Nursery World Awards 2013: Equipment - Three to Fives

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Winner: Big Stuff Kit, Sound Children

The Big Stuff Kit contains 15 large and unusual instruments originating from all over the world. Instruments include bongos, a giant bamboo thunder drum, a long clacker and a ceng ceng turtle.

The musical instruments are impressively big and often give children a feeling of power as they make a noise from something large. The physical act of playing the instruments helps to develop children's co-ordination and encourage concentration.

A set of 30 innovative music cards included in the kit provides practitioners with hints and ideas for 25 musical play sessions and a 'What it's called and where it's from' card gives interesting background information about each of the instruments included. Playing the instruments can lead to discussions between children and practitioners about different places in the world, a variety of cultures and celebrations.

The instruments and teaching materials are also backed up by free online support from experts, as well as lots of useful videos and background information.

The instruments are all made in Bali and the designs were drawn by Balinese school children. There are interesting videos on the website of the children playing many of the instruments.

The Big Stuff Kit is designed to enable professionals who have not had specialist music training to deliver stimulating musical exploration sessions that are fun and educational. The instruments are aimed at children aged from one to five years old of all abilities. They can be used for inspiration in creative play. There is a wide range of sounds, many of which are unusual and evocative, and the instruments are made of tough material so that they can be taken outside and cope with the rigours of an early years setting.

Highly commended

Cork Solid Blocks, Playforce

This set of 28 blocks made out of cork was designed in response to the rising demand for natural play materials. Cork provides a soft but strong tactile play experience. The blocks are in different sizes and support free-flow open-ended play, construction and imaginative role play.

There are well-documented benefits of block play - from developing motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination to language and social skills.

The Cork Solid Blocks are ideal for using both indoors and outdoors because they are quiet when banged against hard surfaces and do not soak up water.


Box of Bones, TTS Group

Den Building Kit, Hope Education

Marvellous Metallics Collection, TTS Group

The Rhyme Challenge, Booktrust


Open to early years resources and equipment that support children's learning, development and enjoyment in the Early Years Foundation Stage or equivalent.

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