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Set sail for adventure, imagination and creative activities across all areas of the curriculum with a topic on these popular characters, outlined by Helen Bromley.

Older people added a special ingredient to a nursery cookery project described by Veronica Broyd, headteacher at Kendal Nursery School in Cumbria.

The principles that should underpin putting the Early Years Foundation Stage into practice are set out by Julie Fisher in this excerpt from the revised edition of Starting from the Child.

Teddy bear, teddy bear, By Judith Stevens

The best way to get children to think about our disappearing wildlife is to have them take an active part in its resurrection - and it's really simple to do, says Mary Whiting.

It doesn't require a large budget, just plenty of imagination and some careful forethought about how it's going to be used, to kit out your setting with a sensory room, as Annette Rawstrone explains.

Provision to enable and challenge the youngest children to direct their own learning is carefully thought out at a centre visited by Nicole Weinstein.

Early years settings need to offer provision that will help sustain young children's thinking by using their own initiative, says Marion Dowling.

Help young children explore their love for - or fear of - the most popular family pets with activities in every area of the early years setting, suggested by Judith Stevens.

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.