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In her third diary entry of 2021, Anna McCallum ponders on the impact of technology on child safety and development, and what she does to ensure an approriate engagement with technology.
January 23rd is Measure Your Feet Day!
We review the latest construction toy craze in Himiku™ Blocks. The makers say that they encourage free play and creativity, but do they live up to the billing? TNL finds out!
How did the past year affect EY practitioners across the country? We share their thoughts, and we would love you to share yours too.
How do we ensure our early years children are hooked right from the start of a story?
Join our CEO Sam Green for the first in our new "Ask Sam" video series, part of the TNL Founder's Column. Ably abetted by his assistant Rosie the Dog, this month Sam answers questions on what he loves about working in early years, and what he would change in the sector today.
Do you find yourself thinking about lesson plans well into the night? Switching your brain off from work could make you happier and more productive!
This activity encourages children to explore items from their natural environment, using their observational skills to think about similarities, differences and how each item is unique.
Written by: TNL Content Team
That Nursery Life's Press Contacts and Press Pack
TNL Non-Executive Director Liz Pemberton is running another of her highly-acclaimed webinars focussing on the different treatment and stigmatisation of, and discrimination against, Black boys in early years practice.
In this edition of our "Mental Health Matters" season, we ask "How do we make sure we have healthy boundaries in place?"
Our founder Sam Green took to the pages of the i newspaper today to share his thoughts on lockdown, the implications of staying open for the early years sector, and where the government needs to …
Keep your setting's official documents up-to-date, and representing the very best practice with TNL's Core Policy Pack of bespoke, downloadable policies.
Get your free COVID policy template here and get your setting prepared. With our pre-filled template, you can have a bespoke policy updated in the time it takes to boil the kettle.
As part of our ongoing #ournurserylife campaign we chat with the Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years about the importance of the sector, early years funding, the challenges presented by COViD19, and her New …
Here is our free guide on how to put together a Risk Assessment for pregnant members of your early years team.
In her first diary of the new year, Anna McCallum shares some thoughts on maintaning positivity and good communication amongst the practitioners in her setting.
In the latest of her diary entries, Anna McCallum explains how she shares an interest in nutritious food and healthy eating with the children in her setting.
As part of our Healthy New Year campaign, give your your Early Years groups the chance to try a range of fruits and vegetables with our fun food rainbow!
Our Founder and CEO Sam shares his thoughts with the Early Years community in the wake of yesterday's government announcement and the implications for the sector.
Want to start working with Early Years but not sure where to begin? Here are some tips to get you moving!
As England enters a new lockdown, That Nursery Life's Founder & CEO shares a personal message of support with our critical sector.
2020 is really over! Although it's a little early to celebrate, we can at least try to find positivity in the simple things. Here are a few mindfulness exercises that we are going to try …
Celebrate the New Year with this simple sensory 'fireworks' activity!
Help your Early Years children be whoever they are and want to be with these brilliant stories!
2020, no matter how it may feel, wasn't ALL bad. It has also been a year that has seen a lot of progress in the study of childhood development. Here are eight interesting discoveries that …
Celebrate the new year in style by enjoying some indoor fireworks, making a fun keepsake, with your Early Years group in our fun painting activity!
Time to get hopping mad! Share the fun of jumping in your setting this new year!
Children can have fun making their own Christmas tree picture, or indeed any picture, in this easy activity!
Read our own Emma Davis' book review of Benji Davies' magical Christmas story, perfect as a last-minute addition to any stocking! We have even added some craft activity suggestions to go with the review.
Help the children in your setting to experience the power of cooperation and teamwork by making a communal festive wreath, or indeed any other picture, from handprints!
At That Nursery Life we want to amplify the voices within our community. If you work in the Early Years sector, we want to hear from you and share your story. Because of this, we …
Anna McCallum reflects on an unusual Christmas period in her nursery and the huge impact practitioners can have on the happiness and welfare of the children in their setting.
Alistair Bryce Clegg wants you to keep your setting's decorations UP once Christmas is over, instead of taking them down. Don't worry, he hasn't lost the plot! In his latest piece Alistair wants us to …
We review the charming "If I Had a..." series of books by Gabby Dawnay and illustrated by Alex Barrow. Don't forget, you can win these books, among a whole host of other amazing prizes, in …
An easy, and only slightly messy, Hanukkah activity that allows children to make their own menorah painting.
Following on from our ‘Eleven Pipers Piping’ activity, this is another loud, musical one! Prepare to channel your inner Keith Moon, all while tracking your children’s progress.
We review one of our #TNLbookoftheyear prizes, the delightful 'A House for Mouse'. Don't forget to enter the competition and submit your reviews!
Review your favourite book that you have read with your children for a chance to win a bundle of book-themed prizes worth more than £250!
Get your little pipers piping with this fun craft activity! Great for their creative development, less good for your ears. Hey, it's Christmas!
We review the beautifully illustrated 'Keep an Eye on Ivy', the latest children's book by Barroux. This book can be won, among other great prizes, in our TNL Book of the Year Competition, live now!
Making dreidels is a fun way to introduce Hanukkah to your setting. This activity plan shows you how how make them and spin them!
This festive-themed activity is ideal to get children moving and counting, burning off that extra bit of Christmassy energy!
We review ABC off to sea!, a fine book by Virginie Morgand that takes adults and children alike on an exciting voyage upon the high seas of phonics!
This activity explores the traditions of Hanukkah with a homemade menorah, and will form an exciting introduction to the holiday for all children in your setting!
Fancy a dance? Twist and shout along with the children in this fun, simple activity plan!
What would it be like to have a summer Christmas on the beach, or to be playing in a park instead of snuggled warm inside? This activity focusses on the seasons and how they, and …
How can we make a paper boat waterproof? Have fun with origami and wax crayons in this water-based activity!
A fun, interactive activity to help children learn where milk comes from, developing their understanding of the natural world!
Share the traditional classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with this printable PDF to read to your class and a video to play to them. Also included is a special cut-out Santa activity for exploring …
Share any of your christmas creations with us as part of our #TNLxmasactivitycomp and your setting could win an incredible interactive animal session with ZooLab!
TNL welcomes our new NED, Beverly Hallett!
What's a baby goose called? Help your children find out in Day 6 of our 12 Activities of Christmas!
On the fifth day of Christmas TNL gave to me- five hula hoops! Have a go at this fun numbers and physical development activity using our step-by-step plan.
Our mission is simple: to increase the positive impact of early childhood care and education by informing, equipping and empowering sector professionals.
Our own take on "four calling birds" as the fourth part of our "12 Activities of Christmas" series. This activity helps engage children with the natural world and develops their listening skills. Hey, you might …
TNL would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Non-Executive Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Liz Pemberton!
When it comes to difficult questions children ask, this is the absolute classic. "Where do babies come from?". Tackling these questions can be daunting, and need to be handled very carefully.
June O'Sullivan examines whether, during these times of upheaval, now is the perfect moment to change the direction of Early Years.
Our resident reviewer Emma Davis helps TNL choose our five favourite christmas books for children this holiday season. From well-travelled meerkats, to generous robins, and hugs from Gran, these books are a real treasure troves …
Who says painting eggs is just for Easter? Take part in this Christmassy art activity today!
Gingerbread house day is not only a great excuse for some yummy, hands-on fun, but also a good opportunity to develop children's movement, handling, creative and PSED skills!
Why do birds fly south for the winter? The second of our "12 Games of Christmas" helps you talk about this with your children by trying on warm and cold clothes!
On the first day of Christmas, TNL gave to me... an activity plan for making partridges in pear trees!
Written by: TNL Content Team
Use Elf Day as an opportunity to encourage positive relationships with older people and a spirit of giving amongst the children in your setting!
National Tree Week is a fantastic opportunity to engage your children in learning about the natural world and their place within it.
We review the riotous 'Oi Aardvark!', a sequel to the highly popular 'Oi Frog!'
One nursery in North Shields has been pioneering a new regular partnership with a local care home for the elderly. Find out what they've been doing, and how you can replicate it
In this guest editorial, Emily Mason shares the work of Maslaha in helping early years settings and reception providers at schools to engage and communicate non-English speaking and EAL parents, families and children. Their latest …
Welcoming new children can be a joyous and emotional time for all nursery staff, as we create new bonds with more incredible children, we intuitively know which ones will be quicker to settle then others. …
Lydia's aim was to bring parents closer into the work of the setting. Her solution was to create a beautiful "Home Learning Station" at the entrance to the setting.
Suzie is off to the dentist for a check-up. Have a read of our review of this lovely re-telling of an every day experience which children can find worrying
Alistair Bryce-Clegg travels through time to explore his own learning journey and the learning journeys of the children he works with.
Anna McCallum discusses the ways she welcomes new children into her nursery
Sensory play can get a bit same-y. After sand, water, shaving foam and cold spaghetti, it can feel like it's time to start the cycle again. Give this more unusual resource a try instead
The start of each new term brings a new clutch of preschoolers into your setting. Here are three suggestions for activities you could do in your first weeks with new children to help everyone get …
Keeping circle time fresh and engaging can be a challenge. Here we've pulled together three different circle time ideas to add a bit of variety
Here are five of our favourite tuff spot ideas which you can use this week!
In his latest thought piece, Alistair Bryce-Clegg challenges us to consider whether what we do is because it benefits children and their development, or if it is simply "what we have always done", with an …
A number of the first reading milestones focus on children's imagination, and their interest in stories, books and illustrations. This reading activity is about turning story time into a collaborative exercise in imagination and creativity.
This outdoor maths activity has boundless opportunities for exploration and extensions. Starting from a simple set of homemade scales, children are able to expand their ideas of measurement using a range of outdoor resources.
Becoming key worker to a child catapults you into being a surprisingly intimate part of the family team. Close involvement in family life can be the bedrock of positive parental partnerships. It can also be …
Unleash children's creative expression with this outdoor activity using natural paints made from fruit, herbs, coffee and more!
Our play circuit can be used for single children or groups of any size. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this PSED activity today!
When there's beautiful weather and that summer feeling in the air, there's nothing better than taking sensory play outside. We've got this great foam sensory play activity to take ocean themed water play to the …
This is a fun, messy activity of particular developmental value to the youngest children in a setting, but will be fun for all, adults included! The activity explores children’s progress in their physical development and …
World Nursery Rhyme Week was founded and organised by Music Bugs and is observed by over 100 countries! It usually takes place in the third week of November.
The human eye, our ability to see and the fact that we can comprehend the world around us is truly amazing. Sight underpins so much of the learning and development a child undertakes in the …
Think about walking. It is a stunningly complex process involving limbs, eyes, ears and brain in perfect combination. In this article we explore how children learn to master this skill in the first years of …
Here are three different baskets you can prepare, along with links to the items you might need.
Promoting British Values: DemocracyHere's how to implement the government's requirement to teach the concept of Democracy as part of 'Promoting British Values'.
11% of humans prefer to use their left hand over their right. Why that should be so, and how it impacts early years practice is explored in this article.
Here’s an idea that encourages children to try new foods and flavours and explore their health and self-care development. It can be used for individual children or a small group of 2-5. NOTE: this activity …
An easy homemade resource which you can use over and over again. A great way for children to create stories and pictures, mess free!
This outdoor music wall is fab, and if you choose the right spot, it could be a good way to engage children outdoors, without getting in the mud.
For most parents, their interactions with you and your setting are limited. It can easily seem like there's some invisible boundary between the two of you.
Here's an idea for encouraging children to share with others about their home life as well as trusting them to be responsible for borrowed items.
Supporting families as they manage their children's sleep routines is a big part of being an early years professional. Parents are often anxious to understand what is "normal", and so being equipped with some basic …
Here is our guide on how to implement the government's requirement to teach the concept of the 'Rule of Law' as part of 'Promoting British Values'.
Before we can consider any other steps to building positive parental partnerships, we must look at how to ensure parents and professionals can understand one another.
When you think of a Van Gogh activity, "Sunflowers" - the classic masterpiece studied by students throughout their education - probably comes to mind. Here, his equally exquisite "Starry Night" is used as the basis …
Using a handful of resources you can create a great game that can be enjoyed by children throughout the early years. Whilst it's predominantly a maths activity, there are opportunities for younger children to develop …
This secret letters literacy activity is all about encouraging children to get excited about letters. It also gives them the opportunity to recognise some letters, if they're able.
Cover Communication & Language, Physical Development & Mathematics milestones in this classic cooking activity of preparing pancakes! Perfect for Shrove Tuesday
This is a fun, low preparation activity, that encourages children to take notice of familiar patterns in their everyday environment while focusing on their knowledge of shapes. It can be used for groups of 4-6 …
In the first of our Early Years Diaries, Anna McCallum thinks about effective decision making in settings.
A treasure trove of creative ideas for EYFS practitioners. Quarto Publishing 2020
Emma Davis reviews this beautifully illustrated collection of animal poems that will spark children's imaginations across all 365 days of the year.
Chinese New Year is traditionally about celebrating the end of winter, generating as much good luck as possible and scaring away bad spirits. Join in at your early years setting with 'Hong Paos' or lucky …
The Sport Relief team have developed a host of helpful resources to enable early years settings to make the most of this great event; here are our top picks
A big part of a child’s life is sleep, so it’s a perfectly reasonable question to wonder if other things sleep like them.
Especially if you work in a setting which draws children from a variety of home backgrounds, you may find yourself faced with the tricky question; “why are some people rich?”
Why is the sky blue? It's a perfectly reasonable, even obvious question, but do you know the answer? Even if you do, thinking of an effective way to explain the answer to the youngest of …
Babywearing is common in many cultures around the world, but less so in the west. We learn how it can be used to great affect in early years settings
There are many reasons an early years professional might want to learn a new language. Here are our 8 top tips to effectively learn a new language.
LEYF are taking their passion for increasing men in the early years workforce to the next level with the first all-male apprenticeship cohort.
Being an effective mentor is no easy ride. It takes time, a lot of energy and even more dedication. That said, it can also be super rewarding to see the impact you can have on …
With many settings caring for children where English is not spoken at home, delivering outstanding care for these children who speak English as an additional language (EAL) presents some particular challenges.
Children who are learning English as an additional language will generally move through a series of 8 phases of development
Download our free guide to getting started with Loose Parts Play
We hear from social media experts, Babbl, about their top tips for nurseries making the most of social media
In this article, we will be looking at how a team's commitment to gathering honest parent feedback can support everyone's positive relationships with parents.
Loose Parts Play is all about mixing children's imagination with "real world" objects. Get your copy of our ultimate guide to getting started in this article too!
Your morning habits can make or break your day. Start your day right, energise yourself and flourish successfully by creating good morning habits.
It's Mummy's birthday and Jenny and Grandad are making a surprise for her: a delicious carrot cake... well, that is what they thought was going to happen.
This beautifully illustrated book is a “sensory story”, with each page suggesting a sensory experience which the reader, or “story experiencer” can take part in.
The destination for this trip is a shop with a fresh cheese counter, offering a number of unusual ways to enhance children's learning and development.
One of the hallmarks of a great early years professional is reflective practice. By reflecting on your own practice and performance, you are able to see ways to improve and develop without having to rely …
Here's a Halloween-themed idea that uses the age-old tradition of pumpkin carving to facilitate children’s maths and counting skills. It takes a little more preparation, but should allow for some fun, messy play!
Here’s an idea that spans the week and explores older children’s attention, listening skills and memory, all while exploring their PSED progress. It can be used for individual children or a small group of 2-5.
Take finger-painting to the next level with this activity by make beautiful love heart fridge magnets for children to take home. Ideal for Valentines Day craft!
Here's an idea for encouraging children to tell stories or imaginary scenarios, all while exploring their PSED progress. This activity can be used for single children or a small group of 2-5.
Making homemade playdough saves money, and means that as soon as your existing supplies go past the point of no return, you can bin them and start again. Involving children in making their homemade playdough …
The early stages of a child's understanding of the world centres on sensory experiences. In this activity we use fruit and vegetables in different forms to explore touch, smell, taste and sight.
This activity takes familiar characters, and uses them to explore emotions and children's progress in a surprisingly wide range of areas.
Anti-Bullying Week is a fantastic opportunity to teach kindness, values and an appreciate of each child's uniqueness.
The world around us if full of different life; insects, animals, birds and plants. Take the time to properly examine what living things you can find in the natural environment at your setting. Great for …
Here’s an idea that teaches children about the environment, lifecycles and natural decay, all while exploring their progress. This activity can be easily linked to autumn, with leaves falling from the trees and turning to …
Once the lettuce, beans or peas have grown, make sure to make food or snacks including the children’s produce so they can enjoy the fruits of their labours!
Here's an idea for using a modern concept to explore childrens' PSED progress, without having to actually use technology. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this PSED activity today...
Developing an engaging early years maths activity can be a challenge. Our simple story-telling activity can be used to explore a variety of maths skills with a range of ages.
The fact that people look different from one another is often fascinating to young children, but conversations about race can make adults feel uncomforable. This activity provides some simple but effective ways to have important …
Here is an activity to encourage both physical development around movement and handling and PSED around making relationships.
Here's an idea for allowing younger children to work on and develop their sensory movement! This activity is designed to help with motor skills and key sensory movement. It can be used for single children …
As someone who has worked in multiple settings over the last several years, I see the same issues from place to place and one of the most prominent issues I have seen is staff motivation, …