Thursday, 5 February 2015

ORGANISING TOY CARS.

Little "H" is a very active child and is not normally one for sitting for any length of time. He is very physical and likes to move around and climb. 
The one play activity that he often chooses and will become engaged in for a length of time is cars and trains. He also likes the farm set with the tractors. 

On this morning he had pulled out both the train and the car box. I helped him link the train track together in a circle and chowed him how the trains fit on the track and can drive along it. As soon as i sat back he took all of the trains off the track and sat back down. I watched what he wanted to do as it was clear he didn't want trains!

He sat next to the car box and started to reach in and pull one car out at a time. He then placed each one on the track in front of him. When he added another car he would use the new one to push the line of cars forward a few inches. This process was repeated over and over for a good 10 minutes.


Little "M" came in to the room and stood watching "H" for a while.
"Cars".......... "Cars"
She sat on the edge of "H"'s play and watched him. He looked up at her and laughed.
"M" took this as an invitation to sit with him and start placing cars on the track herself.
"H" watched her and then went back to adding cars to his line.


"M" started to add her cars to his line. " cars H..." She kept using his name and looking at him as she added the cars. He laughed again.


"M" crawled closer and started to move his cars forward.  She looked at him  as if to check his thoughts on this. He was happy for her to join in and watched her move them along the line.


After she sat back he started to add cars to the line again. They seemed to enjoy this self initiated, joint task and despite limited vocabulary, they understood each other and used babbling, facial expressions and body language to play along side each other on the same activity.



LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
  • Observation of "H"'s interests.
  • Observe interactions and communication between young children. 

NEXT STEPS: 
    • Use mutual interests to encourage parallel and associative play.

    CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

    Little "H"  showed a lot of focus in this self initiated play activity and started his own task of lining up the cars on the track. He made it clear that he wanted help to build the track and that he did not want the trains on it. Expressing his own preferences and interests. He did this despite having very few words. He shared his play with "M" and made it clear to her that she was welcome to join him. He had it set in his mind how he wanted the cars to be placed and he lined them all up one after another. They were all facing the same way. 

    Little "M" showed some great social maturity in this observation. She did not rush in, but waited to be invited and then joined "H" in lining up the cars. She took his lead and spoke to him as she played. She showed an interest in his play and wanted to share it with him. She is very keen on "H" and enjoys his company. When he goes home she often calls for him. I think we have a lovely friendship blossoming! 


    Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
    • Communication and language
    • Physical Development
    • Personal, Social and Emotional 

    Tuesday, 3 February 2015

    FEBRUARY SNOW. THE FIRST SNOW OF 2015

    We were very lucky today to wake up to a white blanket of snow. So far we have missed out when all around us have had some. Needless to say everyone was very excited!

    As soon as the children arrived this morning we went outside and enjoyed playing in it. Little "Es" spent time using items from the outdoor kitchen to move the snow around and pick it up. She also bent down and picked up handfuls of snow. She moved it from place to place in different ways. 


     

    Little "M" kept saying "Told!" (cold) when she touched the snow. This is the first time she has seen it and was very interested in this new cold white stuff that everyone was so excited about! It must be amazing to have so many new things yet to experience and be excited about!!


    The animals in the herb garden were walked around in the snow. Making  foot prints and marks as they went.


    "X" had fun pushing the snow off things and touching items in the garden to see if the snow stayed on or fell. He span the windmill and watched as the snow slid off each paddle. 


    He asked to make a snowman. We talked about how big we thought it would be and decided that we had not enough snow to make a big one but we could make a small one. He also thought it best to make it on the log chair so that it didn't get stood on.


    We had a lot of conversations about what we could use for the face and arms. "X" went on a hunt around the garden to see if he could find stones and sticks under the snow.

    We also had many, MANY snowball fights! "X" really improved his aim after a few throws and managed to get me several times! He laughed and ran to hide every time I picked up the snow and then jumped out at me to throw one that he had made in his safe space! One snowball had a stone in and thankfully it hit the fence. This led to a conversation about safety and how we had to check the snow we were throwing.


    LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
    • Exploring the snow and how it can be used and molded. 
    • Effects that we can have on the snow. Melting in our warm hands, compressing it to make a snowman.
    • Observing how the children choose to use it!

    NEXT STEPS: 
      • Bring some snow inside and use salt to melt it. Talk about the changes.
      • Bring snow or ice inside and place in different parts of the house. See which melts the fastest and why do we think this is?
      • "X" and "Es" love the plastic animals so we could bring some of them outside and sort out which ones are from cold climates and which prefer warmer environments.

      CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

      Little "Es"  showed high levels of interest and enjoyment in this activity. The snow was new and exciting for her and she enjoyed holding it and moving it around the garden. She often moves things around in bags and buggies and seems to have a Transporting schema forming. She used tools to help her lift and move the snow.

      Little "X" was very focused in this activity and wanted to make his snowman like his picture last week. He remembered the parts that a snowman needs and looked around for things that would be suitable. He was using previous knowledge and understanding to complete this task and adapting things if they did not work. He took part in a snowbank fight and used turn taking to make the fight fair. He realized the danger that stones could create if they got caught up in the snow and was careful to choose a good spot to make the snowballs.

      Little "M" was experiencing snow for the first time and her mum had shared a video clip of her watching the snow falling, with me. She can now say snow and spent most of her time relating new words to it." cold, wet and snow". She understood the signs her body gave her to know she was cold and wanted to go inside. She asked me to open the door. She told me she was cold and started to try and pull her boots off. Once she was warm again she stood at the playroom door and pointed at the snow. Repeating the new words she had learnt.


      Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
      • Communication and language
      • Understanding the world.
      • Physical Development
      • Personal, Social and Emotional 

      Saturday, 24 January 2015

      PAINTING SNOWMEN WITH TODDLERS & OBSERVATIONAL PAINTINGS WITH PRESCHOOLERS.

      After our snow paintings last week, I thought it might be nice to extend the activity using a different type of paint and to offer the older children the chance to do some observational painting by placing a little snowman teddy on the table. I offered the children some paint sticks. These are less messy than the previous paint we used and have a very different feel to them and painting style. They are very much like painting with a lipstick!

      I sat next to the younger children and painted a snowman in one corner of their paper. As I did this I used the words to describe what I was painting "Head, body, stick arms, carrot nose"

      The little ones enjoyed watching me paint and it encouraged them to paint too. Often they tried to say the word and used the same colour to paint a similar shape.


      Little "E" made spirals in white on the paper after I painted the snowman's head and body. I said the words "Head" and "Body" and told her they were circles.


      On the picture below you can see she painted her own snowman on the second picture and I added stick arms on the picture in the place she indicated.
      I asked her if it had a nose and she used the orange paint to make one on the page.


      "X" is now 4 and approached his observational paintings in a different way. Here is a fantastic picture of him looking at the snowman and trying to decide what he might need to add to his picture.


      He offered much more to the conversation and pointed parts out to me that he thought should be added. He talked about the colours that he could use, the winter clothes that were added on the snowman.


      We had many different types of snowmen painted. It was lovely to watch the children look at the same object and paint their own interpretation of it.


      LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
      • Paint a picture using a real visual prompt
      • Make observations about objects and talk about details.

      NEXT STEPS: 
        • Look at some other items linked to children's individual interests that they could use for observational drawing and painting.
        • Offer different materials to make observational sketches, paintings, crayoning, models etc

        CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

        Little "E"  showed high levels of interest and enjoyment in this activity. She was actively learning body parts, expanding on the learning we have been doing over the past weeks, by listening to the words i used as i painted the snowman and asking her to paint "A head" etc. She indicated she wanted more paper when she had finished her picture, and passed me the finished one.

        Little "X" was very focused in this activity and noticed small details on the snowman. He made links and worked hard at painting his picture and making it as complete as possible.


        Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
        • Communication and language
        • Understanding the world.
        • Expressive Art and Design.

        Monday, 19 January 2015

        EXPLORING ICE!

        Today we went for a walk in the cold winter air. It was very bright out and there was no wind. Perfect for a little play in the park and a walk.

        We walked in the sun on the grass and then stepped in to the shade. The children noticed the temperature change right away. They also picked up on the change underfoot. The grass was suddenly very crisp and when the children stood on it, the footprint stayed in the frosty blades.

        "L" asked me why this was and we talked about the sun not yet reaching this part of the green. I asked her how it felt when she walked in to the shadow and she told me it felt really cold. I then asked her what melts ice and frost. She told me heat. So we talked about the sun bringing heat and that where the sun was not yet shining, it would be colder than the sunny spots. This is why the grass was still frosty and crisp.

        Little "J" was as interested in this conversation and more keen to go in to the park for a play. 

        He did however come across a puddle at the bottom of the slide that was frozen and he rubbed his fingers over it. He told me it was very cold. 


        It started to brake up in his hands as he pushed it over the cold metal. He tried to stand on it so I told him to be very careful as he might slip and fall. He took this seriously and was very careful to keep one foot on the floor so that he would not loose his balance.



        I picked up a piece of the very thin ice and held it up to the sun so that both "L" and "J" could see the pattern in it. "L" asked me if it was very cold. She told me ice is very cold.


        We also looked at how thin it was by looking at it side on.



        LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
        • Noticing the changes that weather brings to the world around us. 
        • Learning about cold weather and its effects on the world.
        NEXT STEPS: 
          • look at how wildlife would find it hard to find food and drink in cold weather due to the cold and ice. How can we help them?
          • Make an ice sensory tray and look at ways to melt the snow. Include heat and salt.

          CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

          Little "L"  was very interested in why there were frozen areas and non frozen areas. With some careful guidance she started to make connections between the sun bringing us heat and the effects it had on the ice. The shady areas were much colder and she noticed this very quickly. She enjoyed looking at the patterns in the ice and noticed that it was starting to melt in my warm hands as I held it. She was working with what she knew to help her work out the answers to her questions. She was learning through exploring and showing an interest in the world around her. 

          Little "J" was engaged in his interest in the icy puddle. He explored the feel, how it moved, temperature and then how it reacted to being stood on. He understood that he needed to be careful so that he didn't fall when putting his feet on it. He laughed at the ice as he broke it in to pieces. Learning through and exploration. 


          Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
          • Communication and language
          • Understanding the world.

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