Thursday, 11 December 2014

HOW TO MAKE......... CHRISTMAS ORANGE DECORATIONS!



You will need: 
  • Large oranges
  • Christmas ribbons
  • cloves
  • knife to make wholes in the orange skin.

This activity is fantastic for introducing language around our senses, especially the sense of smell. 

Use the end of a sharp knife to make small holes in the orange skin and then offer the orange and the cloves to the children. Ask them to see if they can push the cloves in to the holes! The youngest to try this  activity and manage it in my setting was 19 months old and it was a great activity to help her with her fine motor skills and pincer grasp.




Some of the children tried to place the cloves in a more structured way. Little "L" said she was making a face on hers!


We talked about the different smells and how they reminded us that Christmas is nearly here!
The children sniffed the orange and the cloves and to9ld us if they liked the smells.


Finish the decoration off by asking the children to chose a ribbon and then wrap it around the orange to create a lovely effect and a loop to hang it from.

Next steps: 
  • Peal the orange and taste it. Use descriptive words such as sweet, juicy and sticky.
  • Use an oasis block, pumpkin or polystyrene block to hammer gold tees in to.
  • Thread beads on to strings or pipe cleaners.

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

HOW TO MAKE........ A PAPER PLATE WREATH!

This is a really simple activity and a great way to use some of the crafting materials that always seem to be left over. This is also an activity that many ages can take part in, enjoy and achieve with little help.

You will need: 
  • Paper plates with the middles cut out
  • Christmas stickers, foam shapes and other glittery items
  • Glue sticks
  • Ribbons, pipe cleaners, cut out pictures from magazines and old Christmas cards



The idea is very simple and each wreath has its own look. Although this is an "Organised" craft you do not end up with lots of identical looking finished items. The children choose what they want to add to the wreath, Provide lots to choose from and they will really enjoy sorting through it all to fid just the right piece for their art!



You could offer old Christmas cards and scissors to older children and let them practice their cutting skills. They can choose and cut the bits that they want to add for themselves.




Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Communication and Language
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Physical Development

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

HOW TO MAKE ......... PAPER PLATE TEPEES!



A nice activity to set up over Thanksgiving is Tepee making. While reading our Thanksgiving story, the children noticed the different houses that the native Indians lived in and then the ones built by the Pilgrims. We had a look online at the difference between Wigwams, which were like huts and the Tepees which are tall and pointy! The Tepees have some lovely symbols and shapes drawn on them. I have a book of crafts from around the world and It shows some tribal markings and their meanings in it. I shared this with the children and we had a go at drawing some of them on our own Tepee’s. You could look online for a similar printout of symbols for the children to look at and use as a prompt.

To make these you will need:
Paper plates cut in half
Wax crayons
A stapler



Decorate the half plate with wax crayons, drawing symbols and bright shapes. 



Then use the flat edge of a brown crayon to lightly colour over the top. Curve the plate round and staple it half way up the join. Fold back the flaps for doors. We also added a feather in the top!


Today's activity meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
Physical Development
Expressive Art and Design
Communications and Language

Understanding the world

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

2 MINUTE SILENCE FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY 2014


This morning, after learning a bit about Remembrance Day and what it means, the children observed the 2 minute silence. I was so proud of them. We watched the service on the TV and saw the Poppies and wreaths being placed. We saw the ex service men with all their medals.
I was so proud of these little ones. They sat in beautiful silence and watched with real interest. Once the silence was over we praised them for being so good and respectful. They asked me to keep the program on so they could watch a little bit more and see more army people and poppies!


Monday, 10 November 2014

REMEMBRANCE DAY PLAYDOUGH

To help the children learn about Remembrance Day this year, I set up a little playdough activity for them. The dough was brown so that the children could use it as mud and we gave the Royal Legion lots of money this week so that we could take lots of Poppies home with us! These were perfect for the children to use to make a Poppy field and while making their Poppy field they listened to me explaining to them why we think of the soldiers and how they fought to make sure we had a free life. 

Little "L" wanted to make some Soldiers to go in the field so I had a rummage in the art cupboard and found some dolly pegs and sharpie markers. It didn't take long for little "L" and little "J" to make some lovely Soldiers! They asked me to make one injured and said he had to have a bleeding head. So I did that for them. Then they asked for a Dr to help the injured Soldiers. So we made a Dr as well. Little "J" ran off to get the toy ambulance from the car box so that he could take the injured Soldier to the Hospital!





Little"L" asked if there were lady Soldiers and I told her that there were. She made one dolly peg in to her and said she was a Soldier. This made a big change from always being a Princess! She even coloured in her clothes in combat style and not a speck of pink was seen. Another big shock as she loves pink and will use it for every activity! She then continued making  her whole family in to Soldiers!


Here is one of the finished Poppy Fields with Soldiers and the Dr!


Little "J" really enjoyed this activity and spent a long time taking his field apart and rebuilding it again!


After we had enjoyed the dough and learnt a bit about Poppies and what they represent, we took a walk to the village memorial. It was lovely to read some of the names and look at the wreaths that had been placed there.


LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
  • To introduce the children to why we think about our Soldiers on Remembrance Day and what they did for us and still do.
NEXT STEPS: 
    • Look at raising money for Help the Hero's charity.
    • Make more of our own small world characters for playing with.
    • Use cars and trucks in more play to help engage little "J" in new things

    CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

    Little "L" found the story of the world wars very interesting and wanted to know why people had to fight. This is really hard to explain to young children. It is very hard for an adult to fully understand. She understood that it means we are free to have a good life and that we are not ruled by people who want to make us follow lots of strict rules. She explored and started to understand what she was learning about while playing. She asked for people to add to the dough so that she could act out was I was telling her.  We played at the table for a good hour and she was fully engaged for the whole time. She included figures of her family, maybe so that she could try and put herself in the shoes of the Soldiers. 
    Little "J" was engaged in this activity for short blocks of time. He prefers to play with cars and was back and forth between the table and the cars and garage.Once he could use the Ambulance in the dough to help the injured Soldier, he staid for a much longer period. He used something he was happy and comfortable with to help him engage in something new and challenging for him. 



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


    Wednesday, 22 October 2014

    DIWALI ART


    Today is Diwali. I thought it would be fun to introduce the children to the story of Rama and Sita. I told the children a simple version of the story while the were working on the Rangoli pattern pictured below. We used a little Diwali board book to familiarise ourselves with key Diwali images.


    I bought this stencil from a charity shop earlier in the summer with Diwali in mind. The idea is to use a quarter section,turn it and then redo the same section. This will make a symmetrical pattern. We cheated though and just used it as one pattern.
    Little "L" did this blue design all by herself after helping make the joint pattern!


    This wa the Rangoli that everyone worked on together!


    We spent some time at the park as well today and took the mandala maker and chalks so that we could draw some patterns outside in the sun!



    Everyone took a turn and after watching the pthers, even little "M" worked out where she needed to draw!

    LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
    • To introduce the children to a cultural festival that is celebrated in India. To help them learn about life and traditions outside of their own community and experience some of the traditional activities and stories.
    NEXT STEPS: 
      • The Rangoli patterns were very much enjoyed. I would like to continue this style of art by offering similar activities. Maybe collage style using dried lentils and beans on a paper plate. I will look for some mandala patterns to print out and place in the drawing caddy.
      • Explore symmetrical patterns using mirrors with the children.
      • Offer "M" some play with mirrors so that she can start to experience reflection and repeating patterns.

      CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

      The children had a great time working together to make one large piece of art. They shared the pencils, asked to swap pencils, talked about colours they were using. They were actively learning and showed high levels of concentration and engagement. By telling the the story to the children as they coloured, it helped the children to listen. Many children learn well when they are actively doing. So by working on this pattern they found it much easier to listen to the story of Rama and Sita and take in the details.
      They were so happy to see their large Rangoli patterns cut out and displayed in the playroom and excited to share the colour and beauty in the park as they created them on the tarmac. They were proud of themselves and the others who had worked with them to create the finished art!


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


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