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The foundation for learning is the physical readiness nurtured by carers in the years before a child starts school, writes Sally Goddard Blythe.

Some of the most challenging and most rewarding audiences that actors face are in schools and nurseries, as Judith Napier hears.

Imagination is a vital part of learning and development because it lets children understand and adapt to the wider world, says early years consultant Linda Pound.

Children sold their artwork at their own charity auction, reports Annette Rawstrone.

Artist Rosie Potter describes how she helped childen to engage with the wider world when they created a giant fish out of recycled products.

The youngest children will delight in using their whole bodies to explore water, says Jean Evans.

Whether they are fashioned from hedgerows or built for purpose from tents and playhouses, dens should be personal retreats for children and places that inspire their imagination and learning, says Diana Lawton.

Imagination and creativity went into the mix when Rainbow Nursery children made banners with Sarah Denham.

It may come as a surprise how many issues there are to consider in using an accessible and relatively cheap resource like food for play. Annette Rawstrone spoke to nursery managers.

In the sixth of our National Strategies features on the EYFS, regional advisor Di Chilvers reflects on what makes effective practice in supporting and extending children's creativity and critical thinking.