The Yellow Door Blog

6 Eggcellent Easter Activities

1. Egg rolling

What you need

  • Plastic eggs that come in two parts
  • A wooden slope
  • Selection of small items: pebbles, construction bricks, pieces of modelling clay, marbles
  • A digital timer
  • Pens and paper
  • A digital recorder if available.

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Ideas to smooth transition from Reception to KS1

What do you remember of your Reception experience? In the Yellow Door office, we recall toys we played with, friends we made, snacks we ate and the occasional embarrassing incident. Only one of us can picture a planned beginning to their school life following their Reception year: the sand and water tray they played in while staff met with parents. This was more about explaining than preparing or planning. The rest of us talked about the shock of moving to a more formal learning environment.

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How to develop pre-coding skills in the early years

Children are born into a digital world in which technology moves at a rapid pace. In order to help them to navigate this environment, we need to be as diligent about teaching them the necessary skills as we are about other core elements of the curriculum.

One legitimate reservation about such teaching is that it will result in more screen time for children as they learn how to effectively use electronic devices and how to get them to do what they want.

This blog contains ideas that can be used with young children away from such tools to build up the skills and vocabulary needed for coding electronic devices. These have become known as pre-coding skills.

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6 easy steps to an enabling (not disabling) outdoor risk assessment

When we accompany children outdoors to learn, it can take them outside of their comfort zone; and it can do the same to us as practitioners.  Many working in Early Years settings are worried about real and perceived risks that are present when children are active outdoors, and this can be one of the main barriers to settings developing an integrated approach to outdoor learning.

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9 reasons why outdoor learning is so important

Outdoor learning is nothing new. Children have been learning outdoors, using their developing bodies and minds to make sense of the world around them, for thousands of years. However, there has been a decline in such involvement in the last few decades, with children spending more and more time indoors engaged in sedentary, technology-based activities or playing with machine-made toys and games. While there is nothing wrong with these types of activities in moderation, we need to be aware that children’s brains are hardwired to engage with the natural world, and unless they are exposed to such relevant environments on a regular basis, we risk denying them the opportunities they need for optimal brain development.

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How EdTech can add value to early years education

Young children build up an understanding of the world around them through a variety of play activities. This includes the use of digital technology. It is important, therefore, that all children become confident with this media in early years settings, especially those who do not have access to technology at home.

Digital resources need to be part of the learning environment of the current generation of children, in which the balance needs to be struck between technological confidence and screen time.

As manufacturers of early years resources, we are aware that tablet technology is readily available to young children. We are fascinated by the ways in which it adds value to the learning process, and the opportunities it offers to individual learners. We believe that such positive contributions are possible with appropriate practitioner engagement and software at the right developmental level.

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Creating a Risk-Friendly Classroom

It is vital for children’s optimal development that they have opportunities to take developmentally-appropriate risks in play. Being able to do so and experience the related benefits are crucial aspects of every child’s development. An environment that is risk-friendly is the best context for this to take place in. The pointers below will help to create a positive approach to risky play.

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Assessing Language Skills

Wendy LeeSpeech and Language Therapist Wendy Lee shares with us her advice and suggestions for checking out children’s early speech and language skills. Wendy has worked as a speech and language therapist for 30 years and until recently was Professional Director at The Communication Trust. Wendy’s passion is for all children to be able to communicate to the very best of their ability. She is currently working independently, with schools, settings and national organisations on all things speech, language and communication.

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Top 5 Transition Tips

Top 5 Transition TipsThere’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!

Here are five tried-and-tested ideas to help smooth transitions within your setting taken from Wendy Usher’s wonderful book Let’s Talk Behaviour!

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