Early Childhood Education / Early Years

Debra Laxton and Marilyn Leask with inputs from the MESH Early Years Editorial Board | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
Early Childhood Education / Early Years
Effective learning
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Resource list: free local resources

The first resources for early years children are the adults around them and the relationships they have with them: positive and supportive relationships creating trust support learning.

Traditional songs, rhymes, dances, games, conversations and group activities are all free resources.

Here are examples of activities/play which uses resources which may be freely available:

For sorting, counting, language/senses development and imaginative play the following can be useful to show different colours, shapes, sizes, and textures.

- stones, sticks, sand

- bottle tops

- hard/soft items materials of different textures and items capable of making different sounds when knocked together

- fabrics: a bag of fabrics of different textures and single colours e.g. scarves demonstrating strong individual colours, for use to create shapes in the air (wings, circles, storms, rabbit tails) in response to words in the songs and rhymes, for peekaboo games, for grouping children eg all children with the pink scarves doing one activity, those with a different colour doing another activity eg in a song.

- fabric bags: to hold items hidden for touching/feeling/guessing games or for a ‘story bag’ holding items associated with stories or songs perhaps retrieved one at a time to provide a focus for a verse of a song.

- fruit and vegetables which can be handled without damage eg guava, onions

-  cooking equipment  (with no sharp edges)

- large heavy duty food bags can be used to create charts including letters, images, actions

- bean bags eg for playing catch and throw

- where clay/or dough is available, use it for rolling sausages to develop fine motor skills (pinching, pulling, squeezing, building) when making models

- plastic bottles filled with sand can be used for exercises rolling the feet back and forth over them to develop muscles

- items for cutting and threading and  lacing.

Acknowledgements P.36 Davies

Many of these items can be used for games which develop ‘bilateral co-ordination’ ie co-ordination of legs, arms and eyes all working together, consciously working separately.

Do take care about safety, for example, bottle tops would not be used with children who are still at the stage of putting everything in their mouths.