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Stock the essential resources and plan to inspire learning with our series on continuous provision by Jane Drake.

Create night in the day, or wait until dark, for a host of imaginative activities indoors and outdoors that will help children explore their natural fascination with the night, suggested by early years adviser Judith Stevens.

Early years practitioners get to grips with the latest resources for children's emergent writing, letter recognition and fine motor skills and give Sue Hubberstey their verdicts.

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.

Early maths resources must be inspiring and imaginative or they will lose the children's interest. Staff in early years settings check out a varied selection for Sue Hubberstey.

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.