What can teachers do to help children with anxiety post-Covid?

The past 12 months or so has brought a type of collective stress and anxiety that we hadn’t experienced in the western world for over a generation. With vaccine rollouts continuing apace across the world, it seems (fingers and toes crossed, touching wood and counting chickens, etc.) that we have finally reached a point in our battle against Covid-19 where we can breathe a sigh of relief and begin to resume something resembling a ‘normal’ life again. Phew!

However, as often happens with stressful life events (such as bereavements, house moves, accidents or injuries etc.) it is only when the immediate threat, panic or stress is over and we begin to relax, that the impact of what has happened hits us. And so now, as we look around and breathe a sigh of relief again, we realise that we may be facing another even greater challenge – dealing with the impact on our children’s mental health.

Continue reading

The Power of Play: how free and unstructured play builds resilience in children to cope with adversity

The benefits of play to children’s physical, emotional and sensory development have long since been recognised and emphasised as part of the primary school curriculum.

Ines Lawlor presents the evidence* supporting the relationship between the deterioration in children’s mental health and the decline in unstructured play. She also highlights what teachers can do to create opportunities for play within the school environment or in collaboration with parents at home.

Continue reading

E.a.R.L. the Coding Robot by Playroom Classroom

Despite having completed some CPD in the area, I’ve had minimal hands-on experience with Coding Robots. It’s one of those things that was on my to-do list for a long time! I had bought some books and resources, which were lying idle, waiting to be used.   I had even bought Botley, the Coding Robot, which my own kids at home had some fun with, but never made it into the classroom.

Continue reading

What are Multilink® cubes and how can they be used in the classroom?

For over 50 years, Multilink® cubes have been a stalwart of the classroom and are likely to be found in most teaching establishments around the world. A long-established piece of the mathematics classroom furniture, they have huge manipulative potential due to their simple and effective design.

But what is the history of Multilink®, how has it grown to become such a key mathematics manipulative and how can it be used in the classroom. Read on to find out more.

Continue reading

‘Learn to Read with Decodable Books’ By Playful Classroom


What is a decodable reader?

A decodable reader is a book that only contains words that can be ‘sounded out’ and the letters use their most common sounds.  Usually, they are part of a set, where more sounds are added gradually.  Children can use their letter-sound knowledge and read a book independently from an early stage (sometimes after only learning the first 6 sounds).

Continue reading

What is Flexitable & Why Do I Need It?

The look of the squares, particularly the multiplication squares, might be familiar to some parents. But it’s not the layout of these that makes Flexitable so unique – it’s the soft, flexible scored plastic material that they are made from. Each table is made from white, flexible plastic that is scored between the gridlines, allowing children to fold and manipulate the table to more easily locate the information they are looking for. This is fantastic for kids who might suffer from information overload, or who struggle to follow lines and grids. Dyslexic children often report that text appears to jump around on the page when they look at large amounts of information, so being able to fold the table and just focus on the key information is massively helpful.

Continue reading