Category Archives: Key Stage 0

Developing enthusiasm

What is the single most effective way of helping children develop appropriate self-confidence and enthusiasm?

Many children – perhaps most children – have a natural affinity with the concept of drama.  The notion that they can become someone else, or exist in another reality, without having the responsibilities that come with normal everyday interactions is enormously appealing

But of course for everyone participating in improvised drama the key is the boundaries – the rules that control the new world that the children are creating.  For in a world without boundaries everything is possible, and therefore nothing can happen.

Which is why, when tackling drama in the classroom one needs to channel the enthusiasm of the children into the boundaries of the situation, while not in any way diminishing their confidence.

This requirement demands that the teacher has a set of practical activities to hand that can be utilised in the space available, and which support other areas of the curriculum, so that the confidence and enthusiasm of the children is not diminished.

Improvised drama needs rules; not so many that the ability to flourish and extemporise is diminished, but not so few that normal interactions break down.

This is what “Drama Activities for the Early Years” offers: it provides both the activities that will work in introducing drama to children, and the theories behind the activities.  It provides the materials needed (indexed by themes so it is easy to find the right activity for the right occasion) and the activities that ensure that each theme works in a meaningful and rewarding way for the children.

You can read more about Drama Activities for the Early Years on our website.

Drama Activities for the Early Years cover image

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Drama, Early years, How children learn, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Nursery and Preschool, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

What is the biggest worry many parents have about their children during the holidays?

My answer to that question is not going to come from a scientific survey, I must admit, but from my own personal observation.

This leads me to believe that many parents are worrying that during the time when schools are not operating their sons and daughters are not active enough.  Plus they worry about  the amount of screen time their children have had because of school work and the restrictions on going outside and the impact this can be having.

Which is why we have produced a series of three books each of which contains 50 exciting physical challenges that parents can give to their children. 

One collection involves activities which use just a bean bag; one involves the use of a hoop; and one just involves a tennis ball.

Each of the 50 Brilliant PE Challenges books is reproducible so individual pages can be copied and then put on the school website or emailed to parents.

What’s more, although the parents’ first motivation may simply be to get the children away from the computer games and the television, the activities within these books develop skills, foster enjoyment, and promote physical exercise.

We also have samples from the books available through these links:

There are more details of each book on our website where you can order the individual books or save £9.50 by ordering the set of 3.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Physical Education (PE), Primary school, Teaching Ideas

Sing your way through isolation with J’aime Chanter

All the songs from J’aime Chanter are now available to download for FREE from our website (see Sample audio files). We hope you enjoy singing your way through your isolation.

If you have a spare moment (unlikely we know) we’d love to see how you use the songs. Perhaps you could set-up a singalong through social media.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, Nursery and Preschool, Primary school

Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years

When children learn to express themselves clearly and to listen to others, they benefit from improved social skills and greater self-confidence.

Not only do children’s speaking and listening skills differ tremendously when they start preschool, but children also develop these skills at differing rates.  Fortunately, preschool provides an opportunity to reduce any deficits that a child may have with these skills (the earlier the better!), so that children of all backgrounds and learning abilities can succeed in the next stage of their educational careers.

With this in mind, we have developed a resource containing no fewer than 70 speaking and listening activities – so that you don’t run out of activity ideas before everyone has mastered the developmental stepping stones linked to Speaking and Listening for the EYFS Statutory Framework.

These enjoyable and productive play activities help children to develop the skills needed to listen, understand, express themselves, and enjoy language. The vital communication skills covered in this book will not only provide children with the language skills they will need to succeed at school, but they will also enable them to develop friendships and the ability to work cooperatively.

Click here to see sample pages

You can find out more about Speaking and Listening Activities for the Early Years on our website.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Nursery and Preschool, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

“Can you see the wind?”

Free worksheet series from Brilliant Publications

On a windy day go outside with the children and watch streamers blowing. Ask the children whether they can see and feel the effects of the wind on their faces and clothes. Watch the trees and plants move in the wind. 

Can you see the wind?

This is just one of the activities that can be found in the series of worksheets that we are giving away, free of charge, from the popular volume “Science and Technology for the Early Years (2nd Edition)”. Other activities include:

  • Creating a tiny garden from the worksheet Look down
  • Creating an outdoor themed mobile and drawing or painting a picture of the sky from the worksheet Look up
  • Catching the wind in a plastic bag from the worksheet Can you see the wind?
  • Making a travel agency in the role-play area and making and writing postcards from the worksheet Where do you go for a holiday?
  • And much much more!

Request your copy of the free worksheet series.

Science and Technology for the Early Years (Edition 2) contains 120 science and technology activities for use in the Foundation stage, along with ideas for designing resource areas to stimulate purposeful play. The activities are clearly laid-out with the Purpose, Resources and Safety points given, as well as ‘Challenges’, which can be used to provide a focal point for each activity.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, Early years, How children learn, Key Stage, Key Stage 0, Nursery and Preschool, Science, Teaching Ideas