Tuesday, 21 June 2016

10 Simple Ideas to Enhance Block Play !!

Blocks are an important part of all Early Childhood classrooms and are also an important educational toy to have at home. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and children of all ages love to build, create and play with them.

Playing with blocks provides excellent learning opportunities for children from problem solving,
language and social skills, maths skills and creativity to name just a few.

As a teacher, I change the materials to enhance the block play frequently depending on the childrens interests, topic or season.

Some of the materials I like to add to the block area include....

1. Cardboard cylinders and boxes
2. Natural materials-rocks, nuts, twigs, branches
3. Paper, cardboard, foil, cellophane 
4. Measuring tapes and rulers
5. Mirrors
6. Material, artificial grass, rugs and artificial flowers
7. Dinosaurs and animals
8. People
9. Cars, signs, traffic lights and trains
10. Pop sticks, pipe cleaners, wool and string

I love watching the children play and interact in the block area and observing all of the positive learning experiences that evolve. If you have any creative block ideas I would love to hear them!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Going Nuts!!!

Whenever I go for a walk or to the park, I am always amazed by the beautiful natural materials all around me. I always collect nuts, sticks, bark or seed pods that that fallen from trees around me to use in and around the classroom.
Last weekend at the local park I couldn't resist collecting gum nuts for school. I have used them in many different ways in the past and thought I would share some of my ideas.

These are different nuts but also very useful!!


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pop Sticks and Playdough

I use pop sticks for lots of things in the classroom, but here is a quick and easy way to use them at the playdough table to help children recognise their names.

I have used two different sized pop sticks, large and small.

I wrote the children's names on the small pop sticks and they made cakes and used them as birthday candles. The children had fun finding their name, their friends names and singing happy birthday!!

I wrote a different group of children's names on the large pop sticks and encouraged them to make lolly pops, ice-creams and cakes.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.