Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blocks for the Sandpit

If you read my blog regularly you will know that we just got a new nature based playground at our school and we are all enjoying playing outside no matter what the weather is like. I am trying to incorporate as many natural products for the children to explore, investigate and play with in our new playground. I picked up some wood from the local school recycling shop and thought I would make some blocks for the children to use in the outdoor area. The children played with these in the sandpit and they promoted a lot of imaginative play.

As we were talking about farms I thought I would continue the theme outside. 

The farmhouse door (or castle door, or house door, or stable door...)

Another project that I am contemplating making to sell - the story of my life!
I'd love some feedback.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Plastic Cup Bells

Last week we tried making some bells out of plastic cups to hang outside. We tried three types of plastic cups. One type worked beautifully and the other two were complete failures. One brand of cup melted until the cup was completely flat. Our first attempts weren't that good because we used any brand of permanent marker that we had and discovered that after they had melted in the oven, some types of markers scratched off. The Sharpie markers worked the best.

We decorated the cups with whatever inspired us - shapes, drawings and patterns. We put them on baking paper and baked them in the oven for 7 minutes on 150C

I think they are really beautiful and I LOVE that they are wonky and individual. My daughter on the other hand was a little disappointed with the shapes.

After baking the cups in the oven we threaded string through them and added bottle tops and beads so they looked like real bells.

I just love the way the sun shines through them!

This was the cup that didn't work at all unless you wanted to make a pendant for a necklace as it is completely flat.

This was the brand that worked beautifully.

Good luck making your bells!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Newspaper Basket

I finally got around to putting some photos on Instagram now that I am on holidays and could spend hours looking at everybody's photos. Move over Candy Crush and hello Instagram!! Follow me @anideaontuesday

Last holidays my daughter and I made some cute crocheted baskets and when I saw you could make baskets out of newspaper (The Original Thread) I thought we could try this as our holiday project.

We cut the newspaper into 7cm strips and rolled them using a skewer (Don't roll too tightly or you can't pull the skewer out!) and secure the end with a dab of glue.

Begin with this formation:

You weave around going over and under the base, which is quite tricky in the beginning. I helped my daughter with the hot glue gun in spots so it didn't all unravel. Spread apart the base pieces and continue weaving, trying to keep it tight.

Continue until you have the size and shape you are happy with. One set of instructions I read, fed thin wire through the paper rolls in the beginning and in hindsight would have been a lot easier to mould and shape.

We painted the inside of our basket black and used it to hold a candle.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Free Form Geoboard

I have been busy making some resources that my class of three and four year olds can use in the outdoor area at school. One idea that I came up with was a free form geoboard. Geoboards are usually a square board with pegs or nails that students attach rubber bands to. They are usually used in maths classes for older children to explore concepts such as angles, area and shape.
I thought my class could use the board at outdoor time to make shapes, patterns, numbers, letters and weave leaves and twigs though the elastic bands. It is a fabulous fine motor activity that promotes patience, problem solving, counting and creativity. 

I began with a simple painting of a snake and used natural coloured paints. 

I hammered nails at semi-regular intervals along the outline, down the middle and on some of the patterns.

I used natural coloured elastics but depending on your base picture, you could use brightly coloured elastics.

My own kids spent hours making patterns and shapes. I highly recommend having a go at making one. I am so inspired that I am going to make some more and try to sell them.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Small World Colour Ideas






I try to add items of interest to the wonder table each week to stimulate curiosity, language, interest and creativity but to also reflect what we are discussing at the time. This provides an initial idea and then the children add items from the shelf below to build on the learning experience. I aim to provide mainly natural materials on the wonder table but sometimes add man-made materials, especially when discussing colours.

This post was featured on:

Like Mama~Like Daughter