe the stones to you. Help them by offering a range of appropriate adjectives. Use supportive questions such as, ‘Is the stone hard or soft?’ ‘Is...