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In the run-up to International Mud Day on 29 June, Jan White and Menna Godfrey make the case for creating a mud kitchen in your setting and offer advice on how to best approach the task.

With the weather improving and National Picnic Week on 13-21 June, there are plenty of excuses to enjoy a spot of outdoor dining. We pick some resources for fun and hassle-free excursions

With nurseries spending an increasing amount of time outside, many are investing in outdoor structures bringing real benefits to children's play and learning, says Katy Morton.

In Scotland, creativity is now at the heart of early years education. Annette Rawstrone assesses its capacity to foster a love of learning.

Some settings are making blocks an important part of their provision - and opening up new opportunities for learning and development as a result. Marianne Sargent explains.

Role play is becoming more flexible, with settings embracing approaches that create more authentic experiences and respond to children's interests. Marianne Sargent explains.

Use targeted resources that are meaningful to children to get them talking, says Judith Stevens.

Exploring Montessori - with its focus on nurturing the whole person in a well-planned learning environment - can offer lessons for all of us. Marianne Sargent takes a look.

There is potential for mathematical learning in all areas of a nursery, so long as practitioners are open to possibilities. Judith Stevens suggests ideas to inspire three- to five-year-olds.

Careful thought is needed to create well-defined and attractive spaces to enhance play, learning and well-being. Ruth Thomson explains.