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Young children's motor and mental development could be suffering because of physical inactivity. Annette Rawstrone hears from experts about the effects.

Get ready for next month's National Science and Engineering Week - and then keep on having fun all year round with challenges and activities where children and practitioners can learn together, says Ruth Thomson.

Sorting items by different properties and comparing them is a skill that you can observe the children learning to use with increasing sophistication, as Sheila Ebbutt and Carole Skinner demonstrate.

Use one of the best known nursery rhymes to soothe babies and inspire imitative play by toddlers, says Judith Stevens.

The Magic Train Ride written by Sally Crabtree and illustrated by Sonia Esplugas, Barefoot Books, 6.99 (book and CD)

Early years practitioners must view boys as they are, and not try to force them into a behaviour and learning model set by girls the same age, says Neil Farmer

A big hungry crocodile lives in the river. Can you think of a way to get across so you won't be eaten?

The children and staff at Cockfield Primary School nursery class are enjoying the benefits of a half-day visit from a professional musician from The Sage at Gateshead. The aim was to develop the children's love of singing and playing instruments, and introduce musical activities into the setting's regular themes.

Music sessions will stimulate and build on one of the most powerful natural resources, says Steve Grocott.

Little Monsters by Jan Pienkowski. Dinner Time written by Anne Carter and illustrated by Jan Pienkowski. Walker Books, 6.99 each