The EYFS covers broad aspects of child development (such as Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics) rather than specific topics such as 'Dinosaurs', 'The Romans' or 'Days of the Week'. At ToucanLearn we have a range of activities suited to the capabilities of each individual child. The selection of activities you see for a 3 month child is different for those of a 9 month child or 2 year old toddler. Our activity programme takes each child up to school age.
If you want to cover specific topics in your setting then look at adapting our activities to cover the topics you want to cover. Some of our activities will map very easily whilst some may not. For example, if you are studying 'Minibeasts' then look at adapting the range of activities being offered to change the focus to creepy crawlies instead.
Of course, there are plenty of other activity sites on the Internet and a quick search will bring up all sorts of activities relating to specific topics. Where ToucanLearn differs is that we offers activities aimed at the specific capabilities of each child, each one focusing on different aspects of the EYFS at that stage of development. By adapting our activities to a different topic, you can ensure that the activities are pitched at the right level in terms of capability.
The EYFS is all about facilitating early learning, it's not a curriculum that should be followed prescriptively. Indeed, prescriptive learning lies far from the aims of the EYFS. Children have developed through learning since the dawn of humankind, and the EYFS doesn't bring us anything radically different in our approaches to learning for preschoolers, it simply encourages particular types of learning to stimulate the important parts of early development.
For this reason, it's not possible to pigeonhole an activity and say 'this is an EYFS activity'. You would be hard pushed to undertake any activity that didn't cover at least one of the bases of the EYFS areas of learning. However, certain activities cover certain areas of learning better than others.
At ToucanLearn, we offer hundreds of actvities that, for our premium members, are all categorised by EYFS areas of learning. Most of our activities predate the EYFS, but they were designed with the same aims of the EYFS, to promote health early years development. As a young carer, you should observe the way that your wards are developing and should aim to promote those areas where you perceive work is needed. Babies develop at different rates but generally conform to a linear pattern, hitting goals in a very similar order. If you observe that your little ones might be struggling with gross or fine motor skills, or in the development of language, then actively seek out activities that will help to promote these areas. At ToucanLearn you can achieve this simply by searching for an activity covering a particular area of learning.
Do continue pursuing activities in all the other areas of learning too - babies are developing rapidly so even if progress is good, or even better, continue visiting activities that you know they will cope well with as practice, repetition and the sheer fact that they are engaged in activities will all help their early development.
If you have stumbled across this entry inadvertently, then please do visit our main site, ToucanLearn. Sign up for free and access hundreds of preschool activities. If you're a professional childminder then you will find that we offer lots of services to help you fulfil the EYFS, and hopefully we can play a small part in helping your little ones achieve their potential in life.
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...
The cost of after school activities and clubs is getting so very expensive. Should you choose ballet or rainbows? Beavers or football? French club or swimming? Half of parents are having to cancel their children's after school clubs because its just getting too expensive.
Some research carried out by MyVoucherCodes has discovered that over a third of parents say their children do not take part in after school activities and many of those have had to stop the clubs because its just too expensive.
1,192 parents were questioned by MyVoucherCodes to look at parents habits when it comes to children's clubs. A third said that their children did not take part in any after school activities. 24% said their children did activities on an occasional basis. Of those who did not attend clubs the reason given was, according to more than half, that the parents had to save money.
A high percentage, 27%, said their children did not want to do any after school clubs. And, of those who did attend activities on an occasional basis said the reason behind this occasional attendance was that the children were "too lazy"!
While many clubs are expensive and require special equipment or uniforms, many are not. Rainbows and Beavers (a weekly hour long meeting with games and activities) costs about £20 a term. Play groups and church children's play days range can costs as little as £1 a family for each session. Library play and stay sessions can be as little as 50p per child.
So, it is more a question of choosing activities that are appropriate and affordable rather than just saying no to all activities.
Clothes Pegs are fascinating for children, they are a strange shape, unusual texture and have fascinating clippy capabilities! They can be a source of great interest and fun - with a bit of adult supervision to ensure they don't clip them to their little fingers. Playing with pegs can be education in all sorts of ways. Using pegs is a great way to improve fine motor skills.
It's really a vital skill to have and telling the time can be easy to learn if you make it fun. Teaching the clock can be hard, but once children get familiar they will feel confident enough to lear how to tell the time.
Take it slow and keep it nice and easy...
How many times do you come back from a walk to school or a stroll to the park and find your child holding leaves, twigs, and muddy grasses? ...or how often do you find rock and pebbles in trouser pockets (or in the bottom of the washing machine!)? Nature is wonderful; it's ever changing and it's all around us - children can enjoy nature in so many ways no matter where you live.
Here are some activities to encourage an appreciation of nature... and help with some other areas of development too!
1. Nature Bowl: Whenever your child hands you an acorn or a pine cone to look after, ask instead for it to be put in the special "nature bowl". Have any old bowl or basket and keep it in an accessible place so precious treasures can be stored and appreciated. Encourage counting by each time more things are added (or taken away!) count the bowlful together. Encourage sorting by sorting the items into sizes, or shapes or colours. Encourage naming by finding out the name of each item and what it is/does?
2. Practice finding and looking: Collect some nature items (pine cones, acorns, twigs) and hide them in a sand pit. See how many the children can find again in one minute. Use a stop watch to time and count the items together. Ask the little ones to hide the items next time and see if you can find any more quickly. Encourage Problem Solving.
3. Birds: put out a bird bath (shallow bowl of water!) and see if any birds come to have a dip! Go out and choose a bird feeder. You can get some very reasonable ones at shops. Make sure the children choose it. Get them to help put it up and fill it and encourage them to keep an eye on it so it can be refilled. Try to make it their responsibility. Encourage problem solving, and self confidence.
4. Tent-making: give the children some blankets, branches, old boxes and see whether they can build a den in the garden or park. Leave them to it and see how they get on. If they need help, guide rather than take over. Just show them how to balance things and give some tips. Encourage creative thinking, physical movement and problem solving.
5. Mud pies: make some mud pies together with wet mud and allow it to dry. Roll the mud into shapes and place on an old try in the sun to harden. Use twigs to stick into the pies and leaves to decorate. Encourage creativity and problem solving.
6. Name all the insects you can: bee, spider, ladybird, butterfly, caterpillar etc. and as you call out each one, try to move like they do. Wriggle like a worm, glide like a moth, dart like a wasp. Encourage understanding of the world problem solving and physical movement.
Here are a few ways to introduce the sense of touch to children with appropriate EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) areas of learning and development included.
There are so many more activities like this at http://www.ToucanLearn.com, where learning is fun for you and your little one!
Research suggests that of all the children in reception classes in UK schools, nearly half of them have poor language skills. This is an astounding figure and Early Years Practitioners are doing so much to attempt to help those children with their language and communication. The difficulty is not helped by the fact that children coming from nursery into schools are all at different levels of speech and communication so each child may need slightly different emphasis when it comes to helping their individual needs.
Communication is vital in various areas of development within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Communication is a two way process and we must listen as well as talk. Communication between children themselves is also important because if one child cannot be understood, it can lead to further problems and frustrations.
ICAN (the charity that supports speech and communication) claims that over 2.7 million children have difficulties communicating. There are various ways that teaching practitioners can assist with general group activities as well as individual attention.
How to improve communication with general group activities:
It may be getting colder outside, and play parks are wet and grass waterlogged, but there are some fun activities you can do inside even if you have limited space. Try this easy game on your own, with friends or at your toddler or childminding group and see how much fun you all have!
This is a great game for toddlers and pre-schoolers. You simply start them all walking around the room and you call out different type of beans. The children have to assume the appropriate pose as quickly as they can! You can choose from:
Runner Bean - the children have to run on the spot.
Broad Bean - they have to stand with their hands and legs as wide apart as they can.
Chilli Bean - they must shiver and pretend to be cold.
French Bean - they have to stand with one hand on their hip and say, "Oh, la, la!"
Baked Bean - they have to curl up like a tiny baked bean.
String bean - they have to all join hands.
Thin Bean - they must stand straight with their arms up high above their head.
Jumping Bean - they must jump around.
Frozen Bean - they freeze and stand perfectly still.
You could do it when walking in the woods or on the way to school or anywhere you need to distract them on a journey. If you're in the car, try it with just your fingers!
Here is the famous rainbow song; teach it to your child and sing it often as a reminder of all the colours around you!
Red, And Yellow, And Pink, And Green,
Orange, And Purple and Blue,
I can sing a rainbow,
Sing a Rainbow,
Sing a Rainbow too!
Have some fun learning colours with rainbows, the most colourful things in the world!
Have lots of colourful fun!
For many months a new born baby will not be interested in playing with their toys - no matter how colourful the toys or encouraging you are, toys are not something they seem really interested in. Until the age of one, most babies will not be able or interested to play alone for very long.
In the early days, you will be far more interesting to your baby. They'll want to follow you round with their eyes, try to mimic what you do, be around you and it's a great time to spend quality time together. Even if baby does begin to enjoy playing with toys, make sure you are always near so you can share with the experience.
Toys present only one small way that children learn about the world and their place within it. The brain develops more in the first two years of life than at any time. Playing and interacting without people is the way babies learn.
How do Babies Learn?
As babies learn to reach and hold things, they become more interested in toys. "What happens if I bang this?" "What a soft feel this teddy has." "I like the sound of that."
Then, they realise they can make things happen themselves. "If I drop this, it makes a noise and someone will come and pick it up.", "If I shout, someone comes.".
Playing, chatting and singing of course is the way children babies learn about speaking and language. From birth they hear your voice, the sounds of music, the noise of cars and talking. All these influences go on to combine to make up their knowledge and understanding of words and language. They pretend to chat on the phone, they sing and babble.
What Toys Could You Buy for a 6 month old?
Toys that are tactile and feel nice are always good. Choose things with lots of bright colours and lots of fun shapes and sizes, things that make a noise and things that are easy to hold.
... and for a 12 month old?
Try things that move or pop open or have doors that shut, this begins to teach cause and effect: if I press this, then that happnes. Physical aparatus to encourage moving is also fun at this age: tunnels and tents.
... and for an 18 month old?
There are thousands of manufactured toys for toddlers, such as building blocks, role play toys (phone, kitchen), puzzles and games, outdoor equipment and so on. But remember you are the best thing for a baby to play with! There are so many things you can so easily do together:
Lots of simple, easy, and non-expensive ways to spend time together. Who needs toys?!
If you fancy becoming a childminder, here are a few qualities that childminders need in varying quantities and on various days!
Must Like children! It sounds obvious but it is absolutely essential that childminders like children. The idea of spending day after day with them should inspire a childminder rather than fill him or her with horror!
Safety conscious: Provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to play and learn. Rid the house of all possible safety hazards. Be hygienic and offer a clean place for children to spend their days.
Encouraging: Tempt and encourage children to take part and do activities and be sensitive to different children's needs.
Creative: Able to provide ideas for crafts and show the child how to do carry it out. Join us at ToucanLearn for lots of great ideas!
Patient: Have a calm approach to teaching and demonstrating activities.
Love the outdoors: Take children on outings and adventures to the park and in the outdoors.
Willing: ...to undertake the unattractive side of looking after children: such a dealing with dirty nappies and spills and mess.
A good cook - preparing hearty, wholesome and fresh food and snacks.
Good communicator: With children and adults too. A childminder needs to communicate with children of all ages in a calm and assuring way. All sorts of basic, but vital information needs to be shared between the parent and the childminder's setting.
Caring: They need to understand any fears and deal with any problems in a caring fashion.
Fit: It's physically and mentally demanding so health and fitness is essential.
Have business acumen: A child-minder is self employed and therefore needs to submit all the legal and tax documents that that entails.
If anyone ever queries why childminders are now trained and examined by OFSTED; or if someone asks why a childminder's rate is so much higher than a baby-sitter, just reel off a few of the personal requirements needed by childminders and there's your answer! And, I am sure the list goes on...
Anyone think of any other things you need to be a childminder? Perhaps (in the nicest possible way) a tiny bit crazy?!
For more ideas about what to do with children tell all the childminders about ToucanLearn!
The weather is warmer, the kids want to go out, but what can you do and why bother doing physical activity when you can just stay indoors? It's important to encourage youngsters to get active and get used to the idea of doing physical activity. Here are a few reasons why its important to do activities with children of all ages, because it helps them to:
How much exercise you do depends on you, but the advice is that it should be about an hour a day. Sound a lot? It's not really when you look at what's included:-
How can you help?
So, get outside and have some fun!
Children and babies at nursery or pre-school, or children looked after by a childminder, are usually "observed" by their carer or teacher. Parents may be familiar with an "Observation sheet" that comes home or is available to look at in the childcare setting. However, as parents we are often too busy to sit back and observe our little ones and yet it can be a fascinating exercise.
In order to understand and consider a child's current interests, stage of development and their learning, observation is essential. It allows us to see the child's responses in different situations, see what they choose to do or which toys they prefer to play with. It's a means to plan appropriate games and activities based on what you see.
How do you undertake an observation?
Observation is a great way to get to know your child even better, see exactly where they are in their development and identify any area that may be weak and need extra help.
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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!
Sign up FREE to ToucanLearn to follow our activity based learning programme for babies, toddlers and children. We offer hundreds of fun learning craft, games and activities - every activity is aimed at the capabilities of your specific children. Download custom activity sheets, and log their progress in each child's unique Daily Diary!
You'll also find sticker and reward charts, certificates, number and letter practice. Every activity links into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) areas of learning and development.
Fill in our Daily Diary to log progress against the EYFS and add photo entries instantly simply by sending them straight from your phone. You can share diaries back with parents or childminders so that everyone can enjoy watching your children develop.
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