Lego People Challenge

It's the start of a new school year here in Australia which means a new school and a new class for me. Two classrooms in fact which means even more space to set up invitations for play! Not knowing the children yet, I've create some simple prompts for play to get us started including this simple LEGO people challenge - a great one for developing fine motor control and strength, build problem solving and decision making skills in young children in a playful way.

Are you following us on Pinterest yet?LEGO People Challenge - an easy to create invitation to play perfect for developing problem solving and decision making skills along with fine motor control and strength in young children | you clever monkey

Using a Visual Timetable - Why and How

One of the most effective tools I've used in my Early Years classroom is a visual timetable. Using daily schedule cards can support young children a number of different ways either in classroom or at home; individually or as a part of a whole group routine. Like anything to be effective, you need involve the children in the use of the timetable.

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Visual Timetable Cards - one of the most effective tools in early childhood. Why and how to use one at home or in the classroom | you clever monkey

Space Pretend Play - Play Ideas and Resources to Make

One of the most powerful learning tools in the Early Years is engagement. As a teacher or parent you can provide children with the best resources and setting yet if it doesn't capture a child's interest, the learning opportunities can be lost. I am a strong advocate for purposeful play in early childhood. I do believe that play allows children to make progress in all aspects of their learning when it begins with their interests. Young children are fascinated by the world around them and pretend play allows them the opportunity to learn about the world in a safe, familiar environment. Imaginative play is a valuable part of play so when the children in my class were interested in space, I created a few simple resources for play to follow their natural curiosity and capture their interest.

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Space Pretend Play - ideas and simple to make resources for play in the Early Years | you clever monkey

Printable Desk Mats

Last year I shared a Jolly Phonics desk mat that I had created for student desktops in my Junior Primary classroom. Perfect for any Early Years setting, they proved invaluable support for the children's first independent writing attempts. Now I've created a desk mat for classrooms who don't use Jolly Phonics for their literacy instruction.

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Printable Desk Mats - perfect for encouraging early independent writing, print out these desk mats with photo images to support initial sounds/digraphs knowledge for your Early Years setting | you clever monkey

Our Top Ten Posts of 2015

It's been a busy year both in the classroom and here on the blog. I went into the classroom full time in 2015 teaching 4-7 year olds which saw more of the content on the blog switch more to school based posts. It was a change that saw the number of people visiting our page easily surpass 500,000 this year - double our visitors in 2014. So as we come to the end of another year, it's time to look back at your ten most favourite posts from 2015.

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Our Top Ten Posts of 2015! Lots of printables, classroom display ideas, literacy and math centre activities and easy art ideas | you clever monkey

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