Wednesday, 15 October 2014

ENJOYING OUR TREES!

Autumn, low sun, beautiful coloured leaves! Sounds like a perfect setting for lots of fun and fresh air!



We spent a lot of time outside today. Little "L" collected pretty leaves and threw handfuls of leaves in the air so that she could watch them rain down on top of her.



Little "M" is still in the early stages of walking. The "I'm so very close!!!" stage!
She wants to be out of the buggy and exploring but can become frustrated with her limited mobility. It was really lovely to see the other children including her in their play/ They picked up leaves and threw them in the air. She squealed and giggled as they rained down over her and this encouraged the others to keep throwing leaves up for her.


"M" is becoming more confident in her walking with just one handed support. Last week she was too scared and refused to step forward, becoming anxious. It was love;y to see her so keen to walk in the leaves while only holding one of my hands.


After a while she sat down and and started to [pick up individual leaves. She held the stalk and twisted them around in her fingers. She flapped them by her face, sniffed them and tasted them. Using all her senses to explore.


I love how intensely she is looking at them. Passing them from one hand to the other. Putting them down and selecting another.



She crawled through the leaves and pulled herself up against the fence. Laughing at the children playing inside the park! Shouting to them and trying to get them to look at her. When they did, she laughed and shouted some more!


We noticed lots of lovely changes in the trees. A few months ago and all the leaves were green and thick on the branches. This has slowly been changing and now we have less leaves on the trees. We can see through the leaves to the blue sky behind. The sun is shining through and lighting up all the lovely colours!
The children noticed the seeds on the branches. We watched a few of them fall in the breeze and the children all pointed to them and told me they that they spin! We watched them and talked about the shape of the seeds. They look like helicopter propellers! Maybe this is why they fly? They all started to share their ideas and thoughts. Talking excitedly!




Little "L" and "X" noticed lines in the bark of a tree and used sticks to trace over them from top to bottom. We talked about making sure we were gentle with the bark. The bark protects the tree and stops it from getting damaged. We need to make sure we are gentle with the bark so that the tree can stay safe and healthy. They were really respectful and you could see they were protecting the tree.


Round the other side there is a big split in the tree and they could see how the wood inside had been damaged because it didn't have bark on it. There is a big dip that has wood pulp in it. Probably munched up by insects. They used their sticks to move it around and look for the bugs that might have made it.





LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING: 
  • Visiting the park to observer the changes in the trees now that Autumn is upon us. 
  • Draw attention to the colours, differences in the leaves and general look of the trees over the past few weeks.
  •  Playing in the leaves. Throwing them, watching how they float, catching them.

NEXT STEPS: 
    • The children were really interested in the tree and why it's bark protected it. Look online or in books to see how bark protects trees and what can damage the bark.
    • Look at different trees and see if we can identify some using our pocket tree book.
    • Bring leaves home and collect the seeds as well. Pop them in a nature tray and allow the little ones to explore them. 

    CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:

    The children had a great time laying outside in the sun and finding all the changes. They were exploring and investigating all the time.
    Little "M" loved the leaves and used many senses to explore them. She crawled through them and lay on them. She felt part of the fun as the other children included her in their play and could fully take part despite not being able to run around with them. She was curious about the leaves and showed a high level of interest and concentration. 
    "X" was fascinated about the trees. Actively learning as he noticed small details and asked questions about them. Why the leaves change colour? Why do they need bark? How does it protect the tree? He was careful while investigating and talked through his thoughts with "L".
    "L" was very interested in the marks in the bark and gave ideas on what might have made them. Bugs maybe? She talked through questions and thoughts with "X" and worked cooperatively to learn more about the world we live in. She was really interested and focused and wanted to bring leaves and sticks home to play with later. She looked for pretty leaves that she could take home. She likes pink so was looking for leaves that had lots of pinky red on them!

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

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