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Thrive: Summer Outdoor Nature Activities for Children and Families (by Gillian Powell M.Ed.)

Thrive: Summer Outdoor Nature Activities for Children and Families‘ by Irish Author Gillian Powell M.Ed. We are delighted to add to our product category ‘Exploring Nature with Children’ with this wonderful new outdoor themed book!

With over 30 years experience in the Early Years sector Gillian wrote this book based on her own first hand experience with children. The book was written with the aim to guide, inspire and help both Early Years Educators and families to connect with the outdoors and nature in Summer time.

Thrive: Summer Outdoor Nature Activities Book Contents

The first of a series of four books for Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring; this wonderful book has lots of activity ideas covering various topics such as Healthy Eating, Sensory Walks, Science, Maths, Well Being and Climbing. The book includes pictures as a visual to many of the activities and is aimed at children between 2 and 8 years old. This book would be a great addition to any Early Years Setting to have on hand for staff members who might need some inspiration or guidance when connecting with the outdoors and nature in the Summer Time.

Gillian says;

‘I believe that Summer is a time of abundance and imagination. This Summer edition of Thrive will explore nature and outdoor activities that will develop children’s cognitive and creative thinking. These activities have been tried and tested over thirty-two years working in an early years setting. The underlying principles of this book reinforce the importance of nature for children and families. Thrive continues to emphasise mindfulness and holistic emotional well being, for children and families.’

Summer Time gives children the opportunity to be outdoors where they can be free to explore the world around them. Furthermore, playing outdoors can benefit children in many ways from exposure to sunlight, movement of body, improvement of balance and coordination and finally, sensory engagement. The below video gives a taste of the ideas that are included in the book.


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Maternity and Pregnancy Toolkit: Newly Updated

The Maternity and Pregnancy Toolkit has recently been updated by Canavan Byrne. The update includes a COVID-19-Inclusive Pregnancy Risk Assessment. Services need to ensure Pregnancy Risk Assessments are regularly reviewed and updated to identify new possible risks to employees. It should currently include reference to COVID-19 and possible risk relating to it.

Similarly, it should outline any additional safety measures on offer in your service to further minimise risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes additional PPE, exemption from handovers and/or cover practice, smaller pod allocation and maximising use of the outdoors.

Services should aim to carry out one risk assessment per trimester and keep communication regular and consistent with pregnant employees. Ensure that the risk assessment is signed by both manager and employee after each assessment is carried out and place a copy of the assessment on the employee’s file. In addition, the pack now also includes a ‘Lift Smart’ Visual Aid Poster. This poster should be on display in your service and is relevant to both expectant and non-expectant staff.

What is the Maternity and Pregnancy Toolkit?

The Maternity and Pregnancy Toolkit has been designed by Canavan Byrne to give services the tools and guidance they require to develop good working practices on the following;

  • Dealing with pregnancy
  • Expectant parents
  • Maternity, Paternity, Parental and Adoptive leave
  • Post maternity employment issues
  • Force Majeure
  • Breastfeeding

The pack includes all the necessary forms that staff members need for notification of maternity, paternity, paternal, parent or Force Majeure Leave. It also includes policy documents for Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parent’s Leave, Parental Leave and Breastfeeding. In addition, it includes the newly updated Risk Assessment Sheet and Lift Smart Poster as per above.

Please note that this is a downloadable product. As soon as your order is placed you will receive an email instantly from the Early Years Shop. The email will provide you with a link to your product. All files have an expiry of 15 days so please ensure that you download immediately upon receipt. Once downloaded you can begin to use all documents immediately. Some documents may need minor edits to suit your own service requirements.

Remember if you are a member of The Early Years Resource Factory you receive a 15% discount on all downloadable policies on The Early Years Shop. Sign up for your FREE no obligation 7 day trial here or sign up immediately here.




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Have You Seen These Super New Products from Insect Lore?

Super new products from Insect Lore now available! We are continually adding to our outdoor nature range of products on the Early Years Shop. If you are looking to engage with outdoor learning then check out our three new products from Insect Lore. These are a great addition to any service for learning about the world outside. They include a giant version of our original Butterfly Garden that has space for double the amount of butterflies. Other new products include a Life Cycle Microscope and fabulous 3D Butterfly stickers that flutter in any type of light breeze!

Learning about insects, small creatures, plants and trees opens up a whole new world to children. They will have the opportunity to recognise the different type of bugs and insects that live nearby. They also have the opportunity to get up close and study them. They can learn about their shape, pattern, discover how many legs they have and whether they have wings or not. They can also learn about the life cycle from seed to plant or from caterpillar to butterfly.

Children will learn so much from this process and being able to see it happen themselves is a magical experience! With the Insect Lore Butterfly net habitat children will be able to see for themselves how caterpillars transform into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies. It is a wonderful process that many preschools all over the world have being carrying out for years with the children in their service.

Super New Products from Insect Lore Available Now!

  • Giant Butterfly GardenThe Giant Butterfly Garden is a bigger version of the much loved regular Butterfly Garden. However, with the Giant Butterfly Garden you receive a larger enclosure measuring 45cm, caterpillar voucher to redeem 6-10 caterpillars and Painted Lady butterfly life cycle stages figurines. Remember the caterpillars are shipped between March and September so order now if you wish to carry out the process before the end of the school year!
  • Life Cycle MicroscopeThe Life Cycle Microscope allows children to zoom in on their favourite creatures and outdoor objects with up to 8 times magnification. It features large, comfortable eyepiece lenses making it easy for young children to use. It has a large over sized knob for zooming. In addition, it has an LED light to showcase the details in the slides or on any other object the children would like to examine. It also includes four slides showing the amazing butterfly life cycle but slides are not required. You can place feathers, bugs, leaves and more directly on the illuminated base.
  • 3D Butterfly Stickers – These 3D Butterfly Stickers are highly life like and flutter in any small breeze. They are a great addition to any caterpillar to butterfly theme in a classroom setting for decorating artwork or gifting to children as a job well done on the project completed! They are also a great addition to any nature theme activities. Each sheet includes 10 butterflies and 5 small flowers. Colour chosen at random (blue, green or red).

All of these products are now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop! A great addition to any Early Years Service for nature themed activities!


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Get Outdoors – More Great Products from Insect Lore!

Time to get outdoors! As the weather becomes warmer and drier there is now much more opportunity to be outdoors with the children in your service. At the Early Years Shop, we have some great new products added to our Exploring Nature with Children category. These include a Butterfly Feeder, a Ladybird Magnifier and Wildflower Seeds. If you are looking to encourage nature to your outdoor area then you can use these products to help you!

Simple additions such as growing some wildflowers or having a butterfly feeder in your outdoor area will begin to attract different forms of insects. This is not only a great way to help the environment but a great way of teaching children about nature. Children can learn about the life cycle of a plant from growing the flowers, how insects such as bees and butterflies use the plants to feed and what those insects look like up close! You do not need to have an expansive outdoor area to encourage nature to you, even the smallest of spaces can be utilised to attract nature to your door!

Get Outdoors – Three Great New Products Now Available!

If you loved the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden or the Creature Peeper products then you will also love these great new products available on the Early Years Shop. These three products are a great addition to any service to encourage nature to your outdoor area, bringing the children closer to nature!

  1. Butterfly Feeder– The Butterfly Feeder hangs in your outdoor area, filled with nectar (you can use sugared water), to attract butterflies to feed. Once the butterflies come to feed the children can use their magnifying glasses to carefully check out their patterns, features and different colours. This is a great addition to any Early Years Service who are looking to  encourage wildlife into the outdoor space for children to explore closely.
  2. Ladybird Magnifier – The Ladybird Magnifier was thoughtfully designed with young children in mind. It is both lightweight and sturdy and uses the ladybird’s wings cleverly, opening out to reveal a lens that offers 5 x magnification! This is a great product for children to carry with them as they go outside on their nature adventures! They can search for leaves, twigs, insects, pebbles and put them in their Best Ever Bug Jar for further study. It measures 11.4cm in length and 9.7cm width and the lens is approx. 6cm in diameter.
  3. Flower Seeds – This super mix of wildflower seeds includes a variety of different flowers including foxgloves, clover and forget-me-nots. These seeds have been specifically selected to benefit and attract butterflies to your outdoor area. This process helps children to understand the cycle of plants as well as learning how the flowers benefit nature as they help to feed the bees and butterflies.

All of these products are now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop! Make sure and keep an eye out for more new nature products that we will be adding to the collection over the coming months!