Jump to content
About Us

Knowledge And Understanding Of The World


Recommended Posts

I used to find breaking KUW down into science and change made it easier to think of ideas. I used to love putting all sorts of stuff on the table, flour, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, tea leaves, food colouring, coffee granuals, with pots, plates, spoons, teat pipets etc and letting the children mix and discover.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

do you have child friendly cameras. tills for a shop, calculators, remote control cars, in fact anything the children switch off and on. how about tents and torches, magnifying glasses to explore trees, leaves, mini-beasts, stones and shells. mrsW.x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yes I'll second that - we have been collecting acorns today - we looked to see where they had come from and then followed this up by reading a 'Goz' book which shows 'acorns and oak trees'


We have also admired the cobwebs on our outdoor play equipment.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi just a very quick questions. Any ideas for knowledge and understanding apart from the normal computors, laptops. It would be nice to have a few ideas that are different to go on the planning. We have ofsted looming.Thanks



Do you just mean the ICT content or KUW in general?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KUW activities


Compare different types of materials and their

properties, ie wood, plastic, metal, sponge.

· Observe how clay or dough changes as you

manipulate it, add water, textures, smells etc.

· Explore materials in the water.

· Arrange visits to the beach, the park.

· Introduce descriptive vocabulary, ie smooth,

spikey, bumpy, soft, hard.

· Investigate and explore musical instruments made

from different materials, ie wood, plastic, metal,


· Listen to sound effects and play sound lotto.

· Taste different foods - try salty, bitter, sweet

things. Record likes and dislikes.

· Smell different things. Describe the smells.

· Put something smelly in a parcel and pass it round

the circle. Get the children to guess what is


· Use feely bags and boxes in a range of activities,

eg recognising the shape of objects, the quality of

materials etc.

· Match by feel. Put different materials in a feely

box. Have matching materials mounted on cards.

Let the children find the match without looking.

· Wrap a number of parcels and get the children to

guess the contents.

· What's behind your back? Place an object in a

child's hands and get them to guess what it is.

· (See also listening activities under Language and


· Use magnifiers, binoculars, microscopes, colour


· Make gloop using cornflour.

· Bring in real objects such as crabs or fish to look


Make card windows to look at parts of objects.

· Observational drawings and paintings.

· Set up situations where children observe

something and talk about it in a small group, eg cut

up pieces of fruit to see what is inside.

· Record observations on tape, in photographs, in

pictures, in diagrams, in emergent writing.

· Keep a pet in the classroom and use it to talk

about caring for living creatures.

· Encourage the children to get involved with

feeding and cleaning.

· Make a book about caring for a pet.

· Have a rota for sharing care of the pet over

weekends and holidays.

· Invite visitors in with their pets.

· Incubate some eggs.

· Grow plants in the classroom and outside - from

seeds, bulbs, cuttings, flowers, herbs and

vegetables. Use these to talk about what plants

need to help them grow.

· Give all children a turn at watering the plants.

· Use pictures of different sorts of animals for

sorting and discussion, eg wild, farm, domestic,

sea, birds etc.

· Use books and stories to teach the names of

animal babies.

· Sort objects into natural and man made, eg rocks,

shells, buttons, toys, clothes.

· Sort objects by the materials from which they

are made, eg. wood, plastic, wool, paper.

· Listen to sound effects and play sound lotto.

· Go on walks, or visits to see seasonal changes, eg

to a farm, wood, park.

· Use events in the children's lives and stories to

talk about death, birth, growth, both in humans

and in animals.

· Use building works to explore changes in the

locality and the materials being used, eg road

works, new houses, school buildings, the landscape

around the school.

· Create interactive displays, eg leaves to match.

Work on ourselves - hair colour, eye colour,


· Self portraits in paint and crayons.

· Finger prints, hand prints, foot prints in talcum

powder, paint and plaster.

· Talk about pictures of children from other


· Make pairs and lotto games with subtle

differences in the pictures.

· Teach the language of colour, shape, texture and

size to help children describe similarities and


· Make collections of objects with similar and

different properties, eg size, colour, texture,

shape, natural, made etc.

· Sort objects by different criteria, eg collection

of clothes in the home corner.

· Look for patterns in the environment, eg paving,

tiles, brickwork.

· Look for patterns in natural and man made

objects, eg leaves, flowers, material, wrapping


· Use good quality information books to find out

about patterns in nature, eg animal camouflage,

snowflakes, butterflies and insects.

· Do rubbings of tree bark, leaves, cross sections of

tree trunks.

· Make patterns in different media.

· Make rubbings of patterns around the nursery, eg

bricks, tiles etc.


· Explore change through work on all the above

topics, eg the seasons, life cycles, plant growth,


· Activities where children can use their sense to

observe, smell, touch and hear to describe

materials before, during and after change.

· Making jellies and ice lollies, baking biscuits, cakes

and bread, cooking eggs, pasta, potatoes.

· Making clay and dough models.

· Mixing paints and making different colours.

· Mixing soap and water to make bubbles.

· Tasting activities.

· Look at changes that can be reversed, eg melting

ice/ chocolate.

Use of children's play experiences to talk about

the vocabulary of movement: push, pull, slide, roll.

· Give children experiences of toys which have

different power sources and talk about how they

work. Use on, off, turn, switch, wind, clockwork,

batteries, electricity etc.

· Use questions to develop the language of enquiry.

· Why did that happen? What can you see, hear,

taste, smell, feel? How does it work?

· Allow children to speculate and come up with their

own answers to questions, eg why does ice melt in

the classroom?

· Set problems, eg how can you move the big box?

Can you build a taller tower? Can you use all the

pieces of the train track to make one continuous

layout with no dead ends?

· Talk about the questions you want to ask a visitor.

· Use puppets, or telephone to ask questions.

· Include questions on interactive classroom

displays. Use the language master to record

questions for the children to listen to and then

record their answers.

· Get children to think up their own questions about

a topic, eg can penguins fly? They can then be

shown how to look for information in a book using

the contents page and the index. Help children

look for the answers to the questions by looking at

the pictures. Read bits out if they are unable to

use the text.

· Have a post box monster in the classroom to write

and answer questions.

· Provide a range of subjects to play with that work

in different ways for different purposes, eg egg

whisk, torch, other household implements, pulleys,

construction kits, tape recorder.

· Think of a question that can be typed into a

search engine

Provide a variety of construction kits and

materials for building.

· Have available a wide range of resources for

making, ie stapler, glue, scissors, elastic bands,

masking tape.

· Ask questions such as "Can you think of another

way of doing this?" "What should we use?" "What

else can we try?"

· Build for a variety of purposes, eg a truck to

carry animals, a BBQ, a dolls house, a boat for the

water tray.

· Discuss how play equipment works, eg pushing,

pulling, spinning, pivoting.

· Add resources such as carpet fields to farm sets,

material for ponds, blocks for walls, etc.

· Small world resources for children to select and

arrange, eg dolls house, farm, zoo.

· Make models from various resources, boxes,

string, lollipop sticks, cellophane, fabric, wool etc.

· Encourage group work - construction ideas for

castles, houses, landscapes, villages.

· Provide a range of objects and resources for sand

and water play.

· Encourage suggestions for role play areas - make

vegetables, menus, dough food, home corner


Have a range of materials available for pupils to

select from to make models: boxes, tubes, lids,

bottle tops, wheels, lolly sticks, dowel, different

sorts of paper and materials and items for

decoration such as sequins and foil.

· Have a selection of materials available for joining

things together: glue, sellotape, hole punches,

split pins, paper clips, staples, treasury tags.

· Teach children to use a small selection of tools

and equipment, eg scissors, hammer, saw,

magnifier, balance, spade, trowel, watering can.

· Cut out shapes, snowflakes, place mats, Christmas

decorations. Cut straight and curved lines. Use

cutting to decorate.

· Tear paper and tissue.

· Fold card and paper.

· Cut and roll clay, dough, pastry.

· Thread beads, cotton reels, natural materials

(leaves, acorns, crab apples), bottle tops, rolled up


· Select different materials and equipment for

writing, eg pencils, felt tips, plain or lined paper.

· Make envelopes.

· Use jigsaws.

· Select materials and equipment to use in cookery,

woodwork, gardening.

· Use technology, eg a tow rope to pull another


Teach the terminology of time: before, after,

morning, afternoon, evening, yesterday, today,


· Discuss routine events in the day and their

sequence: breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, hometime,

bedtime, playtime etc.

· Keep a scrap book of events over the school year

with photos and captions to record what


· Make events a focus for planned activities:

Christmas, Easter, Bonfire Night.

· Make family events a focus for planned activities:

a birthday, a wedding and encourage role play of

these events.

· Make a collection of toys and clothes and talk

about who would use them - a baby, a toddler, a

nursery child, a school child, a man, a woman.

· Invite parents and grandparents in to talk about

the past using pictures, photos and artefacts.

· Talk about the passage of time: days of the week,

months of the year, seasons, the weekend, the


· Tell stories which involve the days of the week, eg

Mr Wolf's week, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

· Make a collection of family photos to show how

individual children's families and practitioners

family have changed.

· Sequence photos of the children to show how they

have changed over time.

· Observe changes in the environment, eg through

the seasons, or as an extension is built.

· Provide long term growing projects, eg sowing


· Compare artefacts of different times, eg garden

and household tools.

Set-up Listening Centre with headphones and


· Use tape players/recorders.

· Encourage using a camera, disposable or digital, to

photograph models or construction.

· Use programmable toys: Pixie, Roamer, Big Track.

· On the computer: use a roller ball, mouse,

keyboard. Limited range of software for

graphics, word processing and playing games.

· Help children to become aware of technology

around them in the setting and local environment

eg. washing machines, street lights, telephones,

cash registers.

· Provide opportunities to take things apart and

reassemble, eg telephones.

· Provide opportunities in role play area for using

ICT. ie. old laptops or typewriters.

· Use video and TV to find things out.

· Go on walks to observe use of ICT in the

environment, eg traffic lights, barcode scanners

in supermarket etc.

· Introduce the correct language, eg click on, eject,

rewind etc.

Look at photos and pictures of houses and talk

about their features.

· Talk about the children's own homes. What are

they like? Where are they? What are the

addresses? What sort of houses are they?

· Discuss the purpose and use of different rooms in

the house and the furniture you would find in


· Sort catalogue pictures according to the room the

items would be used in.

· Get the children to sort and arrange the furniture

in the doll's house.

· Change the home corner into different rooms:

kitchen, dining-room, bedroom.

· Play at moving house with boxes to pack and


· Interview local people to find out about the

environment - park warden, traffic warden.

· Create simple maps and plans.

· Use stories that help children make sense of

different environments, ie living in a city, on a

farm, by the sea, on a narrow boat.

· Explore roles that take place in different places,

eg school, post office, library, bank, supermarket.

· Make a book of photos about their area.

· Make features identified in their local

environment, ie a pond, park, railway station.

· Sing songs about the environment, weather etc.

· Observational drawings of natural world, ie plants,

flowers, fruit.

· Introduce vocabulary to help children make

distinctions in their observations, ie house,

bungalow, flat, church, temple, synagogue, city,

town, village

Reinforce the vocabulary of weather through

discussion and well chosen stories: hot, cold, wind,

rain, mist, fog, frost, snow, cloud etc.

· Make a simple weather chart with symbols to

record the weather over time.

· Teach geographical terminology: hill, road, bridge,

village, park, town, wood, field, beach, river,

stream, shop, church, through well chosen

pictures and stories.

· Include seasonal activities as appropriate:

collecting autumn fruits and berries, leaf

rubbings, planting bulbs etc. Draw children's

attention to seasonal changes in the weather and

in vegetation.

· Take the children on walks around the school

grounds and the locality to identify different

buildings and different land uses: school, church,

shops, factory, park, car park, health centre.

· Set up the home corner as a shop, railway station,


· Take photos of the school/locality to talk about.

· Follow a photo trail around the school/locality.

· Make a play mat using photos of the locality.

· Talk about what the children pass on the way to


· Make a street in the playground with traffic

lights, zebra crossing, post-box, traffic signs.

· Identify different areas in the classroom, eg art

and craft, mathematics, writing.

· Use playmats of different localities - town, farm,

wood, fields, roads.

· Use other small world resources such as train

sets, harbour, airport, garage to discuss transport

and travel.

· Use the sand tray and water tray to create

imaginary environments.

· Make models of houses, castles, farms etc.

· Introduce vocabulary to enable children to talk

about their observations, ie shapes and colours of

road signs, windows, trees.

· Encourage the children to express an opinion

about their environment, ie play areas, pollution,

road safety, shops, flower beds.

Introduce language that describes emotions, eg

sad, happy, angry, lonely in conversations with

children when they express their feelings about

special events.

· Use group times to share events in children's lives

and explain the significance of special events to


· Use tape recordings, video, make books, draw

pictures as ways of preserving memories of

special events.

· Tell stories, listen to music, dance, eat foods from

different cultures.

· Use resources in role play that reflect a variety

of cultures, eg clothes, cooking implements,

vegetables, badges, symbols, toys.

· Look at pictures and videos of the cultures of

children within the setting and other cultures

outside children's experience.

· Collect resources which portray other cultures

and religions including good quality information

books, posters, postcards, stamps and pictures.

Use these to talk about people in this country and

in other countries about similarities and

differences in the way they live.

· Take children on visits/invite in visitors from a

range of religious and ethnic groups.

· Make artefacts for religious festivals eg. divas

for diwali.

· Search for other countries web sites or web


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

thanks marion have found your list really useful .


we love to go out and hug a tree. and using bee bots are always a popular event.


we put a advert in our local parish news for a small alotment, it came back with 5 free raised flower beds, the fun and learning are endless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)