Thursday, 31 October 2013


This years Halloween has been lots of fun. The children were all old enough to understand that it was all good fun and that no one was really scary. We decorated the house but in a fun way. Nothing overly spooky.
The older children all helped me to make the Halloween party food. We had looked online the day before to see what Halloween foods we could make. They gathered their ideas and we made a shopping list of what we would need. Kenzie and I went to the shops after work and got the bits we needed.

 Little "R" and two older girls "A" and "I" designed and carved a Pumpkin together. Little "X" arrived whilst this activity was taking place but he was not keen to join them. He wanted to play with cars!

We also enjoyed an apple carving activity. Making little shrunken apple heads. We used apple peeler's to take off the skins and then carved faces in to them. We used some of the foraged apples we had that were not good enough to go in the crumbles we have been making.  Once a face has been carved in to them you can float them in to a bowl of water. We did work out that the apples naturally float with the core running vertically so we carved them facing that way up.

The peeling of the apples was quite tricky but the older ones eventually managed to get the hang of it after a few attempts. Little "R" gave it a really good go but it was a bit too tricky for her. Little "X" still wanted to play with his cars and said "No thank you" when asked if he wanted to come and join in!

Little "R" used the pumpkin carving tools to make holes in her apple. She really focused on getting the blade in apple and talked through what she was making.
"that's an eye..... and that is a another eye!"

She was really careful with the carving tool, made sure she used it safely and often told me that.....
"I need to be careful and not cut my fingers!"

Brendan made his in to cubes!

We also made some Cotton bud skeletons. I have seen this on several sites over the past few weeks so I can not give credit to the original poster I am afraid. It is such an effective and easy craft to do with children of all ages.

I showed the children a picture of a skeleton and explained that we could use the cotton buds as bones and make our own. This seemed to spark interest in everyone, including little "X" who dropped his cars and came to join us!

Little "R" placed her cotton bud bones on to paper in what looked to me to be a random order but she knew what it was and worked very hard with great concentration making it just right!

She used some paper to draw a skull and added eyes a nose and a mouth. She also added cheeks!

We cut it out and then she stuck it on her picture!

Little "X" was also very engaged in his creating. I started off by showing him how to make a body with one cotton bud and then adding two legs. He was watching very carefully as I dipped each one in the glue and stuck it down. Then I left him to make it by himself. I was interested to see how he would add them. His approach was very different to little "R" He lay all of his in a mainly horizontal way which looked a lot like a skeletons ribs! I watched with fascination as each one was dipped carefully in the glue and then placed on to the picture.

I drew him a head and asked if he would like to draw a face on it so we could add it to the picture. I explained that the bone inside our head was our skull.

I love how each skeleton was unique. Not one child tried to create the same as another. They were all focused on their own interpretation of a skeleton. It was great to see one project create so many different pieces of art!

We worked together to make the food for our Halloween lunch as well. Here Kenzie was helping to make our Pasta puking pumpkin! He was adding Doritos around the edge to scoop up the pasta.

Everyone worked hard to make the food look spooky and interesting and everyone was keen to try all their lovely creations!

During nap time the children played a game that Brendan created. The idea was to try and grab a little chewy sweet out of the Pumpkin every time his top opened. They had a great time playing this. Lots of giggling!

Later in the day we all dressed up ready to go to the village Halloween party!

There was a colouring competition! (Kenzie won this)

Stick the nose on the Witch! (Little "R" won  this)

And lots of Lovely food!

Everyone had a great time! We topped it all off with some trick or treating!

There were so many different things happening today and so many areas of learning taking place. Little "R" was motivated and keen to try all the activities that I had planned. She Thought critically about how she wanted her pumpkin to look whilst working with others and considering their ideas as well. She listened to them and between them they came up with a design. She also had to think about a face and how she could cut that in to her shrunken apple head. Her skeleton was another example of how she used her knowledge of something and interpreted it n her own way. She clearly enjoyed what she set out to do and gained pleasure and a boost to her confidence and self esteem when she achieved her end result. She enjoyed the party and socialised and engaged with all the children there. She even met new people and spoke to them and drew them in to her play.
Little "X" was not so keen to ry all our activities but the ones he did take part in, he really enjoyed. He was keen to make his skeleton in his own way and drew the head to go on the top. He knew a head needed eyes and a nose and a mouth. He was very outgoing at the party and made friends with a little boy of just under a year an a half. They chased each other around and he kept saying "chase me!" and then laughing and running off. He took part in the pass the parcel and colouring competition. Waiting his turn to open the parcel and then getting excited to find chocolate inside. There was a lot of personal and social skills being developed today. Lots of playing games where he had to wait his turn, which he did beautifully. He used wonderful manners by saying please and thank you without and prompting. He was a little worried by some of the costumes but reassured himself by saying "It's just Kenzie, its not real". I thought this was very mature and was impressed by his ability to control his fear with logical reasoning!

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


Today we have made sticking pictures....

Painted Warhammer figures.....

Made hand print spiders on spider webs!

Made Jam jar lanterns!

Played with Thomas and his friends!

Made silver on black Halloween drawings!

Made Witches masks!

More Halloween sticker pictures!

White footprint Ghosts!

And scared each other while wearing silly costumes!

Halloween tomorrow!!! Can't wait for all the fun excitement!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


This week we have had Halloween stencils and metallic gel pens out to use on black paper. I find that this is always quite effective.

Kenzie enjoys this every Halloween and always makes me lots of pictures. He tends to add little extras and details to fill up the page.

Little "R" came to join him and they chatted about the different stencil shapes and what they were drawing.

Little "R" is managing to hold the stencils quite still now I t has taken some practice but she seems to have grasped the idea. She still finds it a bit tricky to draw round them. Sometimes she holds the pen at such an angle that the ink does not flow or make contact with the paper. I am trying to show her how to hold the pen more upright to help solve this.

She has very good pen control and holds the pen correctly between her thumb and forefinger. The EYFS states for her age, that at 30 to 60 months she should be able to

• Hold pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole-hand grasp.
• Hold pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control.

She has clearly reached both these stages in her development.

I really like the picture below, It shows the moment she sat back to have a good look at her picture and you can see the happiness and pride in her face that she has achieved her task.

This next picture shows  how engaged and focused she is. Really concentrating hard.


Little "R" showed a wish to join another child and talk about what he was drawing and what she was drawing too. Sharing her achievements and ideas. She was willing to have a go and kept trying even when the stencil moved a little. This did not frustrate her or put her off. She faced the challenge and readjusted her hand and tried to line the stencil back up with the lines she had drawn, before starting again. 

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

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Today we had lots of fun carving our Pumpkins. 

We had a great time designing the pattern to carve in to it but first of all we needed to scoop out all of the inside. Little "R" was not very keen on the feel of the stringy pulp and the seeds and many of them found it quite tricky to scoop out the insides so I ended up with my hands inside lots of seedy goo! Once the insides were on the newspaper, Little "R" was more willing to try touching them. She spent some time trying to pick out the seeds which were a little slimy! 

I didn't ask her what she wanted to carve to start with and just let her explore and experiment with the small carving tool. She spent quite a long time pushing it in to the skin and feeling the resistance before it pushed through easily and then she would pull it out and try again.

We had some extra help today with my sister and sister in law coming to play. My sister offered to help Little "R" and asked what shapes she wanted to cut in to her pumpkin face.
She asked for Triangles so she helped her cut triangle eyes. She asked for an Aeroplane nose that goes high in the sky! So my sister tried very hard to make that for her and then they worked on a mouth with sharp teeth! Little "R" showed real interest in this activity but her focus started to wonder before the task was finished. I think this was probably because she needed so much help to complete it.

This was a really fun Autumn and Halloween activity. We have been talking about this for a few days, building up to the activity and looking at pictures of carved pumpkins in books so that the children knew what we were going to do and could gather some understanding and ideas of what they might like to carve on to theirs. During the activity Little "R" was engaged and motivated. She held concentration for most of the task but started to loose interest once she found she needed quite a lot of help. She shared her ideas about what she wanted on her pumpkin. Thinking creatively by asking for fun things like Aeroplane noses! She used her current understanding from the pumpkins she has seen in the past and used that to make her own. Once she had moved passed the reluctance to touch the pumpkins insides, she became interested in looking at the seeds and pulling them out from the stringy bits. Exploring and finding out new things.

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


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