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About Sonia Mainstone-Cotton
I have worked with young children for 30 years, I currently work as a freelance nurture consultant working with 4 yr olds with social, emotional and mental health needs, I also deliver training and I write books and articles. I live in Bath with my artist husband Iain, and we have 2 daughters who are both in their 20's. To relax and bring joy to my life I wild swim, spend time outside and read a lot of books.
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This accessible book offers essential guidance and practical ideas for Early Years staff to support children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. It draws upon a wealth of experiences and insights to explore what SEMH is, why children may have SEMH needs, and what this can look like, giving practitioners the confidence they need to understand early signals and signs.
Chapters share practical tools, activities and strategies, exploring topics that include:
- routines and transitions
- sensory experiences
- feelings and emotions
- the role of the adult.
A range of case studies and resource suggestions are woven throughout, bringing the theory alive with first-hand advice from a variety of professionals, including educational psychologists, play therapists and Forest School specialists. This book is a refreshing and practical guide, and an essential read for all Early Years practitioners looking to cultivate a supportive and compassionate environment.
It is widely accepted that listening to and involving children in decisions about their care, learning and development can significantly improve the quality of early years provision. This book gives practical guidance on how to do this effectively.
Starting with a discussion about why we listen to children and the policies around this, the book explains how we can involve children in decision-making that is appropriate to their age and level of understanding. Packed full of examples and ideas that can be easily applied in practice, it covers how to listen to children's perspectives and involve them in staff recruitment and appraisals, classroom design, assessment processes for social services and EHC plans, and much more.
Positive emotional health in a child's earliest years can be a critical factor in their future development. Offering practical suggestions for games, activities and exercises designed to promote emotional wellbeing in young children, this essential guide showcases a wide range of approaches such as mindfulness and meditation, Forest School and Reggio Emilia to provide a hands-on reference for teachers and parents.
Drawing on over 25 years' experience as an early years professional, the author explores topics including playfulness, stillness, sensory play, creativity and staff wellbeing. Each topic references current best practices and international examples, and also includes a comprehensive list of further resources and activities. Providing an informative introduction to both theory and practice, this book demonstrates easy-to-implement ideas for any professional or parent engaging with young children.
Explaining the importance of supporting children through change for their wellbeing and social and emotional development, this practical guide gives early years practitioners and parents the tools to help children cope with change and everyday transitions.
The book looks at different types of change that children can encounter, such as moving homes, new siblings, starting school, bereavement and divorce, and gives advice on best practice for early years practitioners and parents.
With ideas and activities that can easily be implemented, this book is the ultimate handbook for supporting young children through changes big and small.
If a grownup you love has bipolar disorder, what does that mean? In this friendly guide, 11-year-old Josh tells all about his dad's bipolar, including what mental illness is, and how it can affect patients and their families.
The guide explains in child-friendly terms how different types of bipolar affect people's feelings and behaviour. It is a comforting book that prepares young readers for the hard parts of knowing someone with bipolar, while communicating that bipolar is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Providing an excellent starting point for discussion both at home and in the classroom, it also includes a helpful list of recommended sources for additional support.