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Work/Activity Sheets

(19 Posts)
travellingtime Wed 03-Oct-12 16:27:55

Can anyone recommend a website where you can download basic worksheets for a toddler coming up to 3yo. I'm thinking spot the difference/ bigger than-smaller than/ counting / colours / etc etc.

RaisinDEtre Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:16

any reason why you can't do all this without worksheets? Not much scope for extending learning.

lots of printables on ichild

teacherlikesapples Wed 03-Oct-12 20:50:05

There is some pretty huge amounts of research, evidence and reasons against using worksheets, especially with this age group. You would also be pretty hard pressed to find any good reasons to use them.

Is there any particular reason why you wanted them? I would be happy to help you come up with something much better & more effective if you let me know:

* What you are trying to achieve
* What your child's current abilities, interests, strengths and needs are.

Also something to consider- rather than trying to teach particular tidbits of knowledge, at this age it is far more important to be teaching thinking skills/dispositions. So HOW to think instead of what to think.

In my professional opinion: Worksheets are very very limited & have no advantages that I can think of. There are much better, more effective alternatives.

greenbananas Wed 03-Oct-12 20:52:50

Are you a childminder/nanny? Much better to embed all this learning into daily activities with no pressure. E.g. counting stairs as you are going up them together, counting strawberries as you put them on the plate, looking for as many green/red/blue things as you can find in the room, asking which potato is bigger etc.

Our local Childminding Development Officer told me the other day that worksheets are specifically discouraged as it is not good practice to use them. The EYFS is supposed to be play-based, and I think you would find it hard to justify using worksheets to support the learning of a child so young.

Good link though, Raisin.

RaisinDEtre Wed 03-Oct-12 21:57:26

I thought I ought to find some printables as asked, even though I was questioning the need for 'em IYSWIM

Love how we all say the same thing

travellingtime Thu 04-Oct-12 11:23:46

Thanks all.
V Interesting.
No, I am not a childminder, was asking on behalf of our CM/Nanny. She looks after DD and I know she does do a lot of 'learning' in daily activities.
There are a few reasons why i thought worksheets / activity sheets might be useful - firstly, I would be able to see what they have been doing, and secondly, it might help CM to focus on things a little bit
There is a bit of a lack of structure to their days, I feel. Maybe i am worrying about it too much but my son when he was at nursery at hte ssame age obvioulsy had a lot more structure around these things.
I did ask CM the other day about the early years stages etc and whether she had any of her study material on this (she used to work in a nursery)
They go a playgroup or similar most mornings and then the rest of the day is kind of geared around school drop off and pick up for DS and the rest of the time is at home playing etc.
She's pretty bright, her speech is amazing for her age, she's pretty good with counting, colours a bit sketchy, getting better with shapes, amazing imagination - loves playing with her dolls/little people/teddies and having tea parties/going to the shops whatever it is with them. Also loves colouring/painting all the crafty type stuff.
I guess when my DS was at nursery we used to get a lot of feedback on these things, as they have to do the 'observations' stuff, but we dont do that - perhaps I should be asking CM to do all that too ...

RaisinDEtre Thu 04-Oct-12 12:37:57

Is she a nanny working in your home ?

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Thu 04-Oct-12 13:28:31

CM/Nanny is very confusing because they are two different jobs. If she is looking after the children in your home then she is a nanny, an employee. If you take them to her house and she is self-employed she is a childminder.

Little children don't need structured learning this is one of the reasons a nanny or childminder is a better choice than a nursery. IMO.

travellingtime Thu 04-Oct-12 14:46:15

She is looking after DCs at our home, so I guess she is a nanny.
Perhaps I am just after reassurances that DD IS learning stuff through what they are doing...and that kind of feedback would be more forthcoming in a nursery environment

teacherlikesapples Thu 04-Oct-12 18:31:57

Well children of this age learn a great deal through play. It is the best way that they can learn, and they can learn everything they need to simply by being given the opportunity to explore, experiment, problem solve, and create.

Obviously it would make a massive difference if you had a very educated nanny who understood child development and how children learn best. As she would be able to observe, extend, scaffold & support your child as they play.

If your Nanny is unqualified and/or inexperienced I would exercise even more caution with asking her to use anything structured like worksheets. As she may not know how to use them appropriately or how to support the learning at that stage. (the

From what you are saying- the issue is not so much what your child is doing, but the fact that you are not getting enough specific feedback. So focus on that. Tell her you need updates and specific observations, so you can track her development. Have a look at the EYFS development matters document

Have a look at the targets for your child's age group. It gives you approximately where your child should be achieving, what the adult's can do to support it. e.g •Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas,
e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children.
- Support children in developing positive relationships by
challenging negative comments and actions towards
either peers or adults.
-Plan activities that require collaboration, such as
parachute activities and ring games.

Let her know you want more specific feedback and for your child to be engaged in really enriching experiences. It would be awesome if you can manage to understand and acknowledge that play is one of those enriching experiences.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Thu 04-Oct-12 19:06:55

I don't think you should do any of that. She's 2 fgs, you don't need to be worrying about 'targets' or what she should be achieving! Surely you speak to her when you get home/on the weekend? Has she had new experiences? Can she count higher than she could before? Is she using new words? Is she role-playing in a new way/a new game? Is she getting better at sharing? Is she happy? Has she had fun? Is she safe and content?

You really don't need a worksheet or targets set by the government, just speak to and observe your child!

teacherlikesapples Fri 05-Oct-12 07:46:01

Personal preference I guess HolyAutumnGoldBatman. I find once parents actually take a good look at the document they begin to understand that the types of things their child needs to be focusing on at this age is:

* Play
* Interaction with their peers
* Making choices and doing things for themselves
* Climbing & running. Especially outside and even better if on grass.
* Making things (with no real purpose in mind- just experimenting with colours & textures)
* Being read to & looking at books
* music = singing for fun & experimenting with instruments!
* mark marking with a paint brush & water outside, or large chalks on the pavement. No purpose, no task, just experimenting.

Understanding that the most important thing at this age is on developing communication skills and personal, social and emotional skills. Through 'hands on child initiated & child led experiences. Gives most parents a wake up call & sense of relief that there is no need to be sitting them down for ridiculous things like worksheets.

Frakiosaurus Fri 05-Oct-12 23:39:40

Wow holy surely if a parent is actively interested that should be encouraged hmm rather than dismissed? I get what you're saying that paperwork and obs aren't the be all and end all but that did come across as though one shouldn't care about a child's development.

OP your nanny may need a quiet reminder that just because the setting is a home and not a nursery that doesn't mean one can just pootle along. Learning definitely doesn't need to be formal buy you can still ask for occasional obs and more structured activities, particular in areas your DC don't naturally gravitate to. It sounds like everything is just fine bit I can appreciate that you want something to demonstrate that, especially if your nanny isn't communicating as you would like. Part of being an employer is establishing and fine tuning that working relationship so you're both satisfied smile

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sat 06-Oct-12 00:15:22

'Has she had new experiences? Can she count higher than she could before? Is she using new words? Is she role-playing in a new way/a new game? Is she getting better at sharing? Is she happy? Has she had fun? Is she safe and content?'

that came across as though you shouldn't care about a child's development?!

Parents who know what their children have learnt through talking to them, rather than making them do worksheets don't care about their child's development?

Right, ok then.

<toddles off to tell MB/DB that they don't care about their child's development>

Frakiosaurus Sat 06-Oct-12 09:56:10

"I don't think you should do any of that. She's 2 fgs, you don't need to be worrying about 'targets' or what she should be achieving! "

That's what I was referring too. The very first bit. Mitigated slightly by telling the OP to talk to her child but 'targets' and guidance are there for a reason. Partly to give people go want some structure, like the OP, a reference point.

Happy, safe and content with new experiences that make a child able to count higher doesn't necessarily translate to overall development but without seeing what children should (roughly) be doing and learning it's hard to know what to look for or ask. The OP is clearly speaking to her child but wants more feedback.

Basically she is taking an interest and the first thing she read after saying she wanted reassurance was that she didn't 'need to do any of that'. Which comes across a bit like telling her she shouldn't be bothering, let alone asking for advice.

IMO it's probably a communication breakdown between nanny and OP, either nanny is doing these sorts of activities but not communicating or nanny isn't because she doesn't realise she needs to and the OP hasn't told her that's what she wants. Absolutely no reason why a nanny with the appropriate knowledge can't implement the EYFS if that's what the parent wants, even though it isn't strictly necessary.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sat 06-Oct-12 12:44:39

'targets' and guidance are there for a reason'

I wonder what would happen if we took these away? Children would just stop developing? We'd no longer be able to tell when children developed, progressed, learnt new things?

I'm almost certain that before the introduction of 'targets' and the EYFS children still developed.

'and the first thing she read after saying she wanted reassurance was that she didn't 'need to do any of that'. '

My post is quite a way down, it's not the first thing she read (unless she skipped all the other posts) and I didn't say she didn't 'need to any of that'. I said I don't think you should do any of that' and I don't think she should. I don't think she needs to.

'The OP is clearly speaking to her child but wants more feedback.'

She asked for worksheets about 'spot the difference/ bigger than-smaller than/ counting / colours' so that she has 'reassurances that DD IS learning stuff through what they are doing', but surely all of those things can be discovered through talking to her DD?

She also wanted worksheets so that she 'would be able to see what they have been doing'. IMO it would be better to ask DD 'what have you been doing today?', to ask the nanny 'what have you done today?' and/or ask the nanny to keep a diary of what they do and to take photographs through the day.

I am giving the OP my advice, it's just different advice to what teacher gave. My 'I don't think you should do any of that' was in response to teacher's advice about looking at targets etc. and I stand by, it I don't she should do any of that.

The OP is of course free to completely disregard my opinion.

Frakiosaurus Sat 06-Oct-12 13:36:07

She originally wanted worksheets, yes, but I think she's been persuaded away from that. But wanting an indicator of (for lack of a better word) progress isn't unreasonable. It's like parents who take their DC to be weighed every week for the first three months. It's a concrete sign that everything is proceeding well. After a while, or maybe by the time they get to their second or third baby, they can see that the baby is growing, has wet nappies, is alert etc.

I never said targets and guidance were in order to make children develop. I said they were there partly to provide a structure and framework for people who need it. A nanny diary is a good suggestion and also a way to give some structure. If nanny were communicating well then OP might have an idea of what the next steps are for her DD, as I'm sure you communicate to your employers.

I've worked with a lot of childcare professionals and I often see what's possibly happening here, I've probably been guilty of it myself - it's common sense to the professional but not to the parent. Just like interacting and talking with children is common sense if you know how to do it but baffling if you're my DH you don't have experience. Alternatively nanny is taking it easy, in which case referring to something she should know might help. It's a framework, not a cage.

Apologies the inverted comma around need was misplaced so it looked like I was misquoting. I didn't mean to smile and yes teacher's post was between yours and where the OP came back to say she just wanted a bit of reassurance, which is perfectly natural especially if you've been used to the level of paperwork nurseries produce and communicate to parents, but it came across as a bit of a put down. That may not have been your intention, and heaven knows it's difficult getting across the exact message when it's words on a screen, but dismissing the idea that the OP might find some extra information helpful because get DD is 2 was a bit harsh IMO. There's no reason we shouldn't take an interest in what a 2 year old might need to be learning just because they're 2. The OP's already talking, she has a good idea of what her DD is/likes doing. What she wanted was something more tangible.

I've read and reread this message trying not to cause offence, so I'm sorry if it does but I really hope you get what I'm trying to say and that the OP will forgive the hijack!

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sat 06-Oct-12 14:11:23

I see what you're saying, I think it's just a difference of approach/opinion. If the question had been 'should I take my pfb newborn to be weighed every week?', I'd also have said, 'no, don't bother, you can look and see he/she is thriving'

DC3 has just gone into reception and for several of the parents it's their first child going through the school system. They want to know what everyone else's child is doing, why their child can't do x,y,z, how is the teacher is challenging them, why don't they have a reading book yet, when will they get homework, why is my child crying when I get him to 20 mins of flashcards every night' etc etc.

I'm forever saying 'relax, it doesn't matter, he/she's 4 and been at school for a month, if they're happy and settled that's really all you need to worry about at this point'. Whereas you may say 'well, if you look here you can find the curriculum for 4 year olds...'

'There's no reason we shouldn't take an interest in what a 2 year old might need to be learning'

I think this is the difference. I don't think there is a list of things a 2-year old 'needs' to learn. It is my view, that if you put a 2-year old in an enriching and stimulating environment they will take from it what they need, when they need it. This will be (and should be) different for each child.

I'm also a big fan of unstructured home schooling through the early years, I just favour a more relaxed (if that's the right word?) approach to things. I fully appreciate this isn't for everyone, but I do think that my view/opinion/advice is equally valid to your view/opinion/advice.

teacherlikesapples Sat 06-Oct-12 22:24:53

HolyAutumnGoldBatman- I think we are all essentially singing from the same song sheet here. No one is advocating that the OP sits her 2 year old down for worksheets/progress checks/structured anything. Quite the opposite in fact. I am advocating for free play, and more of it.

As you say you can put most "2-year olds in an enriching and stimulating environment they will take from it what they need, when they need it." That is unfortunately not true for every child and it certainly helps to have an aware & engaged parent. To give a bit of extra care and attention, should it be needed. I am yet to meet a child who excels in every single area of the curriculum all of the time. Those children are very rare.

As far as I understand she just needs to know:
Is her child progressing ok?
Is she doing enough to support that progress + can she do any more?
Is her nanny doing enough to support that progress + can she do more?
+ How does she get more accurate feedback so she can be assured of all of the above.

The EYFS provides a very loose guidance of the types of things children of this age should be learning & some things that might help most children learn those things. It can be used by some people as a prompt, so they can check/reassure/plan/observe/evaluate their provision.

Without knowing anything about the EYFS your child will still progress. That is true. You just may or may not be aware of what those progress points are and their implications of future learning. It is guidance. It is not gospel.

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