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,
Niccola

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!!
Niccola

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!!




Niccola

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pop Sticks and Playdough

I use pop sticks for lots of things in the classroom, but here is a quick and easy way to use them at the playdough table to help children recognise their names.

I have used two different sized pop sticks, large and small.


I wrote the children's names on the small pop sticks and they made cakes and used them as birthday candles. The children had fun finding their name, their friends names and singing happy birthday!!



I wrote a different group of children's names on the large pop sticks and encouraged them to make lolly pops, ice-creams and cakes.





Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. 
Niccola

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Garden Car Track

I posted this a while back, but as the children in my class still enjoy it as much as the day I made it, I thought I would share it again, especially for those of you going into Summer !!

I saw a similar idea once and thought it would be perfect for a little nook in our outdoor area. This little car track is perfect for your garden or playground, it is inexpensive to make and fun for all to play with.

Choose the bricks you want to use. I chose grey to resemble real roads.


Measure the middle of the bricks and mark the centre lines with a pencil.

Paint the lines on the bricks with white outdoor paint to resemble the white lines on the road.
( It would be a good idea to plan your road map before painting. I didn't do this and the lines don't flow as well as they could!!)


Sink the bricks into the sand and add pebbles, plants, cars, people, wooden blocks.....anything you can think of.





Let me know what you think.
Niccola