Early years

Two children working with wood

Why introduce woodwork in the early years?

“We have seen how working with real tools offers children new experiences and encompasses all areas of learning,” writes early years creative consultant Pete Moorhouse. “Woodwork allows children to become the innovators, makers, sculptors, tinkerers, engineers and architects of tomorrow. The experience of working with wood and tools leaves deep memories and becomes a part of children’s DNA.”

Working with wood can play a central role in your curriculum, supporting maths, physical coordination, creative skills, understanding of the world, language and vocabulary. Read Pete’s article and find out about his new on-line training course here.

Child with flower and adults lower face

Babies are scientists

The first time an infant knocks a cup of milk from the table, it’s an accident. The next time, it’s clearly intentional. Will the falling cup produce the same intriguing splash on the floor (and the same exciting noise from any adult nearby)?

Science is about forming and testing hypotheses. This is what babies do all the time! They are continually experimenting and investigating, fuelled by curiosity and an innate drive to figure out their world. As long as these little investigators are surrounded by interesting things they will continue to explore and learn.

The natural world, with its constantly changing colours, textures, movements, and sounds, provides a uniquely stimulating environment for young children. Take a young child outside and you can just about see the “lights go on”. So why is it that this age group is mostly kept indoors?

Read more.

Two children playing by a stream

Why Froebel is still important today

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul,” wrote Friedrich Froebel. Today his philosophies are embedded into our modern educational foundations, but Froebel’s ideas were radical for his time. So radical, in fact, that at one point the Prussian government banned his kindergartens. Yet Froebel’s concept of “a garden for children” lives on, and his vision for true childhood is as relevant today as it was in the 19th century.

Read an account of his life here.

little girl looking at a piece of grass

Helpful tips as you reopen your setting

After nearly three months of temporary closure, many schools and settings are now reopening. As we begin to navigate yet another "new normal", early childhood educators will need to be more innovative than ever to balance the government guidelines with the age old issues of enrolment, staffing, and finances.

Here’s our Covid-19 update with helpful tips to support you as you reopen your setting.

 
three young boys playing next to a stream

Insights from Friedrich Froebel

Young children learn naturally when allowed to explore and discover, manipulate and practice newly acquired skills through play. Play is not trivial, it's children's tool for growth. Read this short piece by Dr Stella Louis and Dr Sacha Powell for some insights from the founder of the first kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel. 

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