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Offer the under-threes simple objects to manipulate and mark with and hone their skills, suggests Marie Richardson

Build up your setting's construction area carefully, with attention to the movement around it and materials with the most potential, says Jane Drake.

Let children's imaginations fly high, while steering their learning with activities based on a favourite story book as suggested by early years adviser Judith Stevens.

An early years setting's garden designed along the lines of a popular children's book includes everything except the bear. Helen Hicks, manager of Boomerang Kids in Saltdean near Brighton, explains its journey.

Wet and dry sand can provide a useful basis for further learning when combined with careful planning and an interesting variety of resources, says Jane Drake. Photography at lescudjack nursery in Penzance, Cornwall, by Jim Wileman.

Let children explore a new line of thinking through play with ribbons, laces and cords, as Alice Sharp suggests.

Use an enjoyable story book to complement experiences that children have with resources found in the real world around them, following suggestions from Helen Bromley.

We found that less was more when we cleared our school's outdoor area and let children choose their own challenges in physical play, says Jane Simons.

See how some of children's favourite playthings can build the foundations for further learning when you provide the best resources in each area of provision in your setting, with suggestions from Helen Bromley.

What is 'continuous provision', why is it so important and how does it fit into the Early Years Foundation Stage? In the first of a new series, Jane Drake examines what practitioners need to be providing on a daily basis.