Wednesday, 27 January 2016

AUSTRALIA DAY - ANIMAL INVESTIGATION

Looking at Australian animals today using our small world mini animal set and the 123 and animal ABC books. Some of the animals were quite hard to pronounce!
We read "The Diary of a Wombat" which is a super fun and amusing story! The soft toy wombats were cuddled through the story and fed all sorts of interesting things. 



We also looked at the tortoises and our bearded dragon called Toothless! He is an Australian species. We feed him meal worms and talked about how we have to keep his home hot! Australia is a hot country!



The after school children enjoyed some of the Aboriginal art that we have been doing.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

AUSTRALIA DAY 2016 - ABORIGINAL ART

We have some lovely ABC and 123 Aboriginal art board books. They have been a great way to introduce the children to the style of painting that is used a lot in Aboriginal art. Also a fantastic way to learn some unusual new animal names!!

After looking at our books we set about painting in a similar style using bright coloured paint and cotton buds. The children were introduced to the style but really I want them to explore their own ideas so it is not imperative that they stick to the dot painting. Having said this, the cotton buds did seem to encourage this style of mark making.



Using only a small selection of colours helped "E" with her colour recognition which is currently an area we are trying to focus on.



I think they turned out really well and the children asked for more paper to continue in this style of painting.

NEXT STEPS:
  • Offer cotton buds and paint again  to re-visit this style of mark making'
  • look online at other examples of Aboriginal art. 
  • Offer other items that can be dipped in paint and used to make marks on the paper.

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

Monday, 25 January 2016

AUSTRALIA DAY 2016

We really enjoy exploring the lives and cultures of other countries. This week we are looking at Australia to tie in with Australia Day. 


I included some Australian animals, books, art, and flags. We have some lovely activities planned for the week to look at these a bit closer.



We looked at Aboriginal art and masks. I found these cool mask kits on the Yellow Moon website.




Thursday, 21 January 2016

BIRTHDAY FUN AT LOCAL PLAYCENTRE!

Today is "B"'s Birthday! 3 years old already! 
I thought it would be nice to do something a bit different and so we visited the local play centre. I oly had "B" and "M" today so it was the perfect day for an outing and they both enjoy this place.


Air cannons! I enjoyed these a bit too much I think!


Perspex floor pannels to watch the people on the level bellow. Where has "B" gone?


Silly camera selfies!


"M" was a bit worried about this balance beam so she shuffled along it!


"B" being super brave and doing the slide headfirst!!


Dinner time!


Birthday cake!! Happy Birthday beautiful girl! Another year of sharing your loving and caring personality with the world!


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

MORE PLAYDOUGH EXPLORATION - COLOUR MIXING


Continuing with the current interest in Playdough, I set up the playdough on the table again today and added the rabbits to the accessories. They had been such a big hit and had been brought in to the play by the children, so felt it was worth including them today. Yesterdays playdough session.


I also included some diggers in to the accessories as "J" is very much in to his cars and trucks. These engaged him in to the activity very quickly! He can find it hard to settle in the morning and this was a lovely distraction for him.



"M" spent time making animals and birds and used the lags and googly eyes to make this creature! Very cute!


She asked why my playdough was white. Her's is different colours at home.
I explained that I hadn't added any food colouring to the mixture when I made it and she asked if we could add some colour.
She chose red and yellow paint and we squeezed some in to the dough she was using. She folded and mixed the colours in to the dough. She asked me what colour it would be. She could see red bits and yellow bits. Pretty soon she started to notice orange streaks where the two colors had mixed.
"Red and yellow makes Orange!!!"



"Let's cut it with a knife!"

Exploring how the colours are through the hole dough now and not just on the top.


NEXT STEPS:
  • Offer primary colours in playdough play and painting sessions to explore colour mixing and changes.
  • Use plastic colour sheets to overlay 2 at a time and see what colours you can make.

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

Monday, 18 January 2016

PLAYDOUGH TAKING A LIFE OF IT'S OWN!


Many parents have been sharing that their children are in to playdough at the moment. I think that maybe a few of the children at my setting received Playdough as a gift at Christmas!
To continue with the learning and interests at home I included playdough in to my planning for this week and set the table up with some tools and additions for the children to explore.

It was an immediate hit and as children came through the door they threw shoes off and ran to the table to join their friends. 
We had some interesting animals and bugs made! Aliens and monsters!


How many eyes does he need?
how many noses?
What should he be called?
Look I can make holes in the dough!


Holes in the dough you say..... who likes to live in a hole?

Little children running from the table and coming back with Rabbits!



Can the rabbit fit in the hole? No... I better make it bigger!


The rabbits were folded in to the dough. "My rabbit is hiding in the playdough. He is in the hole."

Lots of opportunities to talk about how rabbit families live together and make their warrens. How they make chambers at the end of tunnels.


Once they had finished enjoying the playdough, they took the play and learning further. Pretending to be rabbits and hopping up and down the hall. Making nests with blankets and pretending to dig tunnels!

NEXT STEPS:
  • Read books about rabbits. Stories and look at non fiction as well. 
  • Visit the pet shop to see some rabbits.
  • Movement like animals. Creative movement.

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

Thursday, 14 January 2016

INTERIOR DESIGN, CHILD STYLE!


The after school girls decided to "Spruce up" the home corner today! I don't think they did a bad job! Thankfully Pritt-Stick is quite washable so the foam decorations will not stay on there forever!
They made creative use of the velcro pads that were still on the roof from holding down the winter snow sheet and found material that would cling to them. There was a lot of knot tying. A very useful skill to acquire!

I think they did a great job! Lots of happy, proud faces rushed in to me as I made dinner. Grabbed me by the hand and proudly showed me all their hard work!

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

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

STICK MAN ACTIVITIES- FINGER PAINTING


Following on from our Stick Man interests and exploration table, I printed out some Stick Man pictures for the children to colour or paint. The babies love to explore pait and I thought this might be a nice way for them to explore the texture and sensory experience of painting while also joining in with something "Theme" related and also helping them to feel that they are able to take part in the activities of the older children. 

All children were given green and brown paint and asked to use their hands to paint the pictures. We talked about how the brown was the same colour as sticks and the green was the same colour as leaves. Making connections to the story and the natural world outside.


It was interesting to see how some children took the "whole hand in the paint" approach and how others took the "one finger at a time" method! Little "H" liked to poke my finger with his and watch the paint being transferred from his hand to mine.


The full hand approach often led to a full face approach! But that is all part of the sensory experience of paint! Everyone took home a painting of Stick Man that was unique to their way of paint exploration!


NEXT STEPS:
  • Prepare a story sack for the children to either select as they wish too or borrow to share with family at home.
  • Tell the story many times over the coming weeks and use props for the children.
  • Set up a Stick Man sensory tray with m=natural materials such as mud, grass, sticks, feathers etc....

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

Monday, 11 January 2016

STICK MAN STORY FUN

After the Christmas screening of Julia Donaldson's "Stick Man", the children have been really interested in the book. This is one of my favorites, after the Gruffalo series. I wanted the children to be able to explore the elements of the story and make their own Stick Men so set up an area in the playroom for them to do this. A selection of materials that they could use to make their own Stick Man to take home.


I made a Stick Man for the children to play with as they read the story. He has been a big hit and has been incorporated in to lots of other play and daily routines!


Storytelling is an important skill for young children to learn. It enhances their speech and language skills. They pick up richer language and expression. Stories spark imagination and creativity in all ages! Once a child becomes familiar with a story, they will start to "read" it from memory. They know the words on each page and this is an important step in pre-reading skills. Even more so if you run a finger under each word as you read it. The children will pick this up and use it themselves when looking at books.
Books like "Stick Man" have such a wonderful element of rhyming to them. This is another pre-reading skill that will help ready a child for school.
Braking stories down not only encourages comprehension and language, but it also opens up opportunities to make predictions about what might happen next or how a character might be feeling.
Sharing books is a lovely social time either one to one or in a small group. It is engaging and calming. Perfect for calming frustrated toddlers!


NEXT STEPS:
  • Prepare a story sack for the children to either select as they wish too or borrow to share with family at home.
  • Tell the story many times over the coming weeks and use props for the children 

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy

Thursday, 7 January 2016

EXPLORING BEGINNING SOUNDS OF WORDS


"M" and I spent some time looking at word sounds this morning. She has started to pick out the beginning sound of some familiar words like "m for mummy".
I have a word Bingo game that I thought might be a bit hard for her but thought we would give it a go. She really enjoyed it and can recognise some letters by site. Especially letters that are in her name. 


"M" is just over 2.5 years so quite young to be picking out the letter sounds that start words, but because she is interested we will play this game a few times and use her interest to spark her learning. She has also started to write some of the letters in her name, independently!

NEXT STEPS:
  • Sound out beginnning letter sounds for every day items and when writing names. 
  • Play the game a few times while she has an interest.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

HEDGEHOG RESCUE RELEASE

We signed up to help out at our local wildlife rescue center, back in the summer. We often taken injured wildlife to the center and the children like to visit the animals that have not recovered enough to be released. They have a lovely home at the center so it is not as sad as it sounds for them. 


We picked them up and took them home with us. The Wildlife Hospital gave us a Hedgehog house for them to sleep in. We filled it with hay and put down some water and dog food.


Three little prickly palls settled in well but one did not move or try and get to shelter or food. We brought him in for the night and took him back to the hospital to be checked on and released at a later date. The boys are very pleased that we have been able to help these little ones. The children I care for have been popping in to the garden to check on them and as the days have gone by, we seem to have less Hedgehogs. Hopefully they are finding their feet and venturing off through the gardens to find their own food.

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