The revised EYFS framework was published this week, the existing framework, EYFS 2008, remains in place until the end of August, the new framework called EYFS 2012 will be mandated from the 1st September. The revised framework aims to reduce bureaucracy and simplify learning and development requirements, reducing the early learning goals from 69 to 17. The framework concentrates on the three areas of learning deemed the most important:-
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
In addition to these 'Prime Areas' there are also four futher 'Specific Areas':-
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
At ToucanLearn we will revise our system to tie in with EYFS 2012, ready for launch on 1st September. At the same time we will launch some new features to offer new tools to help childcarers implement the EYFS. We're excited about these changes, while we always felt that the EYFS offered a great platform for early learning, we also think that these revisions help to focus on the important parts of learning and will help those who might have struggled with the breadth of coverage of EYFS 2008. We will write more about the revised EYFS framework over the next few months, and keep you informaed of changes coming toToucanLearn.
You can download the new EYFS framework here.
Jumping Games are fun and a great way of doing some exercise, here are some jumping games for you to play with your little ones...
- Think about your landing: knees bent, arms forward, toes then flat foot.
- Jump on the spot and them move around the room. How does it feel different?
- Run and jump - is it easy or hard?
- Jump over - some cushions or a brave Teddy!
- Jump over a moving object - how about a swirling rope or a path or a brook if you have one nearby!
- Jump like animals that the children suggest. If they suggest animals that not everyone knows about, look them up on line and find them!
- What does jumping do to our bodies? Heart beat faster, legs ache (a bit!), arms swing, feet make a noise on the floor as we land etc.
- Hang some ribbons or balloons from a height just above the children's reach (on a washing line perhaps!) and see if they can bat the balloons. Or, hang bells or shakers that will make a noise when batted.
- How many an the children reach? Count the number of noises you hear for each child.
- Follow my Jumper - one person leads and jumps in different ways as all the children behind have to follow.
It has been found that children today are more likely to be able to use a mouse to play a game on a computer, than tie their shoe laces or ride a bike.
While it seems a shame that so many can't or won't ride a bike, is it really their fault? After all, it the parents who put them in front of the computer and are pleased when they learn to use it. It's the parents who use their iPhone in front of the children or encourage them to play a game to 'keep them quiet' and it's the parents again who are not helping them tie shoe laces by providing them with velcro fastening shoes! But, as long as parents try to show and teach a balanced way of life (a bit of TV and a bit of swimming; a game on the computer then a nice blowy walk) then it's great that our children are being exposed to such brilliant and creative technology that computers provide.
The research published information that suggested 70% of children aged 2-5 can play computer games but that only 20% of them could swim on their own. Well, to be honest, the stats may sound threatening, but swimming unaided is actually a great deal more tricky to master at 5 than using a computer which is, after all, very simple to use, and the type of games the children play are specifically designed for children... It's not rocket science to suggest this might be the case!
S0me people suggest that in this digital age, children's skills are being measured by their ability on a computer. It says that parents are too busy or too lazy to help their children learn practical and physical skills. This is rather harsh. The fact remains that we do live in a digital world. It's not negotiable. We have to embrace the digital age or we simply won't be able to function! What we need to do is teach them all the traditional values and skills in addition to all the new-fangled ones. Then we will develop balanced and well rounded young people who don't sit in front of the TV all day, but who can ride bikes, swim but also use a computer.
Building blocks are a timeless toy and a set of soft blocks made from material, or even knitted from wool, will bring your baby loads of enjoyment in their first few years. An early game to play with babies is to stack up toys near them and encourage your baby to knock them down. Clap and cheer when your baby achieves this and they will quickly associate their actions with your praise and this will encourage them to knock down your towers.
Blocks usually come in bright colours and often have pictures, letters or numbers on their faces. This early exposure to colours and patterns will help them to distinguish between colours and to recognise the different shapes later on. When they are able to grasp blocks for themselves, your little one will delight in trying to build their own towers and knocking them down themselves. All of this helps to refine their motor skills and to understand how objects interact with one another and how they act when knocked over.
As your children grow older, plain blocks can be change for construction blocks such as Duplo, Lego or Megablocks. These appeal both to boys and girls and will last an entire childhood, teaching children how to construct models and giving them a great understanding of the physical world.
In this cold weather it's understandable that parents don't want to ge too far from the warmth and comfort of home, but don't think this means you have to stay inactive. It is important that little ones do keep active because its only when they use their bodies to the limit that they begin to understand what they can do by themselves and how to mange their own bodies. The more practice they get the better they will be, not to mention safer when they are playing and better co-ordinated in general.
There are lots of physical activities you can do at home as long as you clear a bit of space. Here are a few ideas - but do supervise as some of the activites are a bit adventurous!!
- Let's Go To Bed. Clear a double bed of its covers, and have a bit of fun bouncing and rolling around on it. Try head-over-heels in the middle of the bed. Get your little one to stand with wide open legs and see if they can look through the middle, going upside down! Try moving round the bed by bouncing on their bottom; or just try walking without falling over! Make sure you explain that this is a special treat and shouldn't be done when you're not around... but have some fun!
- Lets Go For A walk. Go for a walk around the house and follow any lines you have on your carpet. Or throw a skipping rope or some string on the floor and try to tight-rope walk around the place for a while. Try following the rope while crawling or being an animal!
- Ball games. Try rolling a blown up beach ball to each other, or kicking it back and forth. Try using your head too! The beach ball is lovely and soft and light, so its a good one for indoor use. Just make sure all valuables are hidden away!
- Fetch. Throw a little toy into the room and run to get it. Try it as a race! Try the game on stairs if you have some. Throw the small toy up the stairs and you both try and climb to that step to retrive the toy. Make sure with very little ones you remember to teach them to trun round on the stairs safely and come down carefully.
- Jumping Jacks. Try doing some different jumps together. Jump over cushions or toys. Jump in time with music or while singing nursery rhymes.
Have a safe, fun time!