Makerspaces: encouraging creativity in the Early Years

Makerspaces teachers experiment

Joslyn Adcock from LEGO Education on how we can encourage EYFS children to be creative through the use of "makerspaces" using the famous, brightly coloured building blocks...

Currently, we’re seeing a push for effective ways to encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom. With fast-paced changes in technology, the future workforce is certainly unpredictable, making it ever more important for children to be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Therefore, equipping them with foundational knowledge and key skills from an early age will mean that they are able to use their talents and apply themselves to any field of work.

Monkey Puzzle Nursery officially opens in new cross with HSBC funding

Monkey Puzzle

Monkey Puzzle Nursery opened on Friday in New Cross bringing a new premium childcare offering to the area.

The nursery was founded by Arlind Marku, owner of neighbouring Monkey Puzzle Bromley, which was voted in the top-10 day nurseries in London and achieved an Ofsted rating of Good in 2016. This second location for the local entrepreneur, who grew up in New Cross, will be run by his brother Jon. Monkey Puzzle New Cross was made possible with a £145,000 funding package from HSBC. The loan was used to refurbish the rented building and fit it out with top of the range equipment and facilities for the children. 

Busy Bees nurseries raises £80k for Meningitis Now

Busy Bees

Busy Bees, the UK’s leading childcare provider, is celebrating a successful year of fundraising across its nurseries for Meningitis Now.

A grand total of £85,622 was raised by Busy Bees’ 344 UK nurseries, with children, nursery staff and parents getting involved in lots of fun and exciting activities that helped to reach the total.

The amount raised will make a significant contribution to the £3 million a year that Meningitis Now needs to continue its life-saving work, which includes ground-breaking research projects, family support services and community awareness campaigns.

Kristen Bell reads her favorite children’s book Quackenstein Hatches a Family

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell took a break from her busy schedule to read her favorite children’s book Quackenstein Hatches a Family for Storyline Online®. Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan, illustrated by Brian T. Jones and published by ABRAMS Books, Quackenstein Hatches a Family is a cute and creepy tale told in rhyme about a bitter old duck who adopts an egg and is surprised by what hatches from inside.

Q&A with Dr Lin Day, early years expert and founder of Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory Toddler Sense sessions

Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense sessions are a popular way to encourage babies' learning and development. Here, the founder of Baby Sensory Dr Lin Day talks to QA Nursery editor Victoria Galligan about how the sessions can improve communication and coordination from birth onwards…

What is Baby Sensory/Toddler Sense and how are sessions delivered?

Ceeda - Let’s measure childcare delivery costs properly!

Ceeda

Early years researchers at Ceeda launched the #AboutEY research programme in May 2017, to plug the gap in large-scale, systematic research on sector trends and challenges. The research focuses on private, voluntary and independent (PVI) childcare providers.

Join over 1,700 nurseries and pre-schools and 450 childminders on the About Early Years research panel and help build a sound evidence base on childcare delivery costs.

Over 2,150 settings have joined the panel already and hard facts are coming thick and fast:  

Book review - Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems

Apes to Zebras review by Zachary and Edward

Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems

Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee and Sue Hardy-Dawson

QA Nursery were excited to receive a copy of Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of Shape Poems – a gorgeous collection of short animal poems from Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee and Sue Hardy-Dawson.

The publisher of the poems, Bloomsbury, promised the book would “entrance and delight in equal measure” – and it did just that during bedtime reading with Zachary, Edward and mum Hayley! 

Never Too Young To Grieve book launched to support EYFS children

Never Too Young To Grieve boy looking out of window

A book called Never Too Young To Grieve has been launched for EYFS staff to support bereaved children under the age of five. 

The initiative is a partnership between childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish and leading childcare provider Busy Bees. 

Never Too Young To Grieve targets individuals and professionals who support young children during and after the loss of a parent or carer. It draws on the 25 years’ experience of Winston’s Wish supporting bereaved children, young people and their families. The book offers information, guidance and activities specifically to support the ‘forgotten mourner’ generation, often left behind in the grieving process.

Bedtime the Danish way

Bedtime

Asleep in Minutes… Bedtime the Danish way

How bedtime meditation helps children to sleep

FROM ‘Hygge’ to parenting, the Danish way of doing things is often widely talked about and one of Denmark’s latest exports is no exception. “The Children’s Meditations In my Heart” by emerging Danish author Gitte Winter Graugaard enables children to fall asleep within minutes. Now available in three different languages, it is beginning to change bedtime routines the world over.

What’s her secret? A method so simple it will surprise you: you’ve just got to turn up the love.

World’s Creepiest Lullabies

Lullabies

Sweet dreams or nightmares – are we scaring our children to sleep? Have you ever thought about the lyrics sung in lullabies? Although it’s proven that singing help babies get to sleep, if you pay attention to the words sung within these traditional songs, they are often more unsettling than soothing.

Looking into songs from around the world, creepy lyrics are a universally common theme - despite originating from a time before global communication. As we all know, persuading babies to sleep isn’t always an easy job, and any parent will tell you of their desperation to soothe a restless baby. The traditional lullaby has stood the test of time as a way of relaxing at bed time, but are we scaring children to sleep?