Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Early Literacy and Playdough

Playing with playdough has so many benefits for children. From the development of fine motor skills, language skills, opportunities for problem solving and creativity, through to social skills- the list goes on and on...
In the classroom, I put out playdough all the time and it is always a favourite activity .
As the children are beginning to recognise their names and recognise the letters in their friends names and from labels and posters around the room I thought they could experiment with letters at the playdough table.

I put out simple materials like wooden letters, playdough stamps, old scrabble letters,pop sticks and match sticks.

The children made their names, patterns and random words. They talked about which way round the letters should go and they helped each other find letters.
The children were talking, investigating, comparing, sharing, laughing, creating and most importantly- learning through PLAY.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Water Play

Water Trolley NumberActivity 

These fabulous scoops can be used to pick up and transfer pom poms, bottle tops, rice, peas, sand, water - 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.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Playdough Birds

I was at the Library today getting some books to use at school when I saw a pile of beautiful bark that had blown off the tree in the recent storms we have had. I couldn't help but collect a pile for later use and remembered another time I had collected a big pile of bark. 
This is how I used the bark last time....

Place numbers on the bark.

Collect some leaves and encourage the children to draw patterns on them.

Help the children make some birds out of playdough. Roll a large ball for the body, a small ball for the head, pinch a beak and push a pen or similar to make some eyes.

Use the leaves as feathers and push them into the playdough birds.

Ask the children to identify the numbers on the bark and count the correct number of feathers.

This is a very inexpensive activity and has many educational benefits from fine motor skills through to several maths concepts. I love it because I think it is so important for children to appreciate the beauty in nature and that you can use resources that are in your backyard.
I have an idea of how to use my new collection of bark.... I'll share when I use it.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Small World Play

Gather your materials.....
Bamboo plates
Paint and brushes
Loose Parts- pebbles, nuts, small animals, sticks, leaves

Plan your design 
I wanted mine to flow like a puzzle so I lay them in a straight line and drew a path that meandered across all of the plates.

Paint your design
I added a path, a lake and green grass.
I added the numbers 1-5 when mine was dry.

Add your loose parts!!!
Now the fun begins....encourage your child to count, label, discuss, imagine, rearrange, change, create and play, play, play!!!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Dying Pasta

Here is a simple way to dye pasta and a few creative ways to use it.

Start with the cheapest pasta and get some zip lock bags or plastic shopping bags.

I used food colouring, so I was only doing three colours- red, blue and green. ( I didn't dye all of the pasta, as the pasta is quite yellow already)

Put a few squirts of hand sanitiser in each bag along with some pasta. ( this helps the dye adhere to the pasta!!)

Place a few drops of food colouring in each bag.

Hold the bag closed and massage the contents until everything is mixed thoroughly and the pasta is evenly coated with the dye.

Spread out the pasta to dry on some newspaper.

Now the fun begins!!!!
You could use the dyed pasta for many craft, learning and play based activities. Here are a few......

Making names with pasta.

Making the alphabet.

Sorting according to colour.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Sensory Play Ideas

Children love sensory play and are naturally drawn to it.
Here is a list of materials that I have used to promote sensory play in my classroom that my class have experimented with. My programme is made up of loads of sensory activities but I have listed 10 that are very simple to put together. 

1. Rice

2. Split Peas

3. Shredded Paper ( with hidden animals)

4. Recycled Plastic

5. Bird Seed

6. 100's and 1000's

7. Shaving Cream

8. Dried Beans and Dried Pasta

9. Cooked Pasta

10. Shells

All of the above sensory ideas can be further enhanced by adding a few drops of essence to change the scent and dye, paint or glitter to change the appearance. 
All of these activities need close supervision when they are done with small children.
Until next time,