Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Magic Wands

Who doesn't love playing with a magic wand?
Here are two super simple wand ideas that were a big hit in my class.

These wands don't even need glue!!
Let the children wind pipe cleaners around some sticks. Add feathers, beads or wool if your children are old enough to tie the wool.

Abracadabra - ready for magic!!

These next wands need a bit of strong glue to hold all of the sparkly treasures!!!!
I cut out some gold stars and used hot glue to attach them to the stick.

 I put out a variety of different sequins and glitter and let the children decorate their wand however they liked.

What a great fine motor activity for three year olds!
The children loved the wands and played with them both at outdoor time, inside and even held them at rest time!!!!

Thanks for the comments last week. I really appreciate them.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Adorable Rabbits

We have just had two beautiful weeks of school holidays here in Perth and it's back to school this week.

My own children are happy to go back to school and I am excited to go back to work because I have been teaching three year olds for years and they have always attended two half days. As of this week, they will bring their lunch and stay for a full day!!!

After lunch they will have a rest and listen to stories and music. I have bought lovely little mats for them to lie down on but I have also bought them a special little rest time friend to cuddle.

A lovely mum from school embroidered each child's name on a ribbon for me. I tied them around the rabbits necks and they look adorable! Thanks so much Angela- you are amazing!!

I chose these rabbits because they are soft and cute and I thought that they look like the rabbits from the story 'Guess How Much I Love You' and everyone loves that story.

My house looks like it has been taken over by rabbits.

The children will have to find their name on their rabbit, be responsible for looking after their rabbit and at the end of rest time, they will need to put them away in their pocket for next time.

I'm sure the children will love them !!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Aboriginal Inspired Art

This last week has been NAIDOC week here in Australia. NAIDOC week celebrates the culture, tradition and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

We have had various visitors to the school to share local Aboriginal art and information with the children and we have endeavoured to do some artwork with the children that reflects elements of Aboriginal art.   There are lots of different stories and styles around Australia - my three year olds love bars and dots.

Today I thought I would share some of these projects with you.

Painting on Bark

I found these beautiful sheets of Paperbark on the road on a windy afternoon and thought it was a great opportunity for some bark painting.

Everyone in this area knows the story of the Rainbow Serpent (Wagyl) - the story of the local rivers and lakes.

Snake Geoboard

I painted a snake with patterns and designs that are similar to some Aboriginal art and turned it into a Geoboard. The children absolutely love making patterns and designs with the elastic bands and watching the picture change and evolve.

Outdoor Mosaic Mural

This was a whole school project that took a few stages to complete. I begun with making the little square and round tiles first. The young children printed their fingerprints on the round tiles ( like dot painting ) and the older children painted symbols that represented the school on the square tiles. Once fired, we glued them to the board and filled in the background with mosaic tiles.

Class Cross

We recently moved into our new classroom and I though it would be meaningful to make a class cross to hang on the wall. The children used earthy coloured paints to paint dots, patterns or designs on the cross. It is a lovely addition to our classroom.

See you next week!!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Gingerbread Man

I love to put on stories at school and draw the scene as it unfolds. My class have a few favourites and I have even put two of them on YouTube.... 
This is a new favourite and so I thought I would draw the story on a plastic tablecloth so the children could tell the story using playdough.

The Gingerbread Man- Playdough Activity

Attach the tablecloth to the table with tape so it is as taut as possible.
I drew the characters and events according to the story my class are familiar with, from a Playschool CD.

I then added rolling pins, buttons, goggly eyes, cookie cutters and of course, gingerbread playdough.
We played the story, listened, talked, rolled, created, role played, told the story and smelled the delicious playdough!!!

The Gingerbread Man- Cooking

You can't enjoy the story without making some delicious treats to take home!!!

The Gingerbread Man- Painting

Some very attractive Gingerbread Men!!

I ended up eating way too many Gingerbread Men and they were delicious! You should definitely share this lovely experience with your kids- my class loved it.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Save Your Plastic Bottles

Any regular readers of my blog would know that I hate throwing away anything and love to repurpose and recycle everything.
Every time we finish a bottle of juice at home, I wash the bottle and put it in my garage. Luckily, I have a big garage and a patient husband!! When I get to 20, I take them to school and use them for something. I have written other blog posts about recycling plastic bottles in the past. 

I set out to make something that didn't eventuate, but this activity shows you that the learning that goes on in the process is more important than the finished product.

I numbered the bottles and lids from 1-20. 
This was a great maths activity...
-The children had to identify and match the numbers on the bottles to the lids
-They counted the bottles 
-Put them in order on the floor
-Chose their favourite number
-Talked about the numbers

This was a great fine motor activity...
-The children used spoons and funnels for rice
-Used their fingers to put pom poms, match sticks, straws and small pieces of paper in the narrow bottle opening
-Screwed the lids on the bottles,

This was a great language activity...
-We played our shakers to many different songs, danced with them, and experimented with tempo
-We sat in a circle and thought of many different things to do with our bottles....looked through them, held them behind our backs, put them on different body parts and balanced them on our hands....etc....

I originally collected the bottles to make a bowling pins for a bowling game. That didn't eventuate as the children wanted to take their number bottles home before we had a chance.
Simply filling the bottles would have been a successful and fun activity. 
It goes to show that sometimes the simplest activities are the best!!

Start saving your plastic bottles!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Making Prints

I love providing my class with different multi-sensory materials and letting them explore the possibilities. These open-ended ideas give children the opportunity to freely experiment with prints, patterns, colours, shape and form. Activities such as these promote problem solving, fine and gross motor skills and communication skills. Children need space to test and explore their creativity and as a result learn so many valuable skills and concepts. 

I find the children are always very keen to get stuck into these activities.

Printing with spiky balls...

Printing with golf balls...

Making tyre prints with toy cars....

Animal footprints.....

and printing with our hands!!!

Until next week- happy printing.