Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Spaghetti Sensory Fun!!

This activity is an all time favourite in my class and so I thought I would share it this week.

Firstly, I buy the cheapest spaghetti I can find, which is about 60c a packet. 
I cook the spaghetti for half the recommended time so it is still firm - don't rinse it as the spaghetti often breaks up into small pieces.
Then I put the cooked spaghetti in bags and then I add olive oil, a few squirts of hand sanitiser and several drops of food colouring. 
Now for the fun part - Shake the bags to mix the colour into the spaghetti. 
Put the spaghetti into different containers and let the fun begin!!!
I put out lots of tongs, plastic scissors, containers, spoons and scoops to go with the spaghetti.  

The spaghetti will keep for a few days in the fridge. After that, add it to the  compost.

This is a great fine motor activity, it is a lot of fun and is also a great way to learn how to hold and use scissors correctly. 

Until next time,
Niccola

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Water Trolley Number Fun!!


I bought these fantastic scissor grip scoops recently and thought they would be wonderful to teach and reinforce correct scissor grip and could be used with pom poms, bottle tops, rice, peas, sand- really anything!!! Recently, I used them in the water trolley with ping pong balls for a fun fine motor and number recognition activity.

Here are the scoops!!


I wrote the numbers 1-10 on ping pong balls.


I also wrote the numbers 1-10 on plastic cups and tied them together with string.


After tying them across the middle of the water trolley, I filled the trolley with water.

The children tried to pick up the balls with the scissor scoops and then put them in corresponding cups.




Tip them out and start again...



The children absolutely  loved this activity - you should try it!!
Niccola

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Number Recognition and Number Sorting




Here's a quick sorting activity that will help young children learn and recognise the numbers 1-5. 
I set up this activity on the wonder table where I display and store a large range of natural materials for the children to look at, manipulate and play with.


I wrote the numbers 1-5 on some lovely bamboo plates and on an assortment of natural materials. 
I used pebbles, shells and little branch cookies.


The children sorted, counted and arranged the materials on and around the plates. They were carried to the playdough table and the light table to be used for various purposes.


You can use any materials you like to create an interesting, quick and relevant numeracy activity like this. Have a go at setting up a similar activity.
Niccola

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Guest Judge Kidscrafts101

I love instagram and check it whenever I have a spare moment. I am always inspired and motivated to try new ideas and love the positive community and feedback everyone offers each other. To me, instagram is like buying a great magazine - you can't put it down and are mesmerised and inspired by the beautiful photos.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited by the hosts of kidscrafts101, Red Ted Art and Incredibusy to guest judge their weekly instagram challenge. Each week, teachers, parents and caregivers share easy craft ideas for kids using #kidscrafts101 and 9 winners are chosen by the guest judge every Monday. I had the pleasure of choosing the winners last week from the wonderful, interesting and varied kids art and craft activities posted on #kidscrafts101.

When looking for winners, I am always drawn to unique, original and interesting ideas that I haven't tried or seen before. I also like activities that provide learning opportunities for children through the process as well as the finished product. These ideas all appealed to me and after deliberating for quite some time, I came up with these winners........

Huge congrats to everyone who entered - there were so many great ideas which means there are lots of happy children getting the benefit of all of these lovely hands on learning experiences!!



@tinyn3rds
Lemon Prints

@lnnally
Leaf Collage

@kaja4kids
Cardboard Washing Machine

@madhatterpies
Frozen Paint

@Tiger_tilly
Cardboard Houses

@littlelifelonglearner
Hand and Feet Painting

@mielaerkerasmussen
Collage Craft

@heathfernance
Painting with a Spinning Citrus Juicer

@teachgrowlove
Making Marbled Paper

I'm sure you'll agree that these ideas are worth trying with your little ones. Check out these fabulous Instagram posts and all of the other wonderful ideas on #kidscrafts101. If you haven't checked out Instagram yet then I really think you should check it out!!

Niccola

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Recycled Fairy Garden



Here is a fairy garden that is kid size, versatile, robust, interesting and easy and to make.
More importantly, it is made entirely from recycled materials.


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!!

Why don't you have a go at making your own fairy garden?
Niccola













Monday, 16 January 2017

Natural Alphabet

Alphabet Sorting


I drew a grid on a piece of calico and wrote the the letters of the alphabet in every square (you could use paper, card or any material). I then used anything from nature that I could write the alphabet on. Once you start looking your realise that there are loads of resources right at your fingertips. All of these nuts and leaves were found on the ground at the park across the road from my house. Don't you just love a resource that costs nothing! The gum nuts have been used before on the blog "Bringing Nature Inside".







See what natural resources you can find in your local area.
Have fun!!!
Niccola

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are ready to make 2017 a sensational year!!! I have just returned from a beautiful family holiday feeling refreshed, positive and motivated for the year ahead. In 2016, I started several projects that I'm ready to get stuck into and launch this year - exciting times!!!
I also spent quite a bit of time on Instagram and learnt so much from fellow instagramers. I have found a wonderful Early Childhood community on Instagram that have been very supportive and encouraging. This week I thought I would share some of my favourite pics from my Instagram feed from 2016. 


This is a photo of a new product I launched in 2016. Story Stones

 
I loved these recycled plant holders that I made with my class for a STEM trial group.


I just love the simplicity of this activity. Recycled laundry scoops, sieves and Pom poms in water.


Extending creativity in the block area.


More Pom poms....


Writing doesn't have to be done inside on paper.


Adorable Christmas reindeer 


All the very best for 2017.
Niccola