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Well-organised sand and water play leaves children absorbed and free to wallow in sensory experiences. Diana Lawton explains how.

Equipment that's user-friendly for little fingers is vital for the right start in this age of technology. Mary Evans recommends digital cameras and recorders with easy buttons.

Assess how your outside space is used before rushing out to spend your equipment budget, says Julian Grenier.

Children need poetry early on if they are to appreciate it throughout life. Viv Hampshire suggests some activities and books for making a start.

Early years staff are now taking part in an experiment that has so far only concentrated on parents. Katy Morton finds out what it's about.

Imagination is the only resource you'll need in abundance to enjoy activities inspired by this children's book, says Helen Bromley.

Small-world play offers children the chance to explore real and imagined worlds in miniature. Early years settings put a range of small-world play equipment to the test and report back to Nicole Weinstein.

Observing the level of involvement that children show in their play can tell you much about their emotional well-being, says Anne O'Connor.

A unique structured therapy programme is changing the prospects of nursery children with speech and language delay. Ruth Thomson reports.

The importance of leaving children to their own devices with imagination and the most basic materials is explored by Helen Huleatt of Community Playthings with Professor Tina Bruce, Lynn McNair and Sian Wyn Siencyn.