Opinion – Is there still a stigma?

I was reading an article a few weeks ago regarding a man’s experience in Childcare and how he only felt that the apparent “suspicion” from parents about a man in Early Learning and Childcare only subsided when he got married and “vanished” when he had children.

Here’s the article from BBC News:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

I’m lucky that I don’t get that any more, possibly at the start of my career, but now I’m just accepted. In fact when I go off on annual leave I’ve had parents who are worrying about how their child will settle because I’m not there. It’s in no way a slur against my amazing and highly professional colleagues but to do with the bond I have with the children.

If you are a man in Early Learning and Childcare what’s your experience now, do you feel accepted by families and colleagues alike or is there still an atmosphere of doubt?

Product Review – Nursery Nook Mini Maths Kit.

It has to be said first of all that maths is probably one of the weakest areas of my practice, mainly because I’ve never been brilliant at it myself, so when I see something exciting for Early Years Maths I like to know more. Recently I saw these amazing resources in a Mini Maths Kit handmade by James from Nursery Nook I knew I had to have them in my armoury!

First of all in the kit there’s the Babushka Dolls.

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Great for the basics of 1 – 5 as well as ordering. Cute and comical design there are highly engaging for children.

Then we have the Peg Family.

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I’ve got 2 sets of these, one painted and one plain. Again great for the basics of 1-5 (or even 10) and ordering by height.

James also does these in a plain set of 5 if you want to add more to your Peg Family!

The Counting acorns are brilliant too!

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As you can see from the picture I’ve used them to group into specific numbers. You can pair these with written numbers to extend the understanding of number. You can also use them with these mini egg cup holders:

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Wood Slice numbers are great for ordering, written number recognition and counting out.

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And finally there’s the cubes.

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Big and small, numbers 1 to 10 and even pushing off towards 20.

All of the resources have been chosen carefully and crafted by James so you are guaranteed something unique and for a value price of £32.50. If you conisder this against the plastic resources you can buy from the major suppliers you know you are getting true value for money.

Visit James’ website here to purchase: Nursery Nook

Product Review – Leaves Trail by Muddy Faces

Muddy Faces is one of those websites you browse round going “oooh” and “aaaah” followed by a purchase. Everything is accessible in terms of price and it most certainly is appealing to the children.

I was lucky enough to be sent a set of the 1 – 5 Leaves Trail by the gang at Muddy Faces to review and it has proved a hit in my setting with the children.

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As you will see in the picture above the concept appears to be pretty simple but between the children and myself we discovered a whole lot more with these cost-effective discs.

First of all it allows you to work on counting 1 – 5 with the children. There is the written number as well as the corresponding number of leaves on the other side.

What we also discovered is the sensory experiences available with these discs. The smell of the wood was very attractive to the children and I did spot them picking them up a few times to smells (and even lick, but that’s another story!)

Next discovery was the bark being left intact. A great way of introducing discussion about trees without really trying.

The set can be used, like most resources in early years settings, inside and out. We had ours on our tuff tray with lots of leaves and Arthur the Hedgehog! The set is also highly cost effective at £17.99 including VAT and delivery is fast which is always a bonus for us practitioners as we want a new resource fast before the children’s interest peaks!

They most certainly get two thumbs up from me!

You can order them online, and take a look at the other goodies available here:

Muddy Faces Website

Showing appreciation

It can often be difficult for children to appreciate things. I saw this idea in a recent visit to St. Mary’s church on Holy Island I saw this beautiful crafted tree with apples covered in beautiful messages of thanks.

If you combine this with a discussion on what children like following it with asking why they like them.

Is this true or not?

After my last post I thought I’d open up another line of debate amongst us Early Years Practitioners and Professionals.

One of my colleagues showed me this article from a recent edition of The Times which has heard from a Senior Church of Scotland Cleric who states that children now are totally unable to accept failure because parents and society has taken away the concept of losing and has “coddled” them. Do you think this is true?

Coddled Children
Copyright The Times Newspapers