Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Family Valentine

In our family, we have always celebrated Valentines Day together. I get up before everyone so I can set out the breakfast and little gifts I have for everyone. It is always just a token but I love any excuse to spoil my family.
As Valentines Day is coming up we have been talking about how we will celebrate Valentines Day this year. We thought this was a cute idea.

This is a very simple activity that children of any age could make. You could use any paper, card, paint, crayons, collage or any craft materials that you have at home.
The emphasis of this activity is that family members can make a heart for each other and write personal messages on the back. If children are too young to write, they could put kisses on the heart.
Children can then hang their heart somewhere in their room as a constant reminder that they are loved and special.

Some ideas to get you started...                                      

Painting with food colouring on tissue paper...

Writing messages to each other...

Red and brown hearts held together with pegs...

Printing hearts with pastel paints...

Collage hearts....

Edicole dye on paper towel...

I wish you lots of lovely family times making Valentines Day hearts for your loved ones x

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Number Cookies

We all know that cooking or baking with children can be a very rewarding and educational experience.

Baking is filled with so many wonderful learning experiences and sharing the result is pretty delicious too! My children and I love baking together and have done since they were tiny. This recipe is an old favourite.

Listed below are just some of the learning experiences that occur when you bake with your child.
Reading and language skills ...reading, talking, describing, sequencing ..
Maths and science skills ....measuring, observing, counting ..
Motor skills ...mixing, rolling, kneading, pouring ...
The list goes on...turn taking, tasting, experimenting, sharing...

Both of these maths based baking activities use the same basic biscuit recipe. It is a recipe that can be altered to incorporate different flavours and it is great because you can use cookie cutters and the biscuits hold their shape.

Number cookies pops
Children need to identify the number on the pop stick and count out the correct number of sultanas or chocolate chips to decorate that cookie. 

Number shape cookies
Once you have cut out the numbers with cookie cutters, ask the children to identify the number, count the correct number of chocolate chips or sultanas and push them into the cookie.

Not only are both of these activities very easy to do and yummy to eat- the learning experience lasts for days. Each time your child has a cookie, encourage them to identify the number they are eating.

Happy baking x

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Learning with Straws

Straws at the playdough table:
Children can make some amazing cakes out of playdough and use straws cut into different lengths to make candles. This is a great way of getting young children to practice their counting in a play situation.

Straws as art:
Straws of different thicknesses can be cut into various lengths for children to create beautiful necklaces. Older children could be encouraged to make patterns and cut the straws into small segments.

Straws as numbers:
Using a combination of straws and pipe cleaners, children can make numbers.

Straws at the light table:
After cutting the straws into short lengths, write the letters of the alphabet on the straws and ask children to put them in alphabetical order in little cups.

Straw decorations:
Glue the straws together with hot glue and then cut out the desired shape.

Straw rafts:
This was definitely a favourite in my house! The biggest question was which raft could stay afloat the longest.

Messages on straws:
I thought this would be a cute way to reinforce the child's name or some simple sight words you could be working on with your child.

Please leave me a message to let me know what you think... I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Number Bingo for the Light Table

I love the light table in my classroom. It has so many uses and it honestly draws the children in and holds their attention. I try to change the way in which I use it, so that the outcomes and intentions are varied.
This is an idea for number bingo that can be played at the light table.

Firstly, make your boards. Mix up the numbers so that they are not in order. This will make it a little more challenging for the children. Use a combination of cellophane and paper and laminate them. By using cellophane, the light will shine through and create a fabulous effect.

Make your dice or use a large foam dice for the bingo game. I made the dice by cutting out cellophane circles and laminated them to create each side of the dice. I joined the sides of the dice with washi tape.

To play the game you will also need some Perspex counters or plastic bottle tops like I have used.
The children take turns to throw the dice. Once they have identified the number of dots on the dice they then have to match the corresponding number on their Bingo card and place a counter on that number.  When they have covered every number on their bingo card, they call BINGO and they are the winner.
This is a great game for young children who are learning their numbers. It requires counting, number recognition, sharing, turn taking and communication.