Monday, 28 February 2011

DINOSAURS COME TO OUR HOUSE!

This weeks planning follows on from last week with some fun Garden activities but we have some new visitors!!!
"E" arrived last week asking for Dinosaurs and so some of our play  included the odd prehistoric extra! I like to try and include children's interests when planning my weeks activities and this was a perfect opportunity to to do just that.

This week we have on Offer

Dinosaurs and Pre-historic people in a tree house! Probably not very historically correct but it's fun!!

Play mobile Dinosaur play set complete with VOLCANO!!
Dinosaur stencil pictures!

Duplo Dinosaur and Caveman play set

Play mobile Gardening play set!

 So these are some of the things we have to explore! Lots of small world play which is great for creative Imaginary play! We still have lots of activities out in the garden to enjoy..... should it decide to stop raining for 5 minutes and start acting like it's nearly spring again... rather than the near freezing weather we have had today, grrrrrrr!
We also have the seed planting, which we didn't get round to last week and tomorrow we are looking at St Davids Day. Looking forward to cooking the Welsh cakes after school tomorrow!!

Today did take an unusual twist with the Gardening activities......... we made Mr Potato Heads!!
The little ones have not had these out for months so I thought it would be a nice idea to bring them out as they are loosely connected to the garden....... ok I might be pushing that link a little too far!
We had a great time though.
Mr Potato Head!!



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Sunday, 27 February 2011

GETTING ORGANISED

I like a tidy house.... I like everything to have a place...... I like to live a minimalistic life......

But none of that happens in reality! So I decided to tackle an area that has been annoying me for some time, and annoying my partner, by the sounds that came from the kitchen the other day when he opened the cupboard and everything fell out!

I pulled everything out and started to fill boxes that I got from the local £1 store! I have this idea that I can find the resources that I need at the drop of a hat! I hope that the organising means this can become a reality!

This is the Cupboard mid blitz.......


This is how everything is stored now it's boxed up. Some are stored on the shelving under the stairs and some on top of the shelving in the play room! I also invested in some fast food containers for the small art and craft items, like the lolly pop sticks and stickers!

   
Under the stairs  

In playroom

Take away boxes with smaller resources in!

I'm feeling far less cluttered already!!

A SUNDAY OF CRAFTING!

well after several busy weekends, we have really enjoyed an easy Sunday! the first in a while!
Both the boys were given craft kits to make for their Birthdays and today they set about putting them together.























Kenzie needed a lot of help with his, mainly with the sewing but he managed all the stuffing and helped me find the pieces I needed for his sock Monkey. I have seen these online but never really looked in to making one. They are actually really simple and very cute when finished! We will now be looking out for interesting socks and making many more of these great little cuddlies!!


Brendan loves his wood work, and all though this had all the bits cut out all ready, he loved the constructing and painting! he needed very little help except with the stripes over the top. He told us he wanted it to look like Herbie and so Daddy painted the stripes for him. tomorrow they will finish this off, add a 53 and then we need to find some varnish to coat it! I think he has done a fabby job with this!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

MINI BEASTS AND A LOOK TOWARDS SPRING

With Spring only a month away, and the bulbs starting to pop their little heads out of the flower beds, I have started to turn my focus to the garden and our Vegetable patch.
The children and I moved all the old wood chip from the garden and I have re-lined the area and added lots of pebbles. These seem to be easier to maintain as they do not compost down after time and can be washed off.

This week is half term so the children and I are going to start sewing our Vegetable seeds and keeping them warm, watching them grow and then hopefully planting them out once the weather has improved. The Vegetable patch has new netting over it, to protect the plants from the birds, chickens and Rabbit...... and also to stop the dog walking over it! It looks so barren at the moment, I really can't wait to have some colour in there!

To introduce the theme to the children this week, I have created some new play trays! Nothing beats getting outside and getting grubby in the garden, like we did last week. But it's still quite wet and chilly out there so we are quite limited with how long the children like to be outside.

The first tray I have put together is my fave!!! It came to me while I lay in bed the other night and I couldn't wait to wake up and gather up all the bits I needed!!
I found some very cute small pots and the mini propagator and tool set. I used the brown play dough from last weeks Valentines chocolate  activities and have re-purposed it as MUD!! I found some card toppers that my Mum gave me ages ago and also some cocktail sticks and glue gunned the flowers to the sticks, then as an added bonus I found some Broad bean seeds!

There it was...... my indoor gardening tray! I offered it to my boys and they LOVED it!!




The children started off as I had expected, but then Kenzie took it off on a little twist and started to make play dough castles! I love the way children take things in unexpected directions and use resources in new and interesting ways!




Here are the other Play Trays that I have created for the week.


A close up look at some Mini beasts! I did have some Ladybirds but one of the children I look after is quite partial to them and has "Put them somewhere safe!" She will know exactly where they are though so hopefully tomorrow they will join their friends on the tray!


My Mum gave me lots of photos of their garden and plants after she had a clear out last year. I wasn't sure how we would use them, but I have decided they would be great for some cutting practice and the children could chop them up and make their own garden picture!

So this is a little bit of what is on offer this week. We will of course be planting REAL seeds as well, as I went to the garden center last week and got a little propagator and the expanding compost blocks that my boys loved so much last year. In fact Brendan asked today when he could do some "expanding seed growing?" I was at a loss as to what he meant, but as soon as he said "The ones that grow when you put water on them... they expand mummy!" I knew exactly what he meant...... Good job I bought some!!

I will keep you posted on how the children have taken to this weeks Play Trays!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

SPREADING THE LOVE!

This week we have been sharing the love! We have been finishing off our Valentines Day activities and spent the week making cards for our loved ones and exploring this weeks activity trays!

I cut out hearts and put some sparkly heart stickers in a bowl and folded some card. I placed it all on the activity tray and each child was able to come and choose to make one and also how they wanted it to look.


I encouraged each child to "Write" their Valentines messages themselves. This is one of the youngest children in my setting. He is 2years 3 months and he was very keen to write his card to Mummy and Daddy!



















Kenzie made a card for a girl in his class. She has told her parents she is marrying him.....


We have also had fun transferring red water from a pot, in to a heart shaped ice cube tray using pipettes. I have seen variations on this on many blogs and really fancied giving it a go over Valentines. This was a big hit and really helped me to focus on which children needed that extra support with Pincer grip movements. some children used the whole hand to try and squeeze the pipette and others held it between 2 fingers and managed to use it fine. I think I will offer this many times over the next few weeks and hopefully those that found it hard will start to gain a little control from the practice!


We also made some play dough and decided to colour it brown so it looked like chocolate! Thought that was a good Valentines Day theme for our dough play!

The children LOVED making the dough themselves and it was a great time to explore some Mathematical concepts and language. We measured out the ingredients and talked about more and less. They took it in turns to add to the pot and stir it all up! We also talked about the dangers of being near the hot cooker as we cooked the dough.


I gave the children blunt knives, cupcake cases, heart shaped cutters and a rolling pin. They asked for candles as well so I added a few of them to the table!



 So thats the end of our Valentines fun for this year! 
Its been great!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

INTRODUCING THE CHILDREN TO SEWING!

Sewing has never been something I was very good at, despite my Mum and Nan showing me how to do it. But I do remember enjoying the cross stitch that we did at school and home! So after seeing a lovely idea from counting coconuts Facebook page, about putting together a sewing basket, I decided to do just that!
I popped on to EBay and looked for plastic needles, large cross stitch fabric and a couple of Embroidery rings. I managed to get it all very cheaply and gathered all the bits together in to a wooden bowl with a pair of scissors and some thread!


I have offered this to my two boys first of all to see how they took to it before offering it to younger children and also to give myself some practice of sewing and cross stitch.... it's been a while!
Brendan was a whizz! Took to it so well. He drew a Pooh Bear shape on his fabric and threaded yellow thread on to his needle. He started to stitch around his shape and I showed him how to go back on a stitch to make it join the last. I'm sure this has a proper term, or the stitch has a proper name...  but like I said.... i am no sewer!
 I am going to show him how to make a cross stitch next. Then he can fill in the bear shape with colour and add details.


















Kenzie needed a little more help but he is 4 years  younger. I was surprised at how well he took to it though. His attention did not last as long but he is keen to come back and do little bits at a time. He wanted to make the same as his brother. Everything at the moment is about being just like his big brother! So he drew his own bear on the fabric and, with some support, started to stitch away! He has less control about where the needle comes up from underneath and always wants to put the needle in from the top. But once he could see the stitches forming he got very excited and it encouraged him to carry on!



















I will offer this to the little ones next week and see how they take to it! I am really interested to see what they create! This will be a great activity to help develop their fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination. All the things they will need developed to start writing in the future!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

VALENTINES DAY FUN!



This week we started on our Valentines fun! I have lots of lovely things planed for the next two weeks and can't wait to try them all out!!
This week I have set out 4 tray activities. I find tray activities are great as they organise a play activity, minimise the mess! and seem to invite the children to come and play! I love to look at other blogs for ideas as lots of mums out there seem to come up with great tray activities. One of my Favourite sites is counting coconuts and it's really worth a visit if you haven't already popped across!

So this week my Tray Activities are as follows!

Pegging practice, on a Heart shaped box. Great for building up the hand muscles ready for writing!


Sticky window Hearts to make patterns on the doors and windows!


Sticking Hearts and drawing activity. A chance to explore your creativity!


"Un-Lock the key to my Heart!" I can't remember which Fabby blog i saw this on..... Sorry! But i loved the idea, and so do the children! It's been a big hit!


So that's what we are up to this week!! More coming next week!!
Happy Valentines Day!

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