The Benefits of Small World Play

“Everything you can imagine is real” –  Pablo Picasso Does small world play benefit children? Small world play refers to imaginative play with ‘small’ toys, encouraging children to use their imaginations and create both everyday and fantasy worlds in familiar surroundings. It involves processes including active learning and imitation, and allows children to communicate knowledge about life and the world around them in a safe, contained environment. Whether it’s acting out a well-known home scene, or fighting a dragon in a fantasy world; small world play enables children to develop... Read More

messy play benefits 31/10/2018

The Benefits of Messy Play

This article has been written by Holly at Little Learners Southport Why messy play is brilliant for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers … and parents! One of the many brilliant benefits of messy play for both parents and practitioners is that messy play is very much child led. At Little Learners, we might set up the trays for them, but then it is totally up to the children how they play and explore. This takes some pressure off us, but it also allows them to develop their imagination and gives us an insight... Read More


Inspection reports – key recommendations for settings

In a report published at the beginning of the Autumn term, Early Years Fundamentals made some key recommendations for settings based on the analysis of 2,947 Ofsted reports. This is what they had to say…. Do you use the Early Years Inspection Handbook? Although the EYFS is the statutory framework that shapes our practice, becoming familiar with the Early Years Inspection Handbook will enable us to have a clear understanding of what our inspectors will be looking at and for during our inspection. How do you know your monitoring and... Read More


The Importance of Literacy in the Early Years

Once upon a time… We all know the famous words, but can you remember the first time you heard them? From an early age, kids and parents tell stories for many reasons; to bond, to help sleep, to improve reading, and most importantly, for fun! Reading and writing are often seen as the fundamentals of early education, and it’s easy to see why. They constantly crop up in everyday life; from reading road signs to writing out your shopping list. This is why so much importance is placed on children’s... Read More

risky play benefits outdoors 17/10/2018

The Importance of Risky Play in Childhood

This article has been written by early years consultant, Anne Rodgers, from ATR Consultancy. Why is risky play such an important part of childhood? Children need to be kept safe from potential harm and hazards at all times, but they also need to explore and take risks. Risky play allows children to challenge themselves on many levels: Physically – by climbing a little higher, running a little faster or jumping a little further Emotionally – feeling out of control or overcoming fear Mentally – learning how to get out of trouble,... Read More

importance of stories for eal 27/09/2018

The Importance of Stories for Children with EAL

Why are stories so important for those with EAL? Stories are one of the things that make us human. We can all relate to a story because we are hardwired to learn that way, which is why they are one of the most versatile and powerful tools we have when we want to help children learn. Now picture the scene… You are in a strange country that you’ve never been to before and no-one there speaks a word of English and you can’t speak their language… How do you feel?... Read More

characteristics of effective learning 20/09/2018

Exploring the Characteristics of Effective Learning

This article has been written by early years consultant, Anne Rodgers, from ATR Consultancy. There are 3 characteristics of effective learning according to the EYFS 2017: Playing and exploring – engagement Finding out and exploring Playing with what they know Being willing to have a go Active learning – motivation Being involved and concentrating Keeping trying Enjoying achieving what they set out to do Creating and thinking critically – thinking Having their own ideas Making links Choosing to do things Playing and exploring – engagement Finding out and exploring Sensory... Read More

Identifying Safeguarding Issues With Stories 18/09/2018

How To Identify Safeguarding Issues With Stories

This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days  Do you struggle to find ways to identify safeguarding issues? Using stories to help educate or make sense of a situation has been around for generations and it’s still as relevant today as it has always been. That is why using a story can be an ideal way to help you identify a safeguarding problem that you might need to address. Children will naturally use metaphors and stories to help them work through their problems,... Read More

how to engage children with eal through stories 10/09/2018

How To Use Stories To Engage Children With EAL

This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days  Are you looking for new ways to engage those with EAL? Stories are used in cultures all over the world and there are many versions of some of the most well-known stories.  I think we’ve found 14 different versions of Cinderella and there are probably more! So, using traditional tales and stories in your school or setting can be an ideal way of engaging children with EAL as its likely that they will be familiar... Read More

safeguarding through stories 29/08/2018

How To Use Stories With Safeguarding and PSED

This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days  Protecting and safeguarding the children in our care is a crucial role that we all have, but it can also be one of the most complex and difficult tasks because it covers everything from getting them to wash their hands before eating through to really serious physical and emotional abuse. It can also be difficult to decide whether or not you need to raise a concern sheet with your safeguarding lead because you know that... Read More