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Building dens is a natural and important pastime in children's social and emotional development. Anne O'Connor explores how adults can support this form of play while respecting children's need for privacy

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.

New research into the effects on children of consuming food additives has left many parents wondering what is safe to feed them. Nathalie Golden of the Food Standards Agency offers information and advice.

Staging their own shows brought out the best in children whether performing, accompanying or observing, for a project described by their nursery manager Cheryl Cusack.

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.

Parents can be assured about what an early years setting has to offer their special needs child by a new inclusion stamp. Karen Faux finds out how.

Who should decide how messy a child is allowed to be when they're at nursery? Annette Rawstrone spoke to a group of senior nursery practitioners.

Practitioners in early years settings may be the first to notice if a child shows what could be the signs of depression. Annette Rawstrone finds out what to do.

Walking round the garden, Like a teddy bear, One step, Two steps, Tickly under there! It's really important to introduce rhymes and finger play to very young children. This simple...