Shared Attention – Bucket Therapy

Julie presents What’s in the Box? and demonstrates activities to focus attention

All communication begins with shared attention. To communicate successfully you have to listen and wait. Some children find it difficult to focus and to take turns. In order to communicate successfully we need to be able to wait for the speaker to finish, to wait for our turn. The repetition and clear signals you see in this video help children to develop this skill.

Children Under Three

Children under three years: the time of their lives. Marion Dowling (Early Education Publication)

This booklet offers a valuable insight into the development of children in their first three years of life. It explains their physical and sensory development , how they interact and communicate. There are explanations about how their brains develop to understand and learn from new challenges. It considers the linguistic, cognitive and social development during the early years. There are explanations about their hunger to explore, develop feelings and learn from the social and environmental world which they grow up in.

Songs and Rhyme, Music and Movement

This pamphlet has been produced by the Froebel Trust as part of a series
focussing on various themes closely associated with Froebelian practice. Includes the values of song and rhyme and shows how music and movement build strong relationships.
An accessible resource for those supporting children birth to eight


Loose Parts Play

A toolkit by Theresa Casey and Juliet Robertson

Loose Parts Play is valuable for all early years settings. It is about real world learning where collaboration, sharing thinking, problem solving and decision making are central. This resource, written for Scottish education, focuses on play being critical to children’s development.

The toolkit aims to :

  • Raise awareness of the value of loose parts to children’s play
  • Provide practical guidance about loose parts play to those who work with children
  • Advocate the use of loose parts as an approach to developing play opportunities at home, school and in the community.

Block Play

I Made a Unicorn

I Made a Unicorn from Community Playthings offers many ideas for open-ended play with blocks and simple materials. It covers the values of active learning, imagination, tie. nature, small blocks and large construction. It is a valuable read for all those working in early years.

Getting Children Outside

Creative and Critical Thinking Outdoors in the Early Years from Creative Star learning Company is a booklet packed with ideas, suggestions and activities. Written by Juliet Robertson it covers; how to make the outdoor space a place to discover and explore, how to increase children’s knowledge of nature, develop problem-solving strategies, natural places and materials, how to source and use natural materials and challenge, risk and decision-making.

Communication and Language

Early reading skills are developed through play. The Early Years Foundation Stage stressed the importance of giving children opportunities to: experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to learn to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Pippa is Learning to Write

This has a focus on early writing and making sense of the written word. Children will focus and remember the story and hopefully start making story up for themselves.

Pippa is Learning to Read

This clip of Pippa at the age of three looks at the role of the adult in developing these communication and language skills.

Please note the role of the adult in this clip. The adult (practitioner) is supportive, gives plenty of time for the child to respond and interject when necessary. This is successful scaffolding in action. Setting challenge that is achievable (Vygotsky, Zone of Proximal Development, 1962).


The Ultimate Guide to Sustained Shared Thinking

This guide considers the what, why, how, when, where and who of
Sustained Shared Thinking.