Play and learning blog

girl looking through outlast block

Play: a key dynamic in early childhood development

How do we support children’s learning through play? An effective play educator “engineers learning experiences that put children in the driving seat and then gets out of the way for a while”, write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff. “They (genuinely) smile a lot, provide constant reassurance, and are fun to be with.”


Read the fourth article in the “Model for living” series, which encourages and inspires us towards helping children develop a playful approach to learning and life.

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children and adult sharing storybook on outlast benches outdoors

Encouraging literacy in children with SEN

A child's first experiences with books and stories, paper and crayons build the foundation for language, reading and writing.


“Teaching language and literacy via the use of books demands the highest quality teaching. This in turn requires knowledge, insight and curiosity about how children learn and develop alongside their unique interests and needs,” writes Kathryn Solly. Kathryn explains how children with SEN can become inspired about books and reading.

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baby in crib looking up at caregiver

The importance of sleep in the early years

“How do you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep or your bedtime routine has been disrupted? Grumpy, irritable, unable to concentrate?” write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff, co-directors of International Early Years. “Our modern lifestyles and 24/7 pressure have resulted in many of us being sleep deprived. Children are no different…In fact, every living creature is physically healthier and more responsive when adequate sleep is consistently maintained.”

Read the third article in the “Model for living” series, which considers the significance of sleep patterns and the impact of sleep on early childhood development.

little girl climbing up stairs, active play, outdoors, physical play

The power of physical play

Children love to move. Physical play is vital to their growth as learners and helps to develop body awareness, fine motor control, concentration, perseverance and social skills.

The Power of Physical Play is a documentary film made by Siren Films in order to help adults who work with children understand the significance of physical play and its learning potential for the growing child. Watch the trailer.

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Community Playthings Mealtime chair, eat, meal

Eating and nutrition in the early years

“Since the days of the first hunter-gatherers to Oliver Twist’s heart-stopping ‘Please, Sir, I want some more’ (Dickens 1838) moment and on into our present day western ‘Master Chef’-style revitalization of the culinary arts, eating has been so much more than a basic, physical human survival need,” write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff, co-directors of International Early Years.

In a series of articles, Pam and Sue encourage all who care about children to help them first attain readiness for life, before concentrating on gaining readiness for school. Read the second article, which considers the importance and impact of eating and nutrition.

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