Monday, 28 December 2015

Pom Pom Poppers

Every school holidays I head to the local Library with my kids and we stock up on a variety of books. Last holidays I borrowed lots of books on using natural and recycled materials. They gave me lots of great ideas, including this one that my class absolutely LOVED!!!

Here are some of the books I borrowed....

I adapted this idea from one of the books.

Instead of using paper cups, I used plastic cups as I thought they would be more durable.

Cut the base out of the plastic cups.

Tie a knot in your balloon and snip the end off the balloon.

Stretch the balloon over the bottom of the cup and secure with some tape.

Get your child to decorate the cup with stickers, markers or coloured tape.

Now for fun part!!!

Put a pom pom in the cup and show your child how to pull on the knot and let it go. The force will shoot out the pom pom.

If you are really clever, you can try and catch it back in your cup. My class loved making these, playing with them inside and outside and shooting pom poms all over the classroom. Of course it was more fun when we filled the cups with pom poms and shot them all out at once.

This is a quick, simple, clever and fun holiday activity to make with your kids. Give it a go.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Presents Kids Can Make

I know it's hard to come up with Christmas present ideas that young children can make for their parents, but I don't think you can go past hand print art. This gift idea is simple and something that the parents will love and cherish.

This year I found some great festive placemats and got the children to print on them with fabric paint.

We started with green handprints.

The children then printed a base for their handprint Christmas tree and a star for the top.

Using their pointer finger, they dotted little Christmas lights over their tree.

Once the placemats were dry, I ironed the placemats to set the fabric paint.

I'm sure the parents will love their gifts come Christmas morning and continue to use them over the years.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Do You Want To Build A Playdough Snowman?

Do you want a few extra minutes to wrap presents, cook or just have a quiet cup of tea in this crazy busy lead up to Christmas?
.... Then I have the answer for you!!
 My class created, played, talked, sung (Frozen - of course) and thoroughly enjoyed this playdough learning experience.

Make a plain batch of playdough, grab some simple accessories and let your children get creative.

I added some buttons, eyes, sticks, orange pipe cleaners, little wood cookies, sequins but really you could add anything.

Some cute and interesting snowmen.

I hope your children enjoy this activity and I hope you get a few jobs done.
All the best, Niccola

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

I love hand made gifts, cards and wrapping paper. The love, thought and time that goes into home made Christmas presents makes them so special. At school we have been very busy making our gifts, cards and wrapping paper and I thought I would share some easy and cute wrapping paper you can make with your little ones.

Printing with Sponge Shapes

Painting Candy Cane Stripes

Printing With Embossed Wallpaper

I love the fact that the children can make their own wrapping paper. The presents look great and the children love the whole art experience.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Reindeer Ideas

Reindeer ideas......

Reindeer Food 
This is always a favourite activity with my class of 3 and 4 year olds.
I let the children fill bags with oats, little sequins and sparkly treasure and glitter- lots of glitter!!!
On Christmas Eve they sprinkle on their lawn to attract the reindeers attention and guide Santa to their house.

Reindeer Noses
Make some little reindeer faces and attach them to cellophane bags. Put the reindeer noses in the bags, one red Jaffa for Rudolf's nose and eight chocolate balls for the rest of the reindeers.
Share with your friends or add to your Christmas table.

Reindeer Handprint Paintings
My class loved doing this activity. They painted their hand brown, turned it upside down and turned their print into Rudolf. They then painted a red nose, antlers, a tail, the sleigh and the night sky.

Reindeer Playdough
I encouraged the children to make reindeer with some brown playdough, sticks, pipe cleaners, red pom poms, matchsticks and corks. They were very creative!!

Reindeer Table Decorations
I couldn't let the kids have all of the reindeer fun so I decided to make some reindeer to adorn the Christmas table.

Hope you have some fun trying some of these reindeer ideas.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Playdough Christmas Mats

I can't believe we are already singing Christmas carols, making presents and cards and getting in the Christmas spirit at school already!!!
Here is a super easy Christmas activity that will keep your young children busy and happy while they develop skills and learn through play.

Christmas Tree Playdough Mats

I cut out and laminated some simple tree shapes for the playdough table and added some little coloured decorations and glitter. You could add sequins, buttons, tinsel....really anything but my class loved this combination.

Make one batch of playdough, divide it into balls and make multiple colours. (That is if you don't mind your children mixing the colours- because they definitely will!)

Let your children get to work rolling, squashing, creating and decorating their trees.

Playdough is such a wonderful activity as it has so many learning opportunities but what is really fabulous is that children just LOVE playing with it.
Make some Christmas Trees for your children..

Monday, 16 November 2015

Block Area Challenge Cards

A while back, I wrote about adding loose parts to the block area to stimulate imaginative play. 

This term I made some block area challenge cards for the children to use in the block area. These cards can be as challenging or as simple as you like, depending on the age and ability of your class. They also provide a great starting point for your children's own creative block constructions.

We don't have a huge variety of blocks in our block shelf so I included some lovely natural loose parts from the wonder table.

I laid out block constructions that I thought the children could make. I photographed them, printed them and then laminated them for durability. 
Some samples....

Laminated cards ready for the children to use...

Here are some examples of how I incorporated the numbers 1-10 in the block cards also.

You don't have to use wooden blocks, you could use Duplo or any construction materials you have. Make some cards and challenge your kids !!