Computing in the Early Years (and beyond!)
Right from Key Stage 1 we are beginning to investigate simple algorithms and to investigate computer programs. In reception and EYFS then, giving children the chance to experience activities and objects which encourage the correct use of technology- (experience the world around them) – is important. Think useful, colourful and fun!!
Often overlooked! Or tucked away in a cupboard somewhere without charge… For that reason I recommend this set of rechargeable and self contained Bee Bots!
Use with maps on the floor to link with topics – e.g Desert Island Treasure or Road.
- Great for linking to topic maps and stories.
- Versatile – link to instruction writing or leave as play
Remote Control Cars
Sounds simple, but these will encourage pupils to think in terms of instruction following, and develop direction, motor skills and control.
- Can be linked to topics and stories in a similar way to Bee Bots.
- Encourage group working and talking whilst play.
Make use of the whiteboard!
The 2 Simple City is a great environment for simulation and play. However it could be as simple as leaving your smart board software up there so they can play. However a quick search will find many online games aimed at this age group that can be linked to topics. Try Poisson Rouge or looking at the TES iBoard – some of which are free.
- Use a rota for the children who are allowed on the whiteboard, maybe with a timer so that other children get the chance.
- Many of these activities can also be left on the classroom computers.
I’ve really begun to like the wide variety of classroom props around that let you (or the pupils) record their own message. My favourite are the recordable pegs which let children record explanations and ideas linked to classroom work, or in storytelling corners. Gives a lovely personal touch to the classroom. You can also get little push buttons which allow you to leave oral instructions for activities, or children to practice their talk before writing.
Laptops / Tablet Computers
Discussions around ‘what’s best’ for younger hands / eyes / experiences aside try and think what would fit best within you school environment. I always recommend a mixture are available for the children to use – and for computers you can get some lovely smaller mice and colourful keyboards. On Android and ipad there are plenty of apps that can be used, and some very safe covers to protect from water / dropping etc. Plenty of the apps I’ve looked at here fit in well with early users, too.
Links – note there is a wide variety of shops / sites which sell this equipment! Recommended just to get started:
Please leave a comment if you can recommend any other equipment / programmes for the early years environment!