NW Equipment & Resources Awards 2019: Creativity

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Three gold medals were awarded.

The Niki Davies Book of Songs For Autumn And Winter

Company: Out of the Ark Music

Price: Book & Audio CD, £23.95; Book, Audio CD with Words on Screen CD ROM, £39.95

Age range: 3-7 years

Website: www.outoftheark.com


Dealing with autumn and winter, this seasonal compilation of 20 songs was written with young voices in mind. It includes catchy songs to rustle through the autumn leaves and warm you in the long winter months. Themes include harvest; pumpkins; animals gathering and storing for winter; wrapping up warm; snow; and Christmas.

The children ‘absolutely love music and movement sessions’ which accompany many of the songs, and this pack ‘ticks all the boxes’, one practitioner said. She is also a ‘huge fan’ of the Words on Screen concept, which basically highlights the words when they are ready to be sung.

It includes teachers notes with ideas for further activities and curriculum links. It's a great resource for non-specialists.

The Niki Davies Book Of Songs For Spring And Summer

Company: Out of the Ark Music

Price: Book & Audio CD, £23.95; Book, Audio CD with Words on Screen CD ROM, £39.95

Age range: 3-7 years

Website: www.outoftheark.com


Guaranteed to brighten up the day, this set of 20 lively, fresh spring and summer songs were ‘loved’ by children and staff, who praised them for their ‘jolly, easy-to-learn’ tunes. Not only do they inspire and instil basic listening skills which are fundamental to musical development, but they also have the added bonus of literacy, through the words in the books, and ‘on screen’ in the CD ROM.

Each song includes teacher's notes to accompany the theme and printed music for each song, which the settings found very helpful. They also liked the fact that there were songs for different occasions throughout the year to follow celebrations and seasons, for example, Pancake Day and April Showers and Budding Flowers.

TickiT Rainbow Architect Sets – set of 7

Company: Commotion

Price: £19.99-£24.99

Age range: from 12 months

Website: www.commotion.co.uk


This set of seven solid beechwood nesting shapes come in four geometric shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles and arches. It is described as a very ‘versatile and open-ended resource’ by one setting whose children used them to create patterns and design rooms which they filled with small-world play people and furniture.

The shapes are also useful for helping the children to learn colours, shapes and sizes and use mathematical terminology such as ‘larger’, ‘smaller’, ‘taller’ and ‘wider’, which is great for broadening their descriptive vocabulary.

‘I would definitely recommend them to other settings – and they are a timeless resource that we look forward to using with the children for many years to come!’ enthused one tester.

© MA Education 2019. Published by MA Education Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 04002826. MA Education is part of the Mark Allen Group. – All Rights Reserved