The Inspired EC Blog — play

Should we put a stop to end of year gifting?

Posted by Nicole Halton on

Should we put a stop to end of year gifting?

  Well, it's that time of year again. Things are winding down, and the end of year gifts are ramping up. This is the time of year where see some variant on these questions being asked regularly:  What should we give the children as an end of year gift?  What should we get the children to make for families as a gift?  What should I get my child's educator as a gift?    Let's be clear - I like the idea of gifting. In fact, our Inspired EC team decided to do a secret santa this year, and given that...

Read more →

5 Myths About Infant Outdoor Environments

Posted by Nicole Halton on

5 Myths About Infant Outdoor Environments

  I remember one of the first services I ever visited as a young student. I headed on into the infant room and was overwhelmed by toys and swings and rockers and stuff. When I went outdoors, I was surprised to see that the outdoor environment was a simple decked area with a mat and a few toys. Unlike the toddler and preschool playgrounds, the infant playground had no grass, no plants, no challenge, no sensory experiences.    What do our infants need?  When it comes to the outdoor environment for infants, I think that many services err on the side...

Read more →

4 Ways to Support Barefoot Play

Posted by Nicole Halton on

4 Ways to Support Barefoot Play

I spend a lot of time barefoot. I am barefoot indoors, I am barefoot outdoors, and I prefer to drive with barefeet. This explains how one morning, many years ago when I was the director of a beautiful service, I got out of the car when I arrived at work, and realised that I had no shoes. Yes, I was going to be shoeless for the day. I quickly scanned my brain for important meetings, or activities that would require footwear, before deciding that I could probably manage the day without them.  While there are no doubt times where footwear...

Read more →

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....

Read more →

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...

Read more →


>