Jacqueline Taylor, mum of two, has been working in Early Childhood Education for 19 years. She currently works for footsteps - a nationwide service offering home-based childcare and free 1:1 learning programmes to give children the best start. As a qualified ECE teacher, she is especially interested in working with under 3s to understand and help them develop a strong foundation for the future.
Writers: Jacqueline Taylor
Over the years, sections have got smaller and apartment living has increased, add this to a world that is increasingly focused on smart phones, tablets and television and the outcome is children are missing out on connections to nature.
Think back to your own childhood and the pleasure you got from being outside. Perhaps you made mud pies or igloos from lawn clippings. Maybe you collected flower petals and added them to water to make an âinterestingâ perfume scent! In our hectic world, children need those experiences that were such a big part of their parentsâ childhood. There are lots of ways of learningÂ from nature with your preschooler. Here are some ideas.Â Continue reading »
Sometimes when you start talking about safety, people will say âwell you canât wrap children in cotton woolâ or even âthey have to learn somehowâ. But children being their natural adventurous selves need to be kept safe. Keeping your child safeÂ is not about stopping children from being active and curious itâs about providing the safest environment to explore in. Continue reading »
Every year, more research comes out that enhances our understanding of childrenâs brain development, learning and attachments. There is no doubt that the first three years of a childâs life isÂ the most significant time in their lives and that the experiences, both positive and negative, in this time shape a childâs future. A childâs brain goes from about 25% of adult size at birth to an amazing 80% at three years (Brainwave Trust, 2014). Continue reading »
Every new born is different; some cute and bald, others with a full head of adorable Elvis styled hair! Each is born with amazing abilities. You may think that all babies do is sleep, cry, poop and eat (with not much of the sleep part going on), but they already have the most amazing brain ready to soak in experiences and learning that will shape their future.
Look at the world through a newbornâs eyes. While in the womb the motherâs body took care of everything for the baby; food and oxygen, and providing a safe cushioned place away from the rest of the world. Once born they are thrust into an environment where everything is new, unknown and different. Suddenly there is light and darkness, air on the skin and movement and noises all around them that are unknown. Continue reading »
Does jumping on a trampoline or playing in the sand pit help our children to read and write?
Often when we think of teaching children reading and writing skills we imagine reading lots of stories and encouraging children to write their name. The brain plays its part in childrenâs writing and reading but the body needs to be ready physically too. Little hands and eyes need developing ready for successful reading and writing.Â Â Itâs important to remember that the physical play and development skills needed to achieve these are developed in the early years, right from birth. Continue reading »
The colder months are a great time to get into arts and crafts with your preschooler. Â Itâs not just fun, theyâre learning too.Â Whether you love getting messy and trying new things with your children or have never explored art activities at home before, there will be an idea here for new crafts for preschoolers in your house!Â Continue reading »
Children have fun learning and bonding, which develops a sense of confidence and security. As a Footsteps kaiako (teacher) of children in home based childcare, I have learnt thatÂ having fun not only brings joy to your child’s day, but yours too. As a parent or in home childcare provider you should let your inhibitions go, be a bit silly, forget the mess and join in with play wholeheartedly. Here are some fun indoor activities that you can do with your under twos to encourage learning through play: Continue reading »