Plan time at your setting for children to play with mathematical and construction toys including jigsaws, blocks, train sets, threading, sand and water play and dens. Toys or activities that involve counting things, sorting, building, shapes and sizes etc. are all designed to help promote the Learning and Development area of Mathematics.
Many of these ‘Mathematical’ and construction activities also help to promote the COEL: Creating and Thinking Critically. They are designed to help children to test their ideas about space, shapes and sizes, to find new ways to do things, to make links and to change strategy as needed. They offer you plenty of opportunities to ask children to review what approach worked and to try something differently next time.
These sorts of activities also naturally lend themselves to observations about a different COEL: Active Learning when children take pride in what they have built and keep on trying to get something to work. Remember to praise the children about how they approach the task and how they keep on trying. In other words, remember to ‘praise the process’ rather than just the end result.
Do you have enough of these sorts of toys? These toys are the sorts of things people sell second hand all the time, so check online and in charity shops before buying new.
For tools, activities, CPD and ideas to put the COEL into practice in your childminding setting check out my new Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack.