The Inspired Blog

It's raining, it's pouring... but we're going outside anyway!

"I hate rainy days when we get stuck inside and the children go wild." 

I have lost count of the number of times over my almost two decades in early childhood, that I have heard some version of this sentiment. For the first couple of years, I said it myself - many times. You would hear the...

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4 Easy Additions to Enhance Your Block Play Environment

blocks environments play Feb 24, 2021

Blocks. They are often one of the favourite playthings in the early education and care environment - and for good reason. Blocks are open ended and allow children to test out ideas and create in a way that is only limited by their imagination... and by the environment and resources we provide...

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Babies in the Oven and Handbags filled with Blocks: Understanding Schema Play

play schema toddlers Feb 03, 2021

I was about 20 years old. Only a year or so out of TAFE, having completed my Diploma, and I'd predominantly worked with preschoolers. When I was put in the toddler room for the year ahead, I was excited but a little nervous too. I was expecting the never ending routine of eating, changing,...

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4 Ways to Support Problem Solving Through Loose Parts Play!

loose parts pedagogy play Dec 16, 2020

This week I visited a local service. While I spoke with the approved provider, I noticed some play unfolding in the mud pit nearby. A group of children were using a plank and some buckets to create what looked to be a bridge. As I began to listen to the conversation, it became apparent that they...

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5 Things to Say Instead of "He had a Great Day!"

This was originally posted on our old blog in 2019


He had a great day!" 

When they arrive in the afternoon to collect their child from their early education and care service, unfortunately this a phrase that families hear all too often. And do you know what? I have been guilty of saying...

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Belonging: You can't just stick it on the wall

This week, I spent time at our TimberNook Newcastle School Holiday program. It is a 100% outdoor, full day program where children build, create, explore, and most importantly - play! 

As the children began arriving in the morning, I observed them. Some bounced in, full of energy and stories...

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Is it ethical or sustainable to use food in play, and where do we draw the line?

ethics play sustainability Aug 24, 2020

Today, we shared a post on our Facebook page that got some great responses. The question we posed was: "What is the most bizarre rule you have heard in an early education and care service?" There were some doozies, but one in particular sparked some interesting discussion, and it's not the first...

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3 Tips for The Child Who Doesn't Want to Share

pedagogy play sharing Jun 23, 2020

She found the terracotta pipes and began to build. Lining them up, end to end, it was clear that she had a very specific vision for her play/creation. She worked on her own for a long time, testing ideas and theories. Suddenly, another child arrived and started to touch the pipes....

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3 Questions to Stop Asking A Child Engaged in Play.

I have written and spoken about the concept of Interaction vs Interference before and while many educators agree in theory, putting it into practice can be a little tougher. We tend to get caught up in our need to know what is happening, our desire to document learning or even our need to make...

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6 Ways to Overcome the Screen Time "Battle" during Covid-19 (hint... let it go!)

I've always been an advocate for play.

Normally, I'd rather send my three children into the backyard at seven in the morning with a silent prayer that the neighbours won't complain than to put the TV on.

Normally, when the inevitable "what can we do?" arises, my suggestions are always a long list...

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