Sunday, 29 September 2013

Making an Outdoor Bunting

In the past I have endeavored to bring elements of nature inside for the children to explore, use and play with. Recently I have tried to think of ways to take our artwork outside into our outdoor area. We have been talking about ourselves and exploring shapes so I thought I could incorporate both topics and make a class outdoor bunting.

I collected some inexpensive plastic folders and cut them into large triangles. Each child chose a colour and drew a picture of themselves with a permanent marker. I then punched holes in the top and we worked out a colour pattern and tied them onto the rope. 
We hung the bunting outside between two poles but it would have looked just as cute hanging from the tree or along the fence. The bunting adds a splash of colour to the outdoor area and can withstand any weather. We love watching it blow in the breeze. 

With the leftovers I made a smaller "counting bunting" for the children to use at the wonder table inside. The children were encouraged to peg the triangles in order from 1 to 20.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

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.

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dinosaur Tails

Last week we used foam shapes to print with fabric paint on calico to create dinosaur tails.We had been discussing shapes and thought that printing with shapes could make some very interesting patterns for our dinosaur tails. Some children printed with their favourite shapes or favourite colours, while others liked overlapping the shapes and some just did random patterns- all of the patterns looked amazing!

(Only I went home with fabric paint on my clothes which is quite a feat when working with 3 year olds.)
I ironed the fabric to heat set the paint so that it would be permanent and could be washed.

I asked a lovely mother if she would bring her sewing machine in to the class to sew the tails while the children watched her.This in itself was a fabulous learning experience.

Once she had sewn up the dinosaur tails the children filled their tails with toy filler. What 3 year old wants to fill their tail with toy filler when you can throw the filling? ( The toy filler looks just like SNOW and perfect to throw........ Everywhere !! )

Finally (after cleaning up all of the toy filler) we sewed elastic around their waist. The children put them on and they LOVED them.

Tomorrow we are going to wear our tails and sing our favourite dinosaur song for all the parents.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Circles on Tuesday

We have been talking about shapes lately and I love it because you can integrate shapes into everything across the curriculum. Here are a few simple ideas for teaching and reinforcing the shape... CIRCLE

Painting on a Lazy Susan.

I bought a Lazy Susan from IKEA and have used it in many different ways.
This is how we painted using the Lazy Susan.

I used edicole dye and large foam brushes. As the children in my class are only three, some needed help spinning the Lazy Susan while they held the brush.

Teaching Numbers with Circles.

Everyone has egg cartons and buttons at home and this is a simple number and counting activity. Just make sure you supervise the children well if they are under three years of age.

Teaching The Alphabet with Circles

I wrote the letters of the alphabet on bottle tops and the children said the letter names and then matched them to the corresponding letters.

Fine Motor Activity with Circles

I put out a muffin tin and let the children sort and classify pom-poms.

I love the way the circle painting turned out. Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Dinosaurs on Tuesday

There were squeals of delight when the children arrived today to find dinosaurs in and around the classroom. Dinosaurs are always a favourite topic. The children decorated very simple dinosaurs on the light table with pegs for legs and spikes and coloured perspex shapes to create a fantastic dinosaur scene. (I just cut out and laminated simple shapes which were very effective.)

We discussed our favourite dinosaurs and looked at pictures of fossils. The children then chose a dinosaur to push into the salt-dough to make an imprint. Pterodactyl was the most popular! The salt-dough was a recipe from the internet which I cooked for three hours. 

The finished fossils. Next week we are going to make dinosaur tails and pretend we are palaeontologists looking for our fossils in the sandpit.

Dinosaurs in the sandpit.

Dinosaurs at the wonder table.


Counting and sorting dinosaurs according to colour. Lucky we did this activity outside as there was more rice on the floor than in the tray!

Have fun trying some of these dinosaur in your classroom or at home! Let me know how you go.