Monday, 21 November 2016

Christmas Blocks


I love Christmas and love setting up Christmas activities and small world play. I am using the Nativity blocks I made last year in the block area but thought I would make a little Santa village to promote play at the wonder table.


My lovely husband cut some wood into house shapes for me this week. After a quick sanding, they were ready to be painted. My son helped me paint patterns, windows and doors on the houses. We decided to only use red and white paint as we were trying to make the houses look like they were from Santa's village.



I added a wooden sleigh, Santa, Christmas lights, little figurines, pebbles, logs, a Christmas tree and some cotton wool for snow.


The children loved playing with the Christmas village and spent ages talking, sharing and throwing the snow everywhere. By the end of the day the poor Santa land looked like a demolition site but by the time they arrive tomorrow it will look as pretty as a picture.


Have a go at making some Christmas houses for a village in your home or classroom.

Niccola

Monday, 7 November 2016

Bird Feeders


I have made bird feeders in the past with my class and they are fun to make but most importantly, they attract a lot of birds. We have such a beautiful natural playground that the children absolutely love and hopefully now the birds will enjoy it as much as the children.

I collected a big bag of pine cones for the children to use.

I bought some bird seed suitable for wild birds and a jar of glucose.
The children painted the sticky glucose all over the pine cones, making sure to get it into all of the little crevices.


Now for the birdseed!! The children rolled, sprinkled, pushed and covered the pine cones with birdseed.
I tied string around the pine cones and hung them from the trees. 
Now all we need to do is watch for our new visitors !!!
Niccola

Monday, 24 October 2016

Painting With Pussy Willows


Growing up in Perth, we picked these pussy willows in Spring and always had so many uses for them. They are a weed so they grow everywhere!!! I decided to pick a big bunch for my class to play with, paint with, cut, dye or to make floral arrangements with.

Painting was the most popular activity and children who are not usually particularly interested in painting were rushing to paint with them. We used coloured dye and the pussy willows as natural paint brushes.



It's amazing how a simple activity like this can stimulate so much interest and language. Look for some natural paint brushes in your local area and have a go at an activity like this. 
Niccola


Monday, 17 October 2016

Peg Friends

I first made these little peg people with my class at the start of the year so I used very simple collage, suitable for three year olds.

If you are making them at home you can personalise your people, accessories and house. You could even make pets or animal friends. This activity has many wonderful learning opportunities from developing fine motor skills, language skills, counting, problem solving.... the list goes on!!



The children glued a head to the body, added some clothes and drew on a face.



Next we put them through the laminator for durability.


The children counted their peg arms and legs.


We helped them complete their little people by adding some hair, ribbons and they coloured some shoes.


They played with them in the block area....


Made beds for them.....



I think they are pretty cute and they children absolutely loved them.
Keep this activity in mind when you are looking for simple- start of the year activities with your little ones.
Niccola 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Noodle Box Counting

I had some disposable noodle boxes and thought I could use them on the light table at school.


I attached the numbers 1-10 on the fronts of the noodle boxes as we are working on our numbers.


I have lots of wool scraps at school and so I thought I could cut up a variety of colours and lengths to represent noodles.



The children had used chopsticks to fill the noodle boxes with wool noodles and then add the correct number of pom poms to the noodles, from 1-10.  We discussed what the pom poms could represent and the children came up with lots of ideas- meatballs, vegetables, sausage etc...




Using the chopsticks was a lot of fun and a great fine motor activity. 
This activity could be done anywhere but was very effective on the light table as the noodle boxes are transparent.





You could use bowls or plates for this activity and crepe paper or ribbons as noodles.
The children thought it was great fun.
Niccola

Monday, 19 September 2016

Fishing for Names


This is a great outdoor activity that involves three of my favourite things- water, recycling and STICKS!!


Cut out fish shapes from any plastic container and write the children's names on the fish with a permanent marker. Using a hole punch, make holes for the eyes - the bigger the better!!! Fill up the water trolley with water and let the fun begin!!
The children then made their own fishing rods and tried to catch the fish that had their own name.


The fishing rods were made by winding a pipe cleaner around a stick and bending a little hook on the end.






This was a tricky activity but a fun way for the children to identify their name - even if some children caught the fish with their hands! This could be done with letters of the alphabet, numbers, colours or just as a fine motor activity.
Have fun

Niccola

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Frozen Dye Art


All children love playing with, watching and experimenting with ice. Here is a 'STEAM' activity incorporating art and science. The children talked about water, ice, melting, pattern, design, colour, time, area....to name just a few concepts!! This is my favourite type of activity as the children all want to participate, explore, discuss and most importantly learn while playing and creating.

They loved it!!!

I froze small fish, sharks and whales in blue and green edicole dye.



 I used icy pole containers and put one, two or three sea creatures in each until the fins were sticking out the top. These were our handles.


The children painted with the frozen dye.







Once the dye had melted, the children played with the sea creatures in the fish bowl.


Have fun
Niccola