After seeing how much Cian enjoyed reading 5 little speckled frogs earlier, Ioan set up a tray for Cian (19 months old) to play with.


  • Tuff tray
  • Frog figures
  • Pebbles
  • Leaf and flowers
  • Fish tank plants
  • Circus scarf
  • Bath letters


Ioan started off by singing the 5 Little Speckled Frogs song to Cian.

Then he started explaining the maths. Unsurprisingly, Cian was more interested in playing with the tray.

Cian tried to balance the frogs on the log, then jumped them in to the pond. With the frogs’ bottoms on the tray and their front legs on the log, they kept toppling off. Through trial and error, he figured out that they balanced better when they were turned sideways, with the front legs either side of the log.

Cian loved splashing in the water, first with his hands and then with his feet.

Cian has always loved throwing, so I’m happy for him to do it if he’s in a safe area.

Ioan added some more water to the tray. As he poured it in, it knocked some of the frogs over. Cian made sure that they were all facing the right way up, before getting back to splashing.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Physical Development

Moving and handling (8 to 20 months)

  • Passes toys from one hand to the other.
  • Picks up small objects between thumb and fingers.

Moving and handling (22 to 36 months)

  • Squats with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rises to feet without using hands.

Personal, social and emotional development

Self-confidence and self-awareness (16 to 26 months)

  • Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports child to understand their own thinking may be different from others).

Making relationships (16 to 26 months)

  • Plays alongside others.


Reading (16 to 26 months)

• Interested in books and rhymes and may have favourites.


Numbers (16 to 26 months)

  • Knows that things exist, even when out of sight.
  • Beginning to organise and categorise objects, e.g. putting all the teddy bears together or teddies and cars in separate piles.

Understanding the world

The World (8 to 26 months)

  • Looks for dropped objects.
  • Becomes absorbed in combining objects, e.g. banging two objects or placing objects into containers.
  • Knows things are used in different ways, e.g. a ball for throwing or rolling, a toy car for pushing
  • Enjoys playing with small-world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track.
  • Notices detailed features of objects in their environment.

The World (22 to 36 months)

  • Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.
  • Remembers where objects belong.

Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials (8 to 26 months)

  • Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.
  • Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.

Being imaginative (16 to 26 months)

  • Expresses self through physical action and sound.
  • Pretends that one object represents another, especially when objects have characteristics in common.