The Inspired EC Blog

Why being "held back" from starting school is a gift.

Posted by Nicole Halton on

Why being "held back" from starting school is a gift.

Three parents stood at the playground while their children played together in the garden. As they watched them play, their conversation turned to starting school. Discussing their plans for their children, it was easy for them to fall into the trap of comparing. 

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From Gaming to Games: 4 Ways to Spark Imaginative Play for School Aged Children

Posted by Nicole Halton on

From Gaming to Games: 4 Ways to Spark Imaginative Play for School Aged Children

  ** This post was originally written in 2019 and has been updated and resposted ** Two boys arrive at our TimberNook program full of stories of online gaming – stories that seem somewhat older than their 8-9 years. They argue (playfully) about who does what in Fortnite and how to get through certain challenges  or something to that effect (let’s be honest – I have no idea what Fortnite is all about!) As we settle into the morning, the group of children disperse on our bushland site and begin working on cubbies and hanging out on the tyre swing....

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What's the deal with the birthday wall?

Posted by Nicole Halton on

What's the deal with the birthday wall?

**This post was originally written several years ago and has been revamped and reposted. Enjoy! **   I’m just going to be blunt – I don’t get the whole concept of a birthday wall. Never have. The oversized cupcakes and giant balloons filled with children’s names and birth dates and plastered on the walls of early childhood settings, have never made sense to me. And each year, as the “help, what should I do for our birthday wall?” posts invade the early childhood Facebook community, I find myself asking “why?”  In the words of the amazing Lisa Murphy  “What are...

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Why we need to stop Hikjacking Children's Play Under the Guise of "Interest Based Learning"

Posted by Nicole Halton on

Why we need to stop Hikjacking Children's Play Under the Guise of "Interest Based Learning"

  ** This post was originally written in 2017 and I have updated and reposted now ** Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about interest based learning. As someone who worked with young children in the early 2000’s, when the concept of “emergent curriculum” was quite popular, I have always been a proponent of interest based learning. I always felt that by observing the children and understanding what they were interested in, I would be able to plan a program that facilitated those interests. Yet, over the last few years as my understanding of play has deepened...

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Lessons In Nature

Posted by Nicole Halton on

Lessons In Nature

  Right now, in Lake Macquarie, we are in lockdown. As I write this, it is day 6 of 7 (although there is the strong possibility that it won't all end tomorrow). I am working from home, while my three children (6, 8 and 11) are schooling from home. Last year, when COVID first interrupted usual programming, we spent many weeks schooling from home and to be honest - I hated it. This time around, I am trying hard to not let it stress me out, to not become frustrated with the amount of screen time it requires, to not...

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