Thursday, 9 November 2017

Understanding Community

Understanding the community within which they live is import for developing children in order for them to make sense of their identity and relate to the world around them. Over the past week we have looked at age related activities that enable children to understand both Armistice Day and Bonfire Night. 

In preparation for Armistice Day the children initially watched a short CBeebies film about the relevance of the poppy. We talked about the war, the poppies and the 2 minutes silence. Having watched how poppies are made in the factory we thought it would be fun to create our own. Using egg cartons the children used red paint to make poppies and then stuck lolly sticks on for the stems. 

Plymouth Hoe currently has a display consisting of a wave of poppies cascading up the naval memorial and we though it would be nice for the children to see and relate to the poppies they had made. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day for our visit. 

Also this week one of the children was telling us about the firework display they had seen. We talked a bit about the colours and shapes of the fireworks she had seen together with the shapes and sounds they made. The children decided they would like to create some pictures of fireworks so we called upon one of our favourite art methods for bonfire night of combining glue and glitter on black paper. 

The children absolutely love choosing colours and shaking the glitter pots although glitter can be found for weeks after the art work has dried!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Autum Play Dough 2017

Play dough is a great resource that encourages open ended play while, through its malleable nature, allows children to develop their hand and wrist muscles in preparation for writing. It encourages exploration when combined with other objects and often forms the basis for mathematical development through promoting counting and discussions about shapes and sizes. 

For that reason play dough is a much loved resource here and the children thought it was great when presented with Autumn coloured play dough together with some of the Autumn objects we collected from out and about. 

The children are encouraged to share a wide range of tools and often, after starting individually, begin to work together to create structures of invent stories. One child decided to sort out all the conkers and push them into the dough and, with encouragement, began to count the objects. 

I was impressed with the wide range of colourful results and, as ever, our school age children couldn't resist coming and joining in. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Fun with Autumn Leaves

Autumn creates so many learning opportunities and we love being out and about at this time of year. The leaves falling off the trees provide opportunity to talk about changing seasons whilst the leaves themselves provide opportunity to talk about colour. 

The children enjoyed several mornings at both Saltram and the wildlife area at Devonport Park playing in the leaves, on the play equipment and looking for the various insects that live in such habitats. 

After collecting a variety of leaves (the children love the responsibility of carrying their own bag too collect leaves) we took some home to create some Autumn art through a range of sticking and glitter shaking.  

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Understanding Food

It is important that children learn where their food comes from in order to establish a healthy diet and a good relationship with food as well as developing healthy eating habits. This term we have undertaken a number of activities to help the children learn about their food whilst having fun. 

Together with another childminder we planted and then harvested some potatoes. The children helped tip out the contents of the pots and took it in turns to find potatoes within the mud. Some used their hands whilst others were more comfortable with spades.  The children discussed and then put into practice washing the mud from the potatoes. This was also a great opportunity for counting them out and incorporating size language. 

Once our potatoes were clean we cooked them and included them within our lunch with each child enjoying tasting them.

Our term ended in a slightly damp trip to the local pick your own. The children were not put off by the rain and were keen to all have a go at picking a variety of fruit and vegetables ranging from strawberries and raspberries through to carrots and onions.

We were lucky enough to have the farmer show off a section of fruit and vegetables to the children before taking them home for lunch. For the older children I used the opportunity to enable use of knives for cutting up the strawberries before the children polished these off with a large spoon of ice cream!