Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Father's Day Gifts Kids Can Make

This Sunday is Father's Day in Australia. Every year in my class I rack my brain to think of a present that children can make by themselves. I think this is a fabulous idea, as it is simple, effective and three-year olds can manage it on their own. As I was doing this activity in the classroom, I purchased some sheets of foam but if you were planning on doing it at home you could recycle a polystyrene tray. 

I gave the children a square of polystyrene foam and let them make imprints, lines, drawings and patterns with a pen (ball point pen).

The children then used the roller to cover the sheet of foam with paint. We put the card on top of the foam and rubbed the surface to ensure we could make a good print. The children then lifted the card to reveal their masterpiece. 

I cut out the centres and put photos of every child in the frames, added some hearts and laminated them.

I put a self-adhesive magnet strip on the back of the photo frame so Dad can display his present on the fridge.

Older children could draw fabulous patterns and pictures and print with one colour and then rework their design and print with a second colour or even a third. The possibilities are endless!

We also made wrapping paper and gift cards which were drawing of our handsome Dads. 

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Natural Bird Feeders

To make a natural bird feeder you will need:
-Some pine cones
-Glucose syrup
-Wild bird seed
-Two large branches

Others have suggested using peanut butter to adhere the birdseed to your object. For children with nut allergies, glucose is a great alternative.

Begin by tying up your two branches somewhere in the garden. We left about a 20cm gap between the top branch and the second branch.
Tie the string around a section of the pine cone. Carefully dip the pine cone into the glucose syrup (which is a lovely sticky sensation for the kids) and then into the bird seed. Try to get the bird seed into the open pockets of the pine cone.
Hang the pine cones from the top branch, but in a position where the birds can perch on the bottom branch and peck at the bird seed.

The children and I have already identified many new different types of birds in our playground. Have a go at making a bird feeder for your garden or playground. The birds are loving it and so are the children!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Making Fairy Land with Recycled Materials

Making Fairy Land using recycled materials.
Using white glue I decorated some pebbles I had with glitter. The toadstools are champagne corks painted with red and white paint and the red fairy is made from a peg and some left over tulle. The house can be made out of any plastic container. Cut out the doors and windows in any position you like. I then drew with a permanent marker some vines, a pebble door frame and bushes - you could decorate however you want. I then used the same white glue (PVA) on the inside of the container, behind the drawings and covered with glitter.

I put some scraps of artificial turf, sand and some branches along with some small furniture I had to create a fairy scene.

This was a take-away food container. I also used a milk container.

The play scene created a lot of interest with all the children. On the second day we added outdoor blocks and cars and we had a whole fairy city!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Outdoor Music Wall

We all LOVE music at school and we all LOVE playing musical instruments. We have been busy making an outdoor music wall. 

Each child painted their own wooden spoon to use as a drumstick on the new music wall.

We filled plastic bottles and containers with rice, shells and pasta and attached the containers to the wall along with all of our other new musical instruments.

We let the children choose whatever they wanted to hang on the music wall and choose the positions of the various components.

The children selected a variety of pots, pans, containers, lids, plastic bottles, cups and sandpit toys to hang on our music wall.

 It has been a wonderful addition to our outdoor area as it has provided hours of learning and fun for all of the children. I LOVE an activity that is made using recycled materials and only takes a short while to set up. The children have had a ball singing and playing music and experimenting with all of the different sounds each object made. 

You could make this in your garden or playground.

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One Perfect Day