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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.

Miniature toys hold a timeless appeal for young children and there is a huge and varied range on the market suitable for group play. Early years settings check some out for Sue Hubberstey

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.

As early years settings plan for how they will introduce the Early Years Foundation Stage, they need to keep its principles in mind, says Foundation Stage regional adviser Ann Langston.

Children start to understand the world by exploring objects, writes Jools Page, Senior Early Childhood Consultant, Kent