Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Dying Pasta

Here is a simple way to dye pasta and a few creative ways to use it.

Start with the cheapest pasta and get some zip lock bags or plastic shopping bags.

I used food colouring, so I was only doing three colours- red, blue and green. ( I didn't dye all of the pasta, as the pasta is quite yellow already)

Put a few squirts of hand sanitiser in each bag along with some pasta. ( this helps the dye adhere to the pasta!!)

Place a few drops of food colouring in each bag.

Hold the bag closed and massage the contents until everything is mixed thoroughly and the pasta is evenly coated with the dye.

Spread out the pasta to dry on some newspaper.

Now the fun begins!!!!
You could use the dyed pasta for many craft, learning and play based activities. Here are a few......

Making names with pasta.

Making the alphabet.

Sorting according to colour.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Sensory Play Ideas

Children love sensory play and are naturally drawn to it.
Here is a list of materials that I have used to promote sensory play in my classroom that my class have experimented with. My programme is made up of loads of sensory activities but I have listed 10 that are very simple to put together. 

1. Rice

2. Split Peas

3. Shredded Paper ( with hidden animals)

4. Recycled Plastic

5. Bird Seed

6. 100's and 1000's

7. Shaving Cream

8. Dried Beans and Dried Pasta

9. Cooked Pasta

10. Shells

All of the above sensory ideas can be further enhanced by adding a few drops of essence to change the scent and dye, paint or glitter to change the appearance. 
All of these activities need close supervision when they are done with small children.
Until next time,

Monday, 4 July 2016

Outdoor Fairy Garden

We are on holidays in Perth at the moment and enjoying some beautiful weather. Actually we don't have many days that stop outdoor play- possibly only the midday heat in Summer. This got me thinking that I would share a project that I made in one of my school holidays that has been loved by all. This Fairy garden has been an amazing addition to our outdoor area. The children eat lunch at the table, they create, cook (mud creations) play, chat, move, plan and have fun in this area.

Over the years we have made various fairy gardens for the children to play in or with in our playground and inside the classroom. Mostly, we have used fairy sized things and they get lost!!! 
When planning our playground, we had to take into consideration that we have three classes of children using it, who range in ages and abilities.  We need to have equipment that caters for the children's needs, interests and ages and we try to incorporate loose parts that are versatile.

Here is a fairy garden that is kid size, versatile, robust, interesting and easy and inexpensive to make.

We started with some tree cookie stumps for fairy seats.

An old electrical cable for a fairy table.

A little red and white paint.

A cute little fairy garden for all to enjoy!!

Happy holidays!!

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!!