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Books and Publications Window on the World

Publisher: Evans Publishing Group Tel: 01264 342 832 Web: Price: £11.99 per book Age range: Foundation +

Description: This breathtaking new series explores how children from around the world live. Striking photos and read-aloud text combine to make these books ideal for sharing.

ISBN: Hello Baby: 978-1-84089-587-2; Let’s Play: 978-1-84089-588-9; Time to Eat: 978-1-84089-589-6; At home: 978-1-84089-586-5;

Score: 89.2%

What the testers said: “The children loved these books; they were fascinated by the photos from around the world and it led to lots of discussions, helping develop their communication and language skills. The map on the inside cover to show the children where the photos were taken was great, as it helped increase their knowledge and understanding of the world.”

Silver Award Collins Big Cat (Band Pink IB)

Publisher: Collins Education Tel: 0870 787 1610 Web: Price: £3.15 per book Age range: 4 to 5 years

Description: Collins Big Cat books help to inspire a love of reading through top children’s authors and illustrators. Band Pink IB engages boys and girls through top illustrations in titles such as ‘Playing’ by award-winning Tim Hopgood, and fantastic non- fiction, including ‘The Desert’ by Becca Heddle. Audio books of each title will be available from September 2010.

ISBN: See Score: 88.9%

What the testers said: “We absolutely loved these books. They tick all of the right boxes, both educationally and aesthetically! A definite must have. This range supports early years reading and writing skills and has the perfect amount of literacy content to be repetitive, without being boring. Brilliant photographs and even an ideas page. We would definitely recommend and, in fact, have already done so to colleagues in other settings. Brilliant!”

Lift-The-Flap Shadow Books Series

Publisher: Priddy Books Tel: 01256 302 692 Web: Price: £7.99 Age range: 1 year +

Description: What does the shadow belong to? Lift the flap to find out! The pages of this engaging series feature multiple flaps, each printed with the black shadow of an animal or object. Children will have fun guessing what each shadow is, then lifting the flap to reveal the photograph underneath.

ISBN: Lift-The-Flap Shadow Book: At The Zoo, 978-1-84915-133-7; Lift-The-Flap Shadow Book: In The Town, 978-1-84915-134-4

Score: 88.5%

What the testers said: “The children loved these books; they are still the first books they pick up. The shadows are a great idea for older children. The books covered a broad spectrum of topics that stimulated conversation, so helped personal and social development, as well as language and literacy skills.”

helped personal and social

Bronze Awards

Lace Up! Dorling Kindersley

Boys’ Potty Time Dorling Kindersley

Hide and Seek First Words Dorling Kindersley

Let’s Count Picthall & Gunzi

Finger Puppet Books Child’s Play (International)

Baby Touch Tickly Tiger Ladybird Books

Rainbow Chunkies Series Award Publications


Subscribe today! For the Early Years Foundation Stage

These three teacher-led activities promote number recognition and ordering by length, and encourage children to count, match and sort


Can you spot the spotty socks?

For the fi rst two activities below, sing the following words to the fi rst part of the tune, Polly Put the Kettle On:

Can you see the spotty socks Lots of lovely spotty socks, Can you see the spotty socks that Hang on the line?

Then chant the following: Autumn gardening

Gardening with children can be a fun and exhilarating experience, not only developing their sensory skills, but also helping them to learn how to care for the world in which they live. It is about planning ahead, deciding what you want to grow, the space in which you have to grow it, and the time it takes for seeds to germinate and mature.

Getting started Decide on a good location for a seed-bed or vegetable patch. Measure it, choose a shape, and edge the sides with wood. If you need a hand, invite parents and volunteers to help; a great way to build a positive school community. Send home a request for helpers in the school newsletter – don’t forget to ask them to bring a spade!

Preparing an area in which to put a compost bin forms an important part of the gardening cycle. Contact the council waste and refuse department to ask about obtaining a compost bin for your school. Alternatively, build your own using three wooden pallets turned up on the sides, forming an open-ended cube.

To do this, secure chicken wire or garden mesh across the front panel to stop the green waste falling out. It is important that air can circulate through the compost bin to help break down the garden matter. If using wooden planks and bricks, stack the bricks, allowing a small gap between each one. Start composting immediately, fi lling the bin with fruit peelings, weeds, leaves, twigs, grass cuttings and even paper waste.

8 Practical Pre-School September 2010

Snowdrop snow pots Resources: Snowdrop bulbs, compost, trowels, lego or duplo blocks, (tray and gravel, if planting indoors).

This activity is in preparation for growing snowdrops that will bloom towards the end of January, early February.

Using white lego or duplo construction blocks, help the children to build a square or rectangular frame to form a snow pot container, of any size. They can build these outside, or inside. Position the snow pot directly onto the soil surface, preferably in a shaded area.

Ask the children to fi ll up their snow pots with compost. If planting indoors, rest the pot on a tray and sprinkle gravel into the base, before adding

Now here comes the wind. It’s blowing hard today. ‘Wooo’ goes the wind, And blows one sock away.

In the first of a new series on gardening through the seasons, Judith Harries and Emily Price discuss activities that will help to enhance children’s sensory skills as well as their appreciation of nature

On ‘Wooo’, all wave one hand in the air. Alternatively, make wind noises using the following suggestions:

■ Slide a beater across the bars of a metallophone.

■ Groups of children could take turns to shake tambourines or maracas.

■ The children could have one of these to shake: A piece of fringed tissue paper twisted together at one end to make a handle.

Early Years Foundation Stage points covered: Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy ■ 40-60+ months: Say and use number names in order in familiar contexts.

■ 40-60+ months: Match some shapes by recognising similarities and orientation.

Communication, language and literacy ■ 40-60+ months: Use language for an increasing range of purposes.

of water, binding to a wet, but fi rm mixture. Encourage children to experiment fi lling buckets with the compost mix, and turn out to create different-sized compost castles. Provide small-world, plastic spiders and other bugs to hide inside the creepy compost castles. Who can discover the most bugs in their castle?

■ 40-60+ months: Recognise numerals one to 10. Begin to relate subtraction to taking away.

■ 40-60+ months: Order two or three items by length or height.

Mini beast mansion Resources: 3 to 6 wooden pallets, lengths of old guttering, clay pipes, corrugated steel sheets, old fl ower pots, pine cones, bricks, pebbles, logs, bark, straw/hay, raffi a, twigs, sticks, old clay roof tiles.

■ 40-60+ months: Listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other music rhymes and poems. Use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking.

compost, to aid drainage. Show them how to plant the snowdrop bulbs, positioning the fl at base of the bulb down into the soil, about 10cm deep. Explain that the bulbs need to stay in the ground during winter and will fl ower towards the end of January.

PPS mono Sept2010.inddi In the winter months,

encourage the children to look out for snowdrops emerging from icy snow pots!

Creepy compost castles

Resources: Sand tray or tuff spot, different-sized buckets, spades, sand, compost, a little water, small-world plastic bugs.

This is a fun activity to try around Halloween. Prepare a sand tray or tuff spot with an equal mixture of play sand and compost. Mix with a splash


These resources will need to be collected in advance – the children can help you with this. Explain to the children that we need mini-beasts in the garden to help carry out important jobs, such as breaking down compost, pollinating crops and returning nutrients back into the soil.

PPS mono Sept2010. ndd 5

Providing an area where bugs can thrive in the garden will be a huge benefi t to help crops grow successfully. First of all, decide where to position your mini-beast mansion. A damp, quiet area is best, away from play areas and noise. Layer the wooden pallets on top of each other before the children begin working in the chosen area.

Once pallets are stacked ready, invite small groups of children to come to the area with their collections of autumn materials. Fill the gaps in between the pallets with different materials. Begin on the bottom layer

Here is the farmer, growing all the crops Here is the driver, taking food to the shops.

Here is the baker, making cakes and bread Here is the gardener, working in the shed.

Here are the families, shopping in the street Buying up potatoes and fruit to eat.

Here are the children, at the school door Carrying their baskets of bread and more.

Here are the onions, carrots and peas Here is honey, collected from the bees.

 To subscribe

Here are the pumpkins, apples and pears Brought for sharing and harvest prayers.

© Brenda Williams

i September 2010 Issue 116 ✓PHOTOCOPIABLE © MA Education Ltd 2010

Make a display, using actual items or pictures, indicating with arrows, the process of how the wheat is made into fl our, and the fl our made into bread and cakes. Label each item.

Communication, Language and Literacy: Language for Communication

Activity Three Talk to children about all the people who, in different ways, help in the

 

Activity 1 Aim: To match by colours and shapes; to count to ten; to begin to understand taking away.

Resources Washing line or string, two chairs, ten pairs of socks made from paper or vivelle, each pair a different length from any other.

Using a different coloured pen for each pair, draw bold spots on fi ve pairs of socks, and bold stripes on the other fi ve pairs.

What you do 1. Set up the washing line between the two chairs. Display a 0 to 10 number line near to the washing line.

2. Jumble the fi ve pairs of spotty socks. Invite the children to pair them up and peg them on the line.

3. Together, count the socks. The children could clap for each sock as you point to it.

4. Point to number ten on the number line.

5. Sing and chant the words, letting the wind remove the last sock in the line.

6. Count the socks again. Find the number on the line.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until there are no socks left.

Each time a sock goes, use suitable maths vocabulary. Relate the take-away process to the number line. Draw jumps back along the line, if appropriate.

Repeat the above activity, using the stripy socks. Repeat singing the fi rst part of the tune Polly Put the Kettle On.


September 2010 Issue 116 5 © MA Education Ltd 2010

Harvest Festival Friends and family

Harvest Festivals have been held around the world since people fi rst began sowing and gathering food. Almost every country or culture has a celebration of thanksgiving for this rewarding time of year, and today, its symbolism is ideal for our multi-ethnic communities.

Activity One

Show children a range of food, including tinned, frozen and fresh, fruit and vegetables, and cereal products, such as bread and rice. Encourage them to discuss the foods they might have in their cupboards or freezers at home, and which are their favourite foods. Where appropriate, invite children from other cultures to talk about unusual food enjoyed by their family. Create class books with such titles as: In my Freezer: In my Cupboard/Pantry: In my Fruit Bowl, and staple together children’s pictures of appropriate foods inside.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World: Exploration and Investigation

Activity Two Create a small library of books about farming, shops, vegetable gardens, and food. Read and show pictures from these each day, introducing and explaining new vocabulary. Place some of the food from the previous activity on display, and label each item. If possible, bring in a few stalks of wheat, and invite children to touch the bristly spikes around the kernels, explaining that this is the part which is later made into fl our.

process of bringing food to the table, including members of their families, or neighbours who grow their own vegetables in the garden. Remind them of the farmer growing wheat, fruit and vegetables. Then encourage them to suggest ideas of what happens next, such as taking the food from the farm to shops and markets, bakers baking bread, families buying food, and parents preparing meals. Can they suggest where food is taken before it is put into tins, or frozen? And who are the people who help to do this?

Knowledge and Understanding of the World: Communities

Activity Four

Read the poem and then invite children to role-play the people and the harvest items mentioned. Hold a small harvest festival party, inviting parents to see their children perform the poem, and taste some of the baking created in the following activity.

Creative Development: Developing Imagination and Imaginative Play

Activity Five

Involve children in baking, using a simple recipe, such as jam tarts, or small cakes, by including some of the products produced at harvest time such as fl our, jam, or eggs. Write the name of each ingredient in order of sequence, on a large sheet of paper, and point to each item as you use it. Discuss where the products come from, i.e. fl our from wheat, jam from fruit, eggs from hens. Encourage children to use all their senses of smell, touch, sight and taste, letting them experience the soft feel of the fl our, or the stickiness of the jam.

Creative Development: Being Creative – Responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas

Activity Six

Bring in some fresh pea pods, and establish that all of the children know what they are.

Use the opportunity to help the children understand how important food is to our bodies, to keep us healthy, and how some people in the world do not have enough food, and become very hungry

How to implement original numeracy ideas

Open a pod, take out the peas and compare them with frozen ones. Give each child a pod to open, and ask each of them to count the number of peas they have found. Do they all have the same number, or do some have more or less? Ask children to draw a picture of the peas they have found, and write the correct number beside them.

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy: Calculating

Activity Seven Explain to children what we mean by harvest, and why we use a harvest festival to say thank you for the food we eat. Use the opportunity to help them understand how important food is to our bodies to keep us healthy, and how some people in the world do not have enough food, and become very hungry. Ask them to imagine how they would feel at lunchtime, when they start to feel hungry, if there was no lunch to eat, and no tea or dinner when they went home.

Physical Development: Health and Bodily Awareness

Brenda Williams is a children’s author, poet and early year’s specialist

 PRACTITIONER

Activity 2 Aim: To recognise length difference; to learn numerals to ten.

Resources Washing line and chairs, a fi ve-pair mixture of striped and spotted socks, number fans, post-it notes, 0 to ten number line.

What you do 1. Ask the children to help to hang the pairs of socks in order of length.

2. Number each sock consecutively with a stick-it note. Read the numbers with the children.

3. Sing these words:

Can you see the coloured socks, Stripy, spotty, coloured socks, Can you see the coloured socks that Hang on the line?

Then say the chant. 4. Secretly remove a sock.

5. Help the children to fi nd the space on the line from which the sock has disappeared.

6. Say: ‘What sort of sock has gone, a spotty one or a stripy one?’

S o er front Sept10.indd 1 S poster front Sept10.indd p st

Say: ‘What number is on the sock?’ Then help the children to refer to the number line and decide which number sock is missing.

7. Say: ‘Show me that number with your number fan.’

8. All write that number in the air. Reverse your number if you are facing the children.

9. Replace the missing sock and repeat from step 3.

These cross-curricular activities are based on the Harvest Festival poster poem

Introducing yoga for

the young: Energise the body and mind!


A harvest festival full of fun


An autumn gardening

For the Early Years Foundation Stage



Harvest Festival Harvest Festival

inspiration: The first in a NEW series

October 2010 Issue 117

September 2010 Issue 116

September 2010 Issue 116 ii © MA Education Ltd 2010

11/08/2010 11:34

11/08/2010 11:34

 Call FREEPHONE 0800 137201  Order online at

Practical Pre-School Awards 2010 55 © MA Education Limited 2010 Illustrated by Cathy Hughes

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