Hi guys ,

If anyone would like me to cover a certain topic on my site then please feel free to message me and I will do my very best to get back to you.

Thank you ,


Twitter- @tweetmeduncan

Screen time in nursery

In todays society, Technology is everywhere and our children are exposed to it daily. I believe that with the correct balance of outdoor play and technology we would see the benefits of technology rather than having the stigma of it rotting our children’s minds.

In many establishments technology has been seen has a gap to fill between daily transitions for example – screen time after lunch or iPad opportunities later in the nursery day and many parents and practitioners disagree with this. I am however a professional who likes to see the benefit of offering these opportunities to children.

In recent years nursery establishments have implemented many strategies to decrease the amount of screen time there is in the settings and have written several policies about the procedure.

Offering screen time isn’t just about children sitting down and watching cartoons whilst staff tidy up or set up an area , it can be a time for children to relax after a busy morning and un wind with their peers with comfy pillows and teddies and have a recharge for the afternoon.

Many children in nursery settings are actually in from 7am to 6pm and I personally think its healthy and beneficial to offer children a 15 minute break from outdoor play and any other type of play to just sit and relax and to be honest ”switch off” from the world around them.Image result for screen time

I would love to know your thoughts on screen time ;

P.S I am not suggesting to sit children down, all day, everyday. I am merely offering a topic of discussion.

I shall leave with a quote :  “Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.” – Heidi-Hayes Jacobs

Twitter : @tweetmeduncan



Playdough station!

So whilst in work , I have been developing our playdough station to encourage the children to be more independent and eventually become confident enough to make their own playdough.

We have used a more natural approach in terms of resources and I think it looks fantastic. Already they children were intrigued with the new set up and I am looking forward to the new term so we can see it in full glory!

Death – What do we say ?

This week in my setting, I have been asked the dreaded question that turns professionals in early years into babbling , stuttering monkeys.

” What does it mean to die ?”

At first the question had me slammed and panic bells where ringing in my ears and I felt faint. Then all of a sudden courage came forward and said ” You can do this Duncan”. Help them understand ( or try )

I sat with the individual and asked what she thought it means to die and her answer was perfect, what she said was ” when your body is tired and it stops working”.

on reflection I realised that I am rubbish at explaining what it means to die and I’m not sure if I am the right person to tell other peoples children my own interpretation of what it actually means to die.

My question is this – How do others explain this part of life? and do you actually feel comfortable talking about it to the children that you care for ?

I look forward to you views on the subject

Thanks you for reading ,

Earlyyears man


twitter – @tweetmeduncan


Less is more

Recently I have been thinking about my own practice , particularly how I set up children’s experiences. I am a big advocate of adults being facilitators in early years settings however, I often enjoy setting up an experience to observe how children play , problem solve and overall interact.

This past week I have set up 2 main ” experiences”

the first was lots of wooden blocks , paper , scissors , cardboard and glue. What I observed was a lot of solitary play or parallel play going on in those areas. there was little to no communication and children were quite content drawing and cutting and basically bypassing  the other resources that were out.

The second experience was a lot simpler and consisted of two things these where wooden blocks and magnets ( yes I was aware that wooden blocks and magnets don’t go). This experience had the children communicating with each other and questions were being asked. one particular child actually said ” Duncan we need to teach you about magnets”. To me this was amazing , they were problem solving and questioning why I put out those resources.

Eventually the experience had expanded and children where coming in to the area with pieces of material to test if the magnets would work on them – this was after we had a discussion about why the wooden blocks were not effective.

This experience went on for a long period of time and the children where learning so much and engaging throughout the experience and by the end of it we ended up with some many different types of materials, toys , utensils and many more objects than what we started with.

I think my over all point is , its OK to have more simple things displayed out for children to explore instead of bombarding them with all these resources and equipment, as more often than not they will always potentially get more out of a simpler experience rather than a experience that has 1000s of resources and no imagination to discover and investigate.

As usual  I will leave with a quote :

Image result for less is more quotes


Early years man

Twitter – @tweetmeduncan


Grow my pretty…GROW!

I came across an amazing buy today in B&M, it is a “grow your own veg” kit. I shall keep you updated on how the process goes in the next couple of weeks , but safe to say I will have great fun with this little gem !

Early years man x

Competition time !

Hello lovely educators and happy Monday !

Today I am feeling fantastic and decided to have a small competition.

All you have to do is share my blog site on all social media and send me a screenshot as your evidence !

The prize I hear you ask … well it is one of my favourite books called “hector Sylvester”

So get sharing everyone !

And send your screenshots to

Twitter – @tweetmeduncan

Good luck !!!

Lego Club

Hello everyone, it has been a while and i apologise for the lack of blogging that has been going on. I have been so busy with my studies and trying out new approaches that i have not had the time to complete and of my blog goals.
So, recently in work I have been looking at a new approach to encourage development of speech and language for the children who require some support and I have recently participated in some training known as ”Lego therapy”.
How does Lego therapy work?
LEGO play is a multi-sensory and versatile experience, which means it can be tailored to suit each child’s individual needs. However, most LEGO therapy programmes are very similar and follow the same steps:

1. Each child learns a clear set of rules and LEGO building skills.
2. They are then introduced to a group of other children, including some who do not have social skill deficits
3. Everyone in the group agrees upon a project which is achievable for everyone involved – projects are usually certain structures or buildings to create.
4. Each child is assigned a role for the project. Roles are rotated throughout therapy.
5. The group works together to build the LEGO structure according to the principles of play therapy.
What are the rules?
LEGO therapy rules can be customised according to the abilities and skills of each individual. Common rules include:
• Structures must be built together by the group.
• If you break something, you have to fix it or ask for help to fix it.
• If another group member is using something and you want it, ask for it. Don’t just take it.
• Use quiet indoor voices without shouting.
• Use kind and polite words.
• Keep your hands and your feet to yourself.
• Do not put LEGO bricks in your mouth.
• At the end, tidy everything away and put it back where it came from.
The roles of Lego club
• Engineer: oversees the design and ensures the instructions are followed.
• Builder: puts the bricks together.
• Supplier: keeps track of which size, shape and colour bricks are needed and passes them to the builder.
When it comes to the adult’s role in Lego club it is extremely important that you are there as a facilitator and offer little support (only support if it is vital)
In my experience I have seen this approach build children’s confidence in small groups as well as build on the communication. It is an beneficial experience for children who require more support for speech and language.
I could talk and talk all about this type of play and if that is a requirement then please feel free to contact me and I can discuss it further.
Thanks for reading!
Earlyyearsman x