Book Recommendation: One Mole Digging a Hole

One Mole Digging a Hole
By Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

This is a counting book with a different number and animal on each page as they create and tend to the garden.

What can we learn from this book?

  • Counting from 1 to 10
  • Rhyming words
  • Discussions about gardening
  • Animal recognition

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?

Book Recommendation: Ruby the Red Fairy

Ruby the Red Fairy
By Daisy Meadows
Illustrated by
Georgie Ripper

This one is for the slightly older children who are ready to read small chapter books, a few chapters each day. Perhaps four of five year olds, and then older for children who can ready by themselves. This book is one of many fairy books so the story can continue for a long time. The chapters are not very long. There are six per book and there are illustrations inside.

What can we learn from this book?

  • Introduction to longer stories
  • Recollection of what happened in previous chapters
  • The wonder of magic
  • Exploring environments
  • Helping others
  • Relationships and making friends

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?

Dress up: Doctor

Dressing up is a great way for children to explore identities, roles and responsibilities. Some children may want to just wear the costume while they go about their play, but as roleplay skills develop, they can use them to expand their play.

Here are some ideas to expand play with doctor costumes:

  • Have mattresses or pillows for sick patients
  • Notepad to write down symptoms
  • Bandages, gloves and tissues
  • Add a desk with science tools to make medicines
  • Add a desk with a phone and computer to take calls and make appointments
  • Encourage problem solving with difficult illnesses or injuries
  • Use bikes or cardboard cars etc as ambulances to help people around the yard
  • Toys can be used as patients

Don’t have the complete costume or the funds to buy one? No worries! Create your own out of paper, cardboard or spare material. Children have amazing imaginations! Sometimes they just need you to get them started.

Do you have any examples of doctor play that you can share? Comment below!

Book Recommendation: Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You
By Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram

A very adorable book about two hares trying to express how much they love each other.

What can we learn from this book?

  • Relationships
  • Discussions about distance
  • Mathematical concepts of “more”, “longer”, “bigger”
  • Problem solving

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?

Great Resource: Pattern Blocks

You can get these types of blocks in different forms. Some are just the shapes like the image above, you can also get ones suitable for nail boards. Either way, they are a great open ended resource for creating images and patterns.

They will generally come with some image guides that children can copy. This can be useful for them to explore ways of engaging with the blocks. They will focus on sorting, matching and problem solving.

When the children are ready to move further though, take these images away and see what they can come up with on their own. Some will recall the previous images and make similar creations. This will help them to explore their memory skills. Others will use their imagination to come up with their own designs.

You can also use these blocks for discussing patterns and seeing if the children are able to continue certain patterns.

Have you used these blocks before? What are your favourite activities with them? Comment below.

Dress up: Princess

Dressing up is a great way for children to explore identities, roles and responsibilities. Some children may want to just wear the costume while they go about their play, but as roleplay skills develop, they can use them to expand their play.

Here are some ideas to expand play with princess costumes:

  • Princess costumes can be made out of any dress or even other outfits
  • Add or make a crown to go with it
  • Ask the children what princesses do
  • Expand on their play by introducing other characters
  • Princess are often depicted as being helpful. How can the children be helpful for others?

Don’t have the complete costume or the funds to buy one? No worries! Create your own out of paper, cardboard or spare material. Children have amazing imaginations! Sometimes they just need you to get them started.

Do you have any examples of princess play that you can share? Comment below!

Book Recommendation: The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo
By Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

This is another popular book where I am from but I only realised when my daughter brought it home from her school library that I have never actually read it before! Until now! It’s really good!

What can we learn from this book?

  • Rhyming and sentence rhythm
  • Early reading with some repetition
  • Using thinking skills to overcome problems
  • It does not matter if someone is bigger than you, you can be smarter than them

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?

Great Resources: Large Wooden Blocks

Large wooden blocks can come in all shapes and sizes. They are a heavier resource and require team work or problem solving to move lots of them from one place to another. These blocks can be used in many different ways. They can become car ramps for exploring motion. They can be roads or they can border play spaces. They can be built up to make towers and other buildings. They really are an open ended resource.

Have you got these blocks at your centre? How do your children use them for play? Comment below.

Dress ups: Police

Dressing up is a great way for children to explore identities, roles and responsibilities. Some children may want to just wear the costume while they go about their play, but as roleplay skills develop, they can use them to expand their play.

Here are some ideas to expand play with police costumes:

  • Remind children about the centre rules about rough play. Police play does not need to be rough.
  • Toys or other children can be in need of assistance.
  • Police can be directing bike traffic.
  • Solve a mystery.
  • Help children find their parents.
  • Guarding something important.
  • You can set up a gaol but I would personally encourage the play to be about redemption.
  • Set up a police station with phones and notepads to take emergency calls.

Don’t have the complete costume or the funds to buy one? No worries! Create your own out of paper, cardboard or spare material. Children have amazing imaginations! Sometimes they just need you to get them started.

Do you have any examples of police play that you can share? Comment below!

Book Recommendation: The Lion Who Wanted To Love

The Lion Who Wanted To Love
By Giles Andreae and
David Wojtowycz

This is a book about a lion cub who does not want to be like the other lions and he becomes an outcast. He makes new friends and eventually finds his way back to his family.

What can we learn from this book?

  • Accepting differences
  • Rhyming words
  • Being kind
  • Open discussion about staying true to yourself

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?

Great Resources: Big Waffle Blocks

These large waffle blocks can be used for many different purposes! They promote problem solving and team work, and they can be used to enhance other place spaces.

  • Use all the blocks to make a big building/cubby house. You can put blankets on top and pillows inside. It can also become a rocket ship or anything else the children like!
  • Expand it further by adding it with large loose parts so there are more materials to work with.
  • Separate them into colours and explore numeracy through shapes.
  • Problem solving with connecting the blocks in the correct way so they all line up.
  • Create a small world space by making multiple smaller buildings.
  • Create a hideaway space for children who need time to themselves.
  • Use the blocks under rugs to create mountains for other play spaces.

Have you used these blocks before? How do you use them? Comment below.

Dress Ups: Chef

Dressing up is a great way for children to explore identities, roles and responsibilities. Some children may want to just wear the costume while they go about their play, but as roleplay skills develop, they can use them to expand their play.

Here are some ideas to expand play with chef costumes:

  • Have the costume available near the home corner/kitchen play space.
  • Use old pots, pans, spoons, tea towels etc to expand on play.
  • You can add play food for quick set up and pack up.
  • Or you can use natural resources as food (different types of leaves, sticks, etc)
  • Or you can use playdough! They can make their own food.
  • Have plates, bowls and cups for serving food.
  • Have a table available to become part of the restaurant.
  • Use small clipboards with paper for children to create a menu.
  • Children can create their own restaurant signs.
  • Encourage children to “write” down orders – early literacy.
  • Toys can be used as customers if there are not enough children playing.
  • Introduce play money.

Don’t have the complete costume or the funds to buy one? No worries! Create your own out of paper, cardboard or spare material. Children have amazing imaginations! Sometimes they just need you to get them started.

Do you have any examples of chef play that you can share? Comment below!

Book Recommendation: Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo
By Rod Campbell

This is a lift the flap book about animals and if they are suitable to have as pets.

What can we learn from this book?

  • Early reading with repetition
  • Predicting which animal is behind the flap
  • Animal names
  • Open discussion about animal attributes

This is a very popular book where I am from and the children become very familiar with it. I like to play little “games” with the book and say the wrong animal. Children generally seem to enjoy correcting me. I point out similarities with the animal I have said to the one that is on the page and ask them how they know they are right.

Have you read this book? What are you opinions? Are you going to consider it because of this post?