Technologies

Give your old tarp a mathematical makeover

21 January 2017
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Best resource of 2016

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Pokémon Go – 7 Game-changing Approaches to Learning Outside

15 January 2017
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Developing a love of local wildlife

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A Recycled Xmas Tree

8 January 2017
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New life to the old tree

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A Christmas Light Walk

1 December 2016
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The magic of Christmas begins

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St Andrew’s Day – 10 Outdoor Celebrations

22 October 2016
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Celebrate Scotland’s National Day – Outside!

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10 Ideas for Exploring Clouds

7 August 2016
Cloud Making

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion. This is the place to go now.”

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Wooden Cable Drums – Developing Physical and Literacy Skills Outside

29 June 2016
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One repurposed resource which withstands a lot of wear and tear is the cable reel or drum that is used to store electrical wires. They are very flexible pieces of outdoor “furniture” which are worth seeking out in your local area. With sanding and painting, they can end up looking rather smart. Certainly a quick […]

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DIY Structures in a Swedish Outdoor Nursery

22 June 2016
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What would you build for a children’s nursery outside?

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Hawthorn Fruit Leather

27 September 2015
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A yummy treat for everyone

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Re-using Paper – Origami Seed Packets

30 May 2015
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Recently I blogged about making seed packets from unwanted books. This is a brilliant concept in that it’s an informal approach to children continuing to interact with text in a way that is short, sweet and fun. When I posted this blog, Mark Paterson, the Curator of Cruickshank Botanic Garden, told me that he and […]

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Cafe Culture and Budget Inspirational Ideas

1 April 2015
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Finding inspiration when out and about is particularly exciting. Hidden gems are everywhere. I walked into the Andante Cafe in Sydney and was immediately enchanted by the friendly welcome of the owners, who originate from South Korea. The food was lovely – fresh and lots of build your own options in the sandwich section. Whilst […]

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Where Water Meets Sand and Rock

9 March 2015
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At the Macquarie Lake Variety Playground, the water zone particularly interested me. It was not an especially big area. Yet, the attention to detail in the design really appealed to my love of places where different elements and materials cross the boundaries of the zones or designated areas.

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Macquarie Lake Variety Playground – The Oz Blogfest Begins

27 February 2015
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It is hard to believe that I’ve been in Australia over a week. For those of you who don’t know, I’m spending the next couple of months working and travelling, doing training, talks and workshops on behalf of Inspired EC, an early years consultancy. You can find my programme here and I can take on extra […]

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The Kelpies

16 February 2015
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It is impossible to ignore The Kelpies. These huge sculptures immediately attract your attention when driving past Falkirk on the M9 motorway. Finally Scotland has a piece of roadside public art with a “wow” factor. They are unmissable, unforgettable and very, very horsey. The sculptures are located beside the Union Canal. Each horse weighs around […]

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The Hobbit House at Highway Farm

8 February 2015
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When I visited Highway Farm in October, the Hobbit House immediately grabbed my attention. It is a beautiful, bespoke structure. Naturally I had to find out the story behind its existence. At Highway Farm Activity Centre – where there is an out of school club and an outdoor nursery, children are active participants in decision-making […]

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Structures and Shelters at Highway Farm

1 January 2015
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One commonly expressed concern about outdoor nurseries lies around the need for shelter and protection from the elements. Highway Farm is on a windy hill and this concern has been mitigated in several ways. First, the children are dressed for being outside. Second, there is a camp fire. Third, there are several large indoor spaces […]

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Outdoor Snacks and Drinks

6 December 2014
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‘”Hot soup was a jolly good idea, it’s so very cold this morning but then it’s very early, the sun is only just coming up – look!” They finished their breakfast watching the blue water turn to dancing gold, even the rocks gleamed in the sun.‘ Enid Blyton – The Adventurous Four. With the winter […]

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10+ Ideas for Windy Days

29 November 2014
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Wind is any horizontal movement of air. It’s the result of differences in air pressure. Air likes to move from areas of high pressure to low pressure. This can be demonstrated with a balloon. Inside a blown-up balloon are lots of molecules – many more than outside the balloon so it is an area of […]

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Enter in Style at Highway Farm

4 November 2014
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Entrances matter. They provide the first indications of what a school or setting is like inside – or beyond the gate. They convey not just a physical message but also a hidden message about what the establishment values. At Highway Farm and Little Explorers Outdoor Pre-School, the entrances fascinated me. Because the place is highly partitioned, […]

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Highway Farm and Little Explorers Outdoor Pre-School

29 October 2014
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Do you ever visit a place and the moment you arrive, a tingle of excitement runs down your spine? This happened to me at Highway Farm. Every tree planted, every stake hammered into the ground and every feature created  is part of the never-ending story of how this remarkable setting has grown and evolved over the […]

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A Simple Shack

10 September 2014
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Recently I came across a series of simple shacks being built for an event. They were created from locally cut saplings in the village of Nida in Lithuania. I really liked the simplicity of the construction and felt it could be a useful project for older children who want to undertake a practical design project.

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The Weather Vanes of Nida

31 August 2014
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Most weather vanes are basic affairs. They are an arrow which points in the direction of the wind and with the compass directions at the bottom. The designs are usually fairly traditional stuff. All-in-all, my excitement levels about weather vanes has never been particularly high. My visit to Nida in Lithuania changed my mind. This pretty […]

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Peg Loom Seats

7 August 2014
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Several years ago I blogged about peg loom weaving. This may not seem obviously outdoorsy but it is. The looms are simple to use and any long strands can be woven through the pegs including plastic bags, long grasses, plant stems and gathered wool. The looms are very portable and can be taken outside and […]

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Making Felted Seats – A Better Approach

2 August 2014
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Over four years ago I blogged about making felt seats. These items are lightweight and portable and thus ideal for many outdoor activities on the go. I’ve continued to experiment with them. My first attempts were rough and I learned a lot through trial and error. The above photo is my latest effort and I […]

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The Biggest Splash

23 July 2014
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With the summer holidays here, the sun shining over Scotland and the Commonwealth Games starting this week, I thought it might be fun to share some water games and activities devised by Early Years Practitioners on a course a couple of months ago. After all there nothing like developing a few fringe sporting activities to […]

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The “Sensori” Water Station

21 June 2014
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Children love water play. Recently I attended a wonderful presentation and workshop by the legendary Tom “Sensori” Bedard who is currently touring the UK and Netherlands. He writes the blog Sand and Water Tables. It’s very niche and all about engaging children through well-thought out apparatus and creations at the sand and water trays. I’ve […]

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Repurposing Charity Bags into Dance Resources

7 May 2014
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Do you have a growing collection of charity bags which get popped through your door each week? If you do, and you don’t have any particular plans for them, perhaps it’s time to put them to good use as outdoor dance items. 

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Fairy Gardens and Literacy

4 May 2014
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Recently I visited Westpark  Nursery in Aberdeen, which had been donated a large raised bed – the sort that is traditionally used around towns for floral displays. At first the staff and children wondered how to use it as it seemed too big and too high to be of any real use. Then a spark of […]

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Kaleidoscope Images and Symmetry

22 April 2014
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The kaleidoscope feature of Photo Booth on an iPad remains one of the funkiest ways of looking through the lens I know. It is a useful addition to any light and colour project because what one sees can be photographed. It can capture images for later use. Ordinary kaleidoscopes do not have this ability.

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Shadow Explorations with an iPad

16 April 2014
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Have you ever got that feeling that you aren’t making the most of a resource? Ever since I bought my mini iPad I knew I hadn’t done enough experimenting with Photo Booth. I had given classes opportunity to freely play with Photo Booth and its effects. The use of the mirror app is very helpful […]

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Funky Junk Art

29 March 2014
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This week I was training at Malvern Way Infant and Nursery School in Rickmansworth. Over the past 8 years they have been developing their grounds. This has included giving children opportunities to work with artists and sculptors. Usually the artist creates a piece of work for the school and this is used as inspiration for […]

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Bamboo Guttering – 8 Reasons Why I Like This Resource

2 March 2014
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A year ago I bought a set of bamboo guttering comprising of 6 short and 6 long lengths. I’ve used it so many times, with so many classes and groups and in so many ways. Here’s some of reasons why it is such a useful resource…

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Early Years Outdoor Apps for the iPad

22 February 2014
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“Where’s the games?” When children explore my iPad, this question always arises.  The contents on my iPad are not what children expect. It is almost entirely a range of apps for use outside. Once children fathom this out, one of two things happen. Either the child hands the iPad back to me and walks off. […]

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Temporary Shelters in School Grounds

25 January 2014
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Recently I blogged about my experience of creating suitable shelters when on beach visits with a nursery. I realised as I was gathering photos together that I had examples of other temporary shelters which practitioners use with children, many of which are suitable for thirty children and a class teacher.

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Is There a Nature App for That?

6 November 2013
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Useful reference apps

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The Junk Orchestra at Broadford Primary

27 October 2013
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Recycled musical instruments

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Are We Digital Natives from a Different Era?

23 October 2013
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Different age, same issues and concerns

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Den Building

18 September 2013
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Skills for learning, life and work

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Phlip-ing Photos

20 August 2013
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Turns any photo into a puzzle.

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Eye Painting

12 August 2013
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Use this app to paint with your eye not your fingers

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