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The run-up to Christmas is a magical time in an early years setting, says Sue Cowley

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Sue Cowley

The run-up to Christmas is a magical time in an early years setting. Not only is this a very special period for the children, it also offers a fantastic opportunity to share what we do in our settings with our families. At pre-school our children are busy making cards, decorations and other Christmas crafts to take home to surprise their parents. We have invited families in to watch the children perform their ‘Wriggly Nativity’ on the last day of term. Our pre-school children will also visit our local church, to enjoy the nativity play performed by the primary school. One of the very best things about being involved in an early years setting is this sense of being at the heart of a community and sharing what we do with others.

Not only are settings great at sharing their children’s achievements with parents; practitioners are also great at sharing examples of good practice as well. On social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook, early years settings now share their ideas freely. If you are on Twitter, look at the #eyfstwitterpals and #EYTalking hashtags to find great activities and resources to use in your setting. Tag your tweets with @EYTalking, and Laura Henry, who runs the account, will share them with the wider early years community. Locally, we are lucky to have a network of early years practitioners who meet and share good practice with each other during the year.

At this time of year, it is also a good idea to remind the children about the importance of sharing with those who are in need. As the festive season becomes ever more commercialised, it is important to help our children understand the original meaning behind the Christmas celebrations. You might ask your families to bring in items to donate to a local food bank, or take your children to sing at a care home. At our setting, we also share the joy of giving with our children, by sending each of them home at the end of term with a present to open on Christmas Day. At a time when some families have very little, and might not be able to give much in the way of presents, this is a lovely way to use some of the money we have fundraised this year. As the saying goes, sharing is caring.

Wishing a very merry Christmas to you all!

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