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Observe how absorbed the children can become in particular schemas when you provide resources and activities suggested by Diana Lawton.

One nursery combines learning through play with family involvement by making science boxes. Mary Evans finds out what it's all about.

Go back in time for children to get a sense of themselves and to explore concepts with activities across the early years curriculum suggested by Sheila Ebbutt.

In a safe environment where they feel secure, even very small children can enjoy constructive problem-solving and concentrate for surprising amounts of time, says Anne O'Connor.

Contrasts, and cause and effect, are just some of the concepts within the learning to be found in an investigation of 'wet' and 'dry' by Carole Skinner, Fran Mosley and Sheila Ebbutt.

Now's the time to go out on a leaf hunt and discover how many areas for learning they can lead you to. Try starting with these ideas from Carole Skinner, Fran Mosley and Sheila Ebbutt.

Early years practitioners should be alert to the potential in all of their setting's creative provision for developing children's problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN). Linda Pound shows where to find it.

Set sail for adventure, imagination and creative activities across all areas of the curriculum with a topic on these popular characters, outlined by Helen Bromley.

Provision to enable and challenge the youngest children to direct their own learning is carefully thought out at a centre visited by Nicole Weinstein.

Early years settings need to offer provision that will help sustain young children's thinking by using their own initiative, says Marion Dowling.