Monday, 30 March 2015

Natural Materials and Easter

Here are a few very simple ways to use natural materials in the classroom or home to stimulate and encourage imaginative Easter play.

Wooden eggs are lovely to hold and cook with.


Add some wood chips, wooden bowls and wooden spoons for some egg recipes!


Painted pebbles or just regular pebbles make fabulous egg substitutes.



Invite children to make their own nests.


Paper bag nest.



Stick and wool nest.


Add some chicks, rice and shredded paper to the paper bag nests and some numbers on leaves.



Happy Easter!!
Niccola

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Easter Basket


This cute little Easter basket can be made with coloured paper, card or material like I did. 
I had lots of material I wanted to use so I came up with a cute and easy little Easter basket.

Get the children to paint the material. I chose lovely pastel colours and circle stampers. My fabric was 21cm x 21cm.


It's always interesting to watch the children tackle an activity like this. Some children like certain colours or like to paint methodical patterns and some children like to mix the colours together.




When the material is dry, put it through the laminator.


To cut the basket I used a paper template and held it on the top of the fabric to make sure I was cutting in the correct place. 
Hold the basket in place and punch a hole in the sides. You could also staple the sides together.


Attach the handle with some ribbon or string.


Fill your basket with some shredded tissue paper and some Easter treats!!

Enjoy
Niccola

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Water Trolley Number Activity


I bought these fantastic scissor grip scoops-(I have no idea what they are called!!) at Christmas and have been dying to use them. 
They could be used with pom poms, bottle tops, rice, peas, sand- really anything. I used them this week in the water trolley with ping pong balls for a fun number activity.

Here are the scoops!!


I wrote the numbers 1-10 on a few packets of ping pong balls.


I also wrote the numbers 1-10 on plastic cups and tied them together with string.




The children tried to pick up a ball and then put it in the corresponding cup.




As you can see, we are just learning our numbers!

Tip them out and start again...



The children loved this activity. You should try it.
Niccola

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

DIY Weaving Frame

I don't know about you but I have looked at buying weaving frames before and they can be quite expensive. I decided to make my own at school which is easy to make and inexpensive.

I used some plastic gridded gutter guard and cut a large square.
Then I tied it to two long sticks- one along the top and one along the bottom.
I used rope to hang it from our classroom verandah at a height that allowed the children to sit or stand at both sides of the weaving frame.


As we are talking about the sea I started the weaving off with some sea creatures.


I put out some material scraps, pegs, pipe cleaners and some sea creatures that I cut out of firm felt and punched holes in them.




The children could weave, peg, thread and poke!!





You could add any materials you can think of to compliment your theme or interests of the children.
Let me know what you think.
Niccola

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Recycled Fruit Trays

I use egg cartons all the time in my classroom in many different ways, but the other day I saw these at the fruit and veggie shop and thought- these are brilliant!! 
Why haven't I used these before? Luckily for me, the shopkeeper said they were for the bin so I took a few. I love recycling!

Cardboard Fruit Trays
I am constantly putting out alphabet games and activities in my classroom and these fruit trays have 27 indentations!! They were made for alphabet games and sorting activities.



You could use bottle tops with the alphabet, magnetic letters, pebbles with letters.....the list goes on. You could also add tongs or tweezers. You could have coloured letters, or a combination of upper and lower case to increase the complexity of the activity.

I cut up an old fish mobile and wrote the letters on the fish.


I also wrote the alphabet on some shells.


As I had collected a few trays, I decided to set a shop in the outdoor area as well.



Next time you are doing your shopping, look out for some trays.
Niccola



Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cardboard Ship

Have you got a few boxes you would like to recycle? Here is a pretty simple idea that you could get your whole class involved in making, decorating and of course playing in.


I used two TV boxes, some scrap boxes and some cable ties.


We assembled it inside the classroom to make a very exciting writing and drawing area. We added drawing materials in buckets, towels to lie on and assorted paper and card.


We painted flags for the class ship.





After a few weeks I think the ship will sail to another area of the classroom. I will let the children decide where it sails to and then as a class we will add new materials. It could be fun to be the 'block ship' or the 'puzzle ship'.

I'm sure it will probably end up outside eventually.
Until next time..
Niccola