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Alistair Bryce-Clegg
Greg Bottrill
Emma Davis
Sam Green
Denise Amankwah
Greg Bottrill
June O'Sullivan
Ben Rolfe
Our Writers
TNL Content Team
Alistair Bryce-Clegg
Greg Bottrill
Emma Davis
Sam Green
Denise Amankwah
Greg Bottrill
June O'Sullivan
Ben Rolfe
Our Writers
TNL Content Team
The TNL Content Team is led by our Editor-In-Chief, Chris O'Donnell. Chris is supported by our Senior Staff Writer & Sub-Editor, Aimee, as well as two freelance writers; Denise & Emma. We work hard to ensure our Content Team is well balanced between professional writers and journalists with the experience to make sure the quality of the content we produce is always perfect, and writers who are also early years sector specialists with the insight and specialist knowledge to make sure our content is accurate and useful for our audience.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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, …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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! …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
When you think of a Van Gogh activity, "Sunflowers" - the classic masterpiece studied by students throughout their education - probably comes to mind. Here, …
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 …
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, …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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!
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
We review the riotous 'Oi Aardvark!', a sequel to the highly popular 'Oi Frog!'
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.
On the first day of Christmas, TNL gave to me... an activity plan for making partridges in pear trees!
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Who says painting eggs is just for Easter? Take part in this Christmassy art activity today!
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 …
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 …
What's a baby goose called? Help your children find out in Day 6 of our 12 Activities of Christmas!
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. …
Winter is upon us and the smell of PVA glue and the sounds of ripping sellotape are in the air. Get your craft on in …
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!
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? …
Fancy a dance? Twist and shout along with the children in this fun, simple activity plan!
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 …
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 …
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, …
Making dreidels is a fun way to introduce Hanukkah to your setting. This activity plan shows you how how make them and spin them!
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 …
We review one of our #TNLbookoftheyear prizes, the delightful 'A House for Mouse'. Don't forget to enter the competition and submit your reviews!
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 …
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 …
Children can have fun making their own Christmas tree picture, or indeed any picture, in this easy activity!
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, …
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 …
Time to get hopping mad! Share the fun of jumping in your setting this new year!
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!
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 …
Help your Early Years children be whoever they are and want to be with these brilliant stories!
Celebrate the New Year with this simple sensory 'fireworks' activity!
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 …
Want to start working with Early Years but not sure where to begin? Here are some tips to get you moving!
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 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 …
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 …
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 …
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 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 …
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 …
How do we ensure our early years children are hooked right from the start of a story?
How did the past year affect EY practitioners across the country? We share their thoughts, and we would love you to share yours too.
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 …
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 …
This activity encourages conversation and a sense of curiosity about the area and community that your children live in, and to spark questions about the …
Washing hands is so important but so easy to forget if you're a little one! Teach them the importance of hygiene with this fun, messy …
Find out how you can win a real animal encounter for the children in your setting with TNL and ZooLab!
If you're struggling with low mood, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy could help reduce those negative thought cycles. Here is a quick That Nursery Life primer on …
National Storytelling Week is from 30th January to the 6th February this year, so why not take the chance to share a love of reading …
Fight off the pressure to add shedding the pounds or training for a marathon to your resolutions, and focus more on a healthy attitude to …
With 2021 bringing yet more disruption to our early years plans, how do we cope with the stress of change?
Time to get some fresh air and keep the little ones warm with some fun outdoor play in this low-prep, child-led activity!
Tomorrow is Annual Puzzle Day and That Nursery Life has some ideas about how to mark it in your setting!
With the government once again failing to give adequate support to the Early Years sector, here is how you can establishing your own COVID-19 testing …
Good team relationships have never been so important. What can you do to help support your teammates?
That Nursery Life has a team of directors that bring a wealth of experience both from inside and outside the Early Years sector.
How do we teach compassion to our Early Years? Here are some ideas to try in our latest activity plan.
That Nursery Life wanted to learn about the work of the APPG, and the purpose of the week. We caught up with the APPG’s Chair, …
In this week's Practitioner Diary, Anna McCallum discusses the time-eating monster of early years: paperwork. How can you reduce the time spent on it in …
Here is our free guide on how to put together a Risk Assessment for pregnant members of your early years team.
We speak with Hayley Sherwood, founder of 1decision, about her company's decision to bring their product and approach to the Early Years sector.
With so many mental health apps out there, which is the right one for you?
Socially-distanced messy play? Yes please!
Daunted by cover letters? Follow That Nursery Life's simple rules to make sure you show yourself off in the best way.
A fun child-led activity that inspires creativity and imagination!
This child led Activity Plan is about making music! Not with actual music instruments, however. Instead, children will make music out of ordinary objects in …
We explore how best you can prepare Nursery children for the transition to Reception
After the stress of 2020, how do we ensure a better mindset going into the new year?
Don't forget to grab a free Covid-19 policy for your setting, here.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week, That Nursery Life caught up with a former apprentice for a first-hand look at what being an early years apprentice …
Want to improve your use of social media to engage new and current families? Start with the basics in the first of our series on …
So you've got some interviews coming up, but are you making the most of your time with candidates?
In this first episode of That Nursery Life's Mindful Mondays podcast, TNL founder Sam Green explores why, despite how difficult the job is and the …
This activity requires slightly more preparation, but delicately introduces the idea of homelessness to children while giving them a practical activity to encourage helping others.
If one of your early years children had a cut or graze would you know what to do? Follow TNL's basic guide to these injuries …
From setting realistic goals to using a laptop tray in bed, That Nursery Life have compiled some top tips for maintaining a healthy mindset.
Got an interview and they want to see a lesson plan? Make sure it's foolproof with this quick guide!
So you've decided to do social media marketing, but where do you start? What should you post? And when should you post it?
In this week's Practitioner Diary, Anna McCallum makes her feelings known about the treatment of herself, her colleagues and all Early Years Professionals during the …
Fairtrade Fortnight are offering free resources to early years settings which link to the developmental goals. Fairtrade Fortnight is a fantastic way to develop children's …
In the second of our Mindful Mondays podcasts, Sam reflects on the amazing changes that children's brains are going through during those vital first 1000 …
What is reflective practice, how should you do it, and how can it be used to improve the care you provide for the children in …
Children love a treasure hunt! Why not make an educational one? With this activity plan, you'll be able to assess whether your children can find …
In the second of our Founder’s Q&A series Sam answers addresses the important topic of mental health and wellness, explains how he manages his workload …
That Nursery Life investgates the basic principles of play therapy, and how it can be used to help our early years children make sense of …
That Nursery Life's second batch of top mental health tips to support you during social distancing, remote learning and lockdown.
2021 is set to be a year of major change in the Early Years sector, as we look forward to the new Early Years Foundation …
The new draft of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been published, and the DfE are seeking comments on some key areas of the …
Early in the morning or late afternoon - when's the best time to interview your candidates?
What's the difference between posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and what type of posts will work best for your setting?
In her latest Early Years Diary, Anna McCallum tackles the stigmatisation of early years work, the lack of appreciation of the sector, and considers the …
Track the changes of the seasons and remind children (and yourself) of memories within your setting with this fun, long-term activity plan!
Mark the changing of the seasons with this great weather weather tracker. Your Early Years will love collecting data on daily rainfall and temperatures!
Enable your Early Years to explore sight, sound, smell, touch and even taste by using this activity plan to create a fun sensory garden!
In the third of our Mindful Mondays podcasts, Sam checks in on how you are feeling, shares his own experiences managing workplace anxiety, and highlights …
Creating a visual timetable enables your Early Years to better understand the daily routines and structures in your setting.
It's sometimes hard to tell if we're stuck in a vicous cycle of negative feelings and behaviour. This is where the Hot Cross Bun tool …
2021 is an update year for the EYFS statutory framework, with major changes already decided and others currently under comment. We at That Nursery Life …
It can be really scary when a child starts choking, but would you know what to do? Follow our simple guide to make sure you're …
That Nursery Life's simple guide to teaching the Green Cross Code and ensuring you cross the road safely with your Early Years.
Don't miss the chance to download our FREE Safeguarding Policy for your setting, today!
So you want to make your setting's social channels as engaging as possible, but what exactly should you post, and how often?
Upcoming interview? Starting the job hunt and want to start prepping in case you get a call at short notice? TNL's got you covered with …