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Pretend shops are a magnet for young children – and the role play can be meaningful too, explains Nicole Weinstein, who also provides some useful resourcing pointers

Everyday items brought into a play environment are attractive to toddlers and help their learning and development. By Penny Tassoni

The Danish concept of ‘hygge’ can promote well-being, find Alison Prowle and Angela Hodgkins

Noticing what a baby is attending to, and then talking to them about it, boosts language development. By Dr Danielle Matthews, Dr Michelle McGillion and Professor Julian Pine

The weather may be getting colder and wetter, but the December garden has some surprises

Speech and language strategy Time to Talk is improving children’s communication skills in Warwickshire, finds Annette Rawstrone

In the final part of her series on the London Borough of Newham and Early Education’s 20-provider-strong Outdoors and Active programme, Julie Mountain rounds up some of the key lessons learnt

In response to potential loss of business to school settings, many nursery chains are providing in-house enhancement programmes to improve children’s learning and staff skills, writes Annette Rawstrone

A ‘Dogs, Bones and Dancing’ project at two settings in Cumbria began with children exploring musical instruments, which led to a variety of creative activities, discovers Annette Rawstrone

How to introduce this fun activity. By Penny Tassoni