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

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


Shaving Brushes

Cotton Wool And Pegs

Fly Swats

Get creative with paint!!

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!!!

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. 

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

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.

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

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

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!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

10 Creative Name Recognition Ideas

Every year I try to think of creative ways to display the childrens names so the children in my class can learn to identify their name and begin to write their name. I always have name cards available but I like to incorporate their names into every area of the classroom in as many ways as possible. It is amazing how quickly they learn their own names, their friends names and identify the letters that make up the various names. 

These are my favourites!! They can be used anywhere and stimulate so many play scenarios.

I have a big basket of these that are currently in the writing area but I have put them in the block area and on the discovery table with some branches and pegs.

This is a good fine motor and letter recognition activity.

A very quick and inexpensive idea for the playdough table.

These are great for the water trolley and sand tray.

This was a lot of messy fun!!! The children drove the cars in paint and drove their car around the map and tried to find their house. They also started reading their friends names and had great fun visiting their friends and parking at each other's houses.

The  gingerbread children are spread out on a table on arrival and they try to find their name tag and put it on their body. They are very cute- sorry I can't show you their faces.

These can be used both inside and outside in so many ways.

Once again, these are very versatile and are great in the sand, blocks, playdough and drawing area. These need a bit of decoration by the children.

I have used these mainly on the wonder table and in the water trolley.

Do you like any or all of these ideas and do you think you might give some a try?
See you next Tuesday

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Maths In The Playground

Counting 1-10
I wrote the numbers 1-10 on plastic cups and plastic spoons and the children matched the numbers. They were then encouraged to spoon the correct number of spoonfuls into their cup. This quickly turned into a cooking game and we were all imagining delicious food being counted!!
This was quick to set up, very inexpensive and could be used for anything, in any area of the house or classroom.

My lovely father-in-law made this for me as I thought this would add another dimension to our sand play, and it has been fantastic. In our sandpit, we have had children from my class which are 3 year olds up to 5 and 6 year olds, using the scales. All children have enjoyed it and of course, used it quite differently.
We used water and sand in the scales.

We used bark in the scales.

We used nuts in the scales.

Recognising the Numbers 1-5
I have done this a lot in the outdoor area as it is quick, simple and the children love it.
I write the numbers with chalk on the paving for children to identify, trace over, jump on and talk about.
Sometimes I write them in order, sometimes I mix up the order or count backwards.

Matching Colours and Pairs
I cut out some socks and undies out of felt for the children to wash and iron outside. This is always fun and all of the children loved this. I had to explain what an iron was which I thought was funny!

If you would like to order a set of scales for your sandpit and you live locally, please leave me a comment.
Have fun outside!