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Go on the trail of creatures that hold a natural fascination for children with activities leading through all areas of your early years provision, suggested by Judith Stevens.

The build-up of knowledge through successive experiences can be well used for healthy living, say Alison Tonkin, Cath Alderson and Gill Roberts.

It's not just babies who gain from heuristic play - and better still if it takes place outdoors, as Sara Davies found in her research.

Poetry is portable in these suggestions for learning, sharing and having fun from Helen Bromley.

A visitor from outside and a well-stocked role play area taught children about dental care

Can you build or make a boat with a sail that is big enough for two children?

Sharing a book creates a partnership between a young child and their carer that will promote their attention, social awareness and a habit of reading for pleasure. Anne O'Connor shows why. Photographs courtesy of Siren Films.

Resources for productive role play, and the best practice for organising and offering them, are outlined by Jane Drake in our series on continuous provision in an early years setting.

Children's perennial fascination with knickers and monsters can be explored fruitfully using this quirky, beautifully illustrated book, says Judith Stevens.

Slowly, slowly, very slowly, Creeps the garden snail. Slowly, slowly, very slowly, Up the wooden rail. Quickly, quickly, very quickly, Runs the little mouse. Quickly, quickly,...