20th March 2019: Building Work

The children are very interested in the building work that's going on at the moment on the school's gable end. The drills and hammers are very loud and today we saw the skip and cement mixer!  We watched as the builders layed new bricks and took different tools and equipment up the ladders onto the scaffolding. It was a great catalyst for learning new words and the children were inspired to construct their own buidlings, towers and paths.

20th March 2019: Who's For Tea?!

Today the children have been interested in the new real packets that have appeared in the home corner. Using real things that the children may recognise makes their play more purposeful and generates lots of discussion about their own experiences and linking environmental text. We had sausage pot noodles and buttered toast - delicious!

19th March 2019: Planting

For Mother's Day we have been planting spring flowers! We had to wash the plant pots first, then add soil and put in the bulbs. Hopefully by the time they go home, they will be starting to show... finger crossed!

15th March 2019: Water Beads

We recently bought gel water beads for sensory play. There was great interest as on Wednesday they started off as teeny-tiny beads that we left in water overnight and by Thursday they had grown into these rainbow-coloured gel balls. The children couldn't keep their hands off them! They have a bouncy, jelly-like texture and are great for funky finger skills as they are tricky to pick up. We used them with the Numicon® as they fit perfectly into the holes and today we explored them in water and strainers. As the children have been so keen on them and they last for ages, we'll use them well into next week.

If you're interested in buying your own, we got ours from Amazon at £11.99 and there are 1000's!

14th March 2019: The Greatest Show!

There has been high energy today and the children have enjoyed 'performing' on the big carpet space. We supported them to set up a show with chairs for the audience and a performance space for the dancing. They each had a turn in the spotlight to show off their moves!

As everyone wanted a turn, this helped developed their turn-taking skills as they explored different ways of moving. Performing in front of their peers helped to build their self-confidence and their expressive creativity.

14th March 2019: More Number Monkey Fun!

The Number Monkey strikes again...

This time he took down some of our numbers and pegged up his friends instead! The children went on a number hunt to find where the Number Monkey had hidden the missing numbers and we put them back again at circle time. The children were very inspired by this number fun and have been working with numbers in lots of different ways.

13th March 2019: Pedestrians This Way

We have a big, real 'Pedestrians' road sign in our sheltered area and it came in particularly useful when the children had created a path from the planks and blocks and needed to direct everyone. They extended their ideas to mark-making arrows on the floor with chalks. This is great for exercising the gross motor skills that will eventually help to write and draw and mark-making for purpose.

13th March 2019: Picasso

We have noticed that the children have been using a lot of faces in their mark-making and decided to introduce them to Picasso. We looked at the painting 'The Woman in a Hat' and talked about the lines, shapes and colours we could see. Then they had a go at using the oil pastels to create their own Picasso-inspired face artwork. We also extended the learning to playdough; modelling a face shape and adding the 'Mr Potato Head' facial features! Come and see our growing gallery...

8th March 2019: Hey, Hey, It's The Number Monkey..!

All week we've had a cheeky visitor who messes up our number line. Today he's turned the numbers upside down!!

The children love to see what he's done this time and then we work together at circle time to put things back to rights. Today we noticed that the '0', the '1' and the '8' are the same either way up and the '6' and '9' look like each other when they're upside down. We tell him off by wagging our fingers and singing "No More Number Monkey Messing up the Numbers!" (ala '5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed')

7th March 2019: "...and he ate all the sandwiches on the plate - Owp!"

To celebrate World Book Day, we re-told the classic story of The Tiger Who came To Tea by Judith Kerr. We even had a visit from the tiger himself! Afterwards, everyone made jam sandwiches for snack. Using real knives and ingredients gave us a perfect opportunity for talking about keeping safe and healthy while excercising those fine motor control skills.

6th March 2019: Bubbles, Balloons and Rainbows

We are updating our seasonal display with spring flowers by making bubble painting for hydrangeas. It's a great exercise for using facial and mouth muscles as well as being cheeky fun! We halso have made rainbows by draping tissue paper from cotton wool-covered paper plate 'clouds'. We looked at pictures of rainbows on the SmartBoard, talked about a rainbow's arc shape and sang and signed the 'I Can Sing a Rainbow' song.

To compliment our colourful, bubbly day, we played with balloons; throwing, batting, catching and bouncing.

5th March 2019: Pancake Day

To celebrate Pancake Day, we had a 'Pancake Station'. The children could create a pancake mixture to their own secret recipe using real utensils. It got pretty messy, but everyone wanted to have a go and there was lots of imaginative, scientific and social play to be had...! We also made piles of pancakes numbered 1-10 and had some physical fun with a pancake toss (using bats & beanbags). Happy Shrove Tuesday!

4th March 2019: Dinosaur Big, Dinosaur Tiny, Dinosaur Clean, Dinosaur Slimy...!

We're trying to encourage children who might not naturally choose writing or craft activities to give mark-making a go by creating dino-prints in muddy puddles! The children enjoyed stomping their dinosaurs in the paint and marching around the table, keeping time with the 'hup two, three, four' chorus - and noticing the tracks they made.

Afterwards there was more fine motor control exercise as the children brushed the dirty dinos with toothbrushes.

1st March 2019: Water Play

From just a tub-ful of water, the children took their ideas and learning in so many directions; from using pump dispensers to create splash patterns on the floor, to cleaning with squeejies to wetting chalks and noticing the changes in texture and brightness.

1st March 2019: Picture Frames

Working on a vertical surface is great for children's elbow stability and arm strength. We use cheap IKEA frames with plastic fronts with a limited colour pallette. The activity was very popular and stimulated lots of talk about textures and marks. Also, because the frames get wiped clean after each painting, there is no pressure to create 'a picture'. We showed the children who wanted to keep their masterpiece how to create a relief print of it by placing paper over the top and peeling it back.

27th February 2019:

Shadow Drawings

Today we have been making the most of the February sunshine by creating shadow drawings. We put our favourite dinosaurs on a block in the sun and drew around their shadows. It's trickier than it looks!