NAIDOC Week 2023 - Sticks & Stones Education

NAIDOC Week 2023

My name is Gaby, and I am an ally of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people of Australia. I wondered whether I should do a blog post on NAIDOC ...

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The Stages of Block Play - Sticks & Stones Education

The Stages of Block Play

Blocks are one of my all-time fave open ended play resources and once you know the ages and stages of block play, your mind is blown by children's ...

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The Ultimate Open-Ended Play Guide - Sticks & Stones Education

The Ultimate Open-Ended Play Guide

Open-ended play has no directions, no instructions and no rules. Open ended play resources and toys are materials that have multiple uses. ome common examples of open ended resources and toys are sand play, loose parts, wooden blocks, sculpting media like play-dough, clay-dough or clay, and even lego! The materials can be purchased or hand made. 

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The Ultimate Small World Play Guide - Sticks & Stones Education

The Ultimate Small World Play Guide

Small world play offers children an opportunity to explore the world. They can explore family life and act out situations closer to home, or they can travel the world and learn about life in other countries.  

They can cross dimensions and dance with fairies or swim with mermaids; travel into outer space and swerve around the planets in their rocket; go back in time and learn about history, or they can imagine they’re all grown up and living their best lives. 

Children can practice life before it happens - visiting a doctor or dentist or specialist. Life isn’t always a straight path. We learn about life and love and death through life experience. Small world play allows children a safe space to explore these concepts and brave their fears. 

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Many Ways to Play with Play Silks! - Sticks & Stones Education

Many Ways to Play with Play Silks!

47 Different Ways to Play with Play Silks

Have you ever wondered how to play with play silks? Well we've got you covered with our latest blog article which is overflowing with some awesome play silk inspo! 

I've come up with 47 ways to play with your play silks! You thought you had one play silk? No! You have at least 47 different play opportunities! Let's get started, shall we?

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The Benefits of Play Dough - Sticks & Stones Education

The Benefits of Play Dough

Play dough is a staple of early childhood play and learning.  In my 25 years in early childhood education it has certainly been a core part of the curriculum I’ve planned for children’s learning and development.  I really started to think about the value of play dough and the silent messages we give to children when we offer them play dough resources. In that example I gave above, the children were being told that play dough can be rolled and cut into certain shapes and certain letters. There wasn’t a full set of the alphabet, it was just the leftovers. What does our resourcing of children's play tell children about their play?

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What are Play Schemas? - Sticks & Stones Education

What are Play Schemas?

Some of the typical behaviours we observe in children are actually play schema! A child knocking over another child’s block tower, children hiding in cardboard boxes or the empty shelves of drawers, throwing toys across the room or dropping food from their high chair, lining up cars in a row or the infamous rock collecting that has peppered my career as an early childhood teacher! These are all examples of children’s development that are often misunderstood as destructive or “naughty”.  Behaviour is learning made visible just as it is communication of a need. 

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