Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bark Painting

We had some pretty big storms here last week with some very strong winds. While I was driving I noticed some large sheets of bark that had blown straight off some paperbark trees.
I thought this was an amazing opportunity to do some bark painting with my kids at school and to talk about Aboriginal art.


We used colours that are often used in Aboriginal art and sticks and cotton buds to paint with.


I drew some simple designs for the children to paint.



As I had set up this painting activity outside the children collected other natural materials like small flowers and tried to paint with them as well.


This activity promoted so much language and was a wonderful sensory activity.



I love it when you find something interesting like this which provides the inspiration for so many learning experiences. My program didn't include Aboriginal dot painting last week but proved to be wonderful spontaneous teaching opportunity.
Niccola

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Milk Container Weaving

If you have been following my blog for a while you would know that I love using recycled materials whenever I can. I especially hate throwing away plastic containers and rack my brain to think of ways I can use them. It is easy to find ways to use milk container lids in the classroom and I have written several posts on ways to repurpose milk containers. Here is one more!!


Take one milk container.


Cut the side off the container.


Use a hole punch to punch holes down both sides.


Thread wool through the holes.




Gather your weaving supplies.


Weave away!!!


Display in the garden for some outdoor art. It would be nice to attach some bells to the ribbons to make it into a wind chime.

Check out some of my other blog posts on recycling milk containers and let me know what you think.
Niccola

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Number Sensory Activity

Sensory play provides so many wonderful benefits for young children and is definitely a favourite activity in my classroom. The children particularly love it when I fill containers with rice and add spoons, scoops, pouring vessels and funnels. They could spend hours pouring and transferring rice from container to container, letting the rice gently fall through their fingers and filling containers.

We are trying to learn and identify the numbers from 1-10 at the moment and I always looking for interesting ways to engage the children. As sensory play is one of their favourite activities and appeals to all children, I thought this was a perfect way to learn and revise the numbers 1-10.

I wrote the numbers on table tennis balls, on plastic spoons and in the bottom of an egg carton. (I included the numbers 11 and 12 since I was using an egg carton)

The children tried to pick up the balls with the corresponding spoon and place it in the egg carton. Some children used their hands to move the balls, some children were more interested in playing with the rice and counting spoonfuls of rice, but all children were engaged, interested and having fun while learning.






Enjoy you sensory play!!!!
Niccola

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Make Your Dads Face

It's Father's Day here in Australia soon and at school we are busy making our Dads some beautiful cards, presents and wrapping paper.

We have also spent a bit of time discussing our Dads - their names, jobs, food and drink they like and why we love them.
We have also painted pictures of our Dads and they are very handsome indeed !!!

At the light table, I made some faces to represent our dads which had one facial feature on each. The purpose of this was for the children to make the rest of the face out of pipe cleaners, wool, Perspex shapes and some pre-cut lips, ears and accessories. Really, anything could be used to make facial features. As I was using them on the light table, I made them so they could be layered and show multiple features.


We love our Dads x


Loving that moustache !!!


Not all of our Dads have hair !!


Very handsome indeed !!


These are the laminated faces, before they were turned into handsome Dads!!


This activity doesn't have to be done on the light table if you don't have one. You could still make the faces and the children could use the same materials to construct their Dads lovely face on any surface.
Have fun making your Dad. X
Niccola

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Painting Without A Paint Brush

Little kids love painting, in fact, if I don't put a painting activity out, the children in my class ask for painting.
 I try to be creative with different types of paints, colours, materials to paint on and painting utensils. You can use absolutely anything-the messier the better !!
Here are 10 things you probably have lying around the house that your child can use to paint with.

Corn On The Cob

Plastic Lids


Cotton Buds

Cylinders With Rubber Bands


Toy Cars

Bubble Wrap

Balloons

Shaving Brushes

Cotton Wool And Pegs

Fly Swats

Get creative with paint!!
Niccola


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Colour Shop

I have to start by saying that this is my 100th blog post. I am pretty proud of getting to 100 without missing one. Thanks to everyone who is reading my blog and thanks for all of your lovely comments along the way!!

We have been talking about colours recently at school and it is always a lot of fun. We all wear the colour of the day and also try to eat fruit or vegetables that are the colour of the day- which gets quite tricky. Our activities revolve around the colour of the day, colour mixing and experimenting both inside and outside the classroom with colours.

I set up a colour shop in the classroom and I sorted the fruit, vegetables, bread products and packaged goods according to colour.

The children described their shopping purchases by their colour and it definitely made pack away time very easy!

Our Colour Shop





Our Writing Area
I also sorted all of our drawing and writing utensils into containers according to colour. Each container had a wide variety of shades of the base colour. Not only did this encourage children to experiment with different tones and shades but it was a colour sorting activity at pack away time.




Colour Playdough
I made one batch of playdough and made it into 19 different colours!!


We also sorted the outdoor equipment, collage materials, light table resources and manipulative materials. Have some colour fun with your children.
Here is to the next 100 blog posts!!!
Niccola


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Sensory Playdough

We all know how wonderful playdough is and that it has so many benefits for children. I use playdough every week in the classroom and it is always a favourite activity. As I use it each week and have a different focus, I add and change the utensils and equipment and the way I present it to the children.
I also change the colours, scents, quantities and the sensory components.

Here are a few household items I have added to the playdough to change the sensory experience. 

BIRD SEED!!!
I was creating a bread shop for the children to explore and they loved sprinkling the seeds on the top of the playdough bread.




SPRINKLES
I had lots of sprinkles left from my daughter's ice-cream party so I let the children make cakes and ice-creams out of playdough.






DRIED BEANS AND PASTA
I put out a selection of brown beans and pasta for 'Brown Day' and added a shaker of cocoa to further enhance the sensory experience. A very messy activity!!




RICE
Rice and little measuring spoons provided hours of fine motor and sensory exploration.


WHITE SAND
The children mixed some sand from the sand pit into plain playdough as we were recreating the beach.



GLITTER
Add glitter in shakers to create beautiful sparkling playdough.

Of course when I add small things like beans to the play situation, I always supervise very closely to ensure the children use the materials carefully and safely. There is always a risk that a small child may try to eat or put a small bean in their nose or ear.
These are all fun ideas and all of them add an extra element to enhance the learning benefits at the playdough table.
Try some yourself and have fun!
Niccola