Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Last week we made Simnel cake with the children from "Looking out for the little people". This is a cake that is traditionally made to be eaten midway through the lent fasting period and is also linked to a cake that young girls in service would make for their mothers for Mothers Day.

We plan on let our cake mature over the next month and then decorate it and give it to the mums of the children in our settings.

Little "L" measured out the butter. We were making a HUGE batch of cake mix so needed quite a lot.
I told her we needed 400g of butter and she pointed to the right part of the scales. I suspect it was because she recognised the 4!

Early years Outcomes- 
 Mathematics (numbers) 30- 50 months
  •  Shows an interest in numerals in the environment.  
Mathematics (numbers) 40- 60 months  
  • Recognise some numerals of personal significance. 

Little "R" carefully scooped out the butter from the pot and usd a finger to push the butter off the spoon and i  to the scales.

Early years Outcomes-
 Expressive Art and Design (exploring and using media and materials) 40-60 months

  • Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately. 

Little "I" helped to blend the sugar and butter together. She told me it was hard to stir and that it had lumps in.

Early Years Outcome- Communication and language (Speaking)  22- 36 months

  • Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.

We also had a go at cracking the eggs. This is quite tricky but all of the children managed it and with very little shell going in to the cup.

Early Years Outcomes- Physical development (Moving and handling) 40- 60 months

  • Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it.

We spent some time after, enjoying braking up the shells, looking at the insides and the outside of the shell. Talking about the yoke and albumen, watching how the shell cracks and brakes and then eventually crushing them up in to tiny pieces!

We chopped fruit, practising our cutting and knife skills. All the children cut the fruit by holding the knife handle and then pressing down on the top of the blade. Little "R" found this quite tricky and became frustrated. I will have to offer more opportunities for cutting practice.

Little "I" showed good control in cutting the fruit and spent a long time cutting them up and transferring the cut bits to a bowl.

Early Years Outcomes- Physical Development (Moving and handling) 40- 60 months

  • Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials. 

We grated an orange and then felt how the surface was different after it had been grated. The children said it felt soft and they could smell the orange better now.

Everyone worked really hard to try it out for themselves and we talked about being careful to keep our fingers away from the grating blades so we did not cut ourselves. The children seemed very aware of this danger and talked to me about being careful and not wanting to bleed.

Early Years Outcome- 
Personal, Social and Emotional development (Self-confidence and Self-awareness) 30- 50 months

  • Enjoys responsibility of carrying out small tasks.

Personal, Social and Emotional development (Self-confidence and Self-awareness) 40- 60 months 
  • Shows understanding of the need for safety when tackling new challenges, and considers and manages some risks. 

We also juiced the fruit. This worked lots of upper arm and wrist muscles and also the fingers as they needed to squeeze the fruit quite hard to get the juice out.

We also tasted the Oranges and then compared the taste of Orange with the taste of the lemons we had cut earlier.  This introduced words like Sweet and sour. Bitter and sharp. Little "R" loved sucking on the lemons. They did not seem to effect her at all!


  • Today's activity was offered as a fun experience that helped the children to learn life skills (cooking),
  • assess risks for themselves (The dangers involved in using sharp tools, hot ovens and general food hygiene)
  • Experience numbers, weights and measures in an everyday situation and hands on way.
I will offer more cooking opportunities for the children to practice these concepts and skills more fully and also provide homecorner/ role play props for them to recreate this experience in their free play to help them cement this learning.
I will also offer more opportunities to practice cutting things and level this by offering soft items to start and progressing to firmer items as they become more competent.

Little "R" and Little "I" were fully interested and engaged in this activity. They enjoy cooking and re-enacting cooking in the homecorner. They were willing to take part and have a go. Using their knowledge of cooking, safety concerns, using scales etc to guide them. The girls were motivated by their enjoyment of cooking, wanting to make a gift for their mums and also by the thought of being able to taste these! They assessed risks and took turns to complete parts of the cake making. They noticed changes in the ingredients as we used them and mixed them, sharing their thoughts and using all their senses to experience each one.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding the world
  • Mathematics


I thought I would share some of the ideas that we will be looking at next week as we cover St David's Day.
If anyone has anything they would like to share from home then please feel free to bring it along. We would love to see your Dragons, Daffodils and any thing welsh!

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Just a quick blog post to share some of the fun we had over the half term week and national nest box week.

We enjoyed a Nest box themed sensory tray. I added a couple of books about British birds and the children enjoyed looking through the books to find their bird they were playing with. They also enjoyed looking at the pictures and asking me to read out what each bird eats and how they make their nests.

We talked about why birds make nests. To lay eggs.
 "You have to wait for them to go crack!" said Little "R".
Little "X" filled a nest with eggs!

We all had a fantastic time making birds nest cakes!

Lots of bashing shredded wheat to make the nest and melting chocolate.

Sneaking the odd lick of chocolate!

We enjoyed making junk modelling bird boxes. This was planned as several children have shown an interest in  junk modelling over the past couple of weeks.

We also made little birds to go in our nests.

We talked about things that would be useful to the birds to make their nests and what we could do to make them. This was us gathering things that we found around the house to place in a suet feeder cage so that they could help themselves to it.

We also made bird feeders with lard and bird seeds. I think we will have some very happy birds in our garden!

Thursday, 20 February 2014


This week I put out a selection of playdough, bird extras from a playdough kit, googly eyes, playdough tools and a box of feathers. I asked the children if they would like to make me some birds!

Everyone was keen to come to the table and play especially the older children who were enjoying half term!
No one wanted to make me a bird though. I talked about the bright birds you find in jungles and how these look different to the garden birds we have here. But no one was very interested.
Little "R" talked about the colours and told me she was making sausages as she rolled her dough in to long sausage shapes. "S" told me she was going to make a picnic and worked with "A" to do this. They made peas, an orange, blueberries, raspberries and cherries.

Little "L" was the youngest in the setting today and she enjoyed working with the older girls. She added the bird feet to her model and some eyes but told me it was not a bird. She declined to add any feathers.

After everyone else had left, Kenzie came to the table and told me he would make me a bird. He looked at all the pieces available to him and then created me this!  Still not a feather in sight but I did get a bird!

Very cute he is too!

This is the finished picnic that the older girls made.

We also made things from coloured Air dry clay so that they could all take a piece of art work home with them to keep.

  • To design and mould our own birds for nest box week.
  • To talk about the colours we want to use, the size and shape of our birds.
  • To explore different birds and how they look. Jungle birds colours compared to  garden birds for example.
  • Using different materials to create our birds.

In future I will offer more play like this but with a selection of materials and no set outcome of what to make. I will see how the children choose to use the materials and take notes of interests that might show through this play.

Little "R" was very keen to work with the older children. She wanted to share her creations with them and her ideas. She was very clear about what she wanted to make and made her own choices of materials and colour to do this. She was motivated for a short time but the lure of "Being a big girl" was stronger and she quickly left the activity once the older children had finished. 

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

Saturday, 15 February 2014

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK! week beginning 10th Feb 2014

The Valentines tray activities have been a big hit again this week!

We made our loved ones a cute little gift!

And also some Valentines cards!

The weather gave us a short brake for a couple of days. less rain, storms and high wind! We made the most of it while we could!

The Valentines sensory tray was very much enjoyed outside in the fresh air!

We notice that Spring is not that far away now and new life is showing its little head!

We made potions and soups!

Painted the shed and fences!

Watched balls fall down the pipes!

Another fun filled week. Lots of experiences and learning through play!


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