Monday, 13 April 2015

Rope People

I love school holidays. We are half way through and are having such a relaxing time. My daughter finished her crocheted blanket, my son is doing a painting for a school art project and my youngest is in the process of making a teepee. 

I did a workshop with Juliet Robertson on Saturday and learnt so many wonderful things and feel so inspired. 

My sister is an art teacher and we spend countless hours talking, crafting, and sharing ideas for our schools and homes.
Yesterday she popped in for a coffee and crocheted me another basket for school while I made some little rope people. All was completed by the time we had finished our drinks!!




The rope people can be played with in the sand, garden, block area...or really anywhere!!
They could be used in so many ways from story telling, games, ordering, counting, role playing or even throwing and catching. 
This is the rope I used. 















I hope we inspired you to do some 30 minute craft.
Niccola

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Crochet Prints in Playdough

A lovely little girl in my class would often get dropped to school by her Grandma and she told me she loved to crochet. I asked her if she could possibly make me some coloured crocheted circles to use in the classroom, and she whipped up some beautiful circles. I told her that it didn't matter what size they were or what colours they were.


The children have used them in the block area, with little animals, with figurines and on the wonder table with painted pebbles. They love to stack them up, spread them out or use them as stepping stones.


The other day I had some lovely strawberry scented playdough and added various utensils, including rolling pins on the playdough table. Before I knew it, the children were getting the crocheted circles and using them on the playdough table to make some beautiful prints.







I love it when children initiate their play and learning by finding uses for materials on offer.
Niccola

Monday, 30 March 2015

Natural Materials and Easter

Here are a few very simple ways to use natural materials in the classroom or home to stimulate and encourage imaginative Easter play.

Wooden eggs are lovely to hold and cook with.


Add some wood chips, wooden bowls and wooden spoons for some egg recipes!


Painted pebbles or just regular pebbles make fabulous egg substitutes.



Invite children to make their own nests.


Paper bag nest.



Stick and wool nest.


Add some chicks, rice and shredded paper to the paper bag nests and some numbers on leaves.



Happy Easter!!
Niccola

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Easter Basket


This cute little Easter basket can be made with coloured paper, card or material like I did. 
I had lots of material I wanted to use so I came up with a cute and easy little Easter basket.

Get the children to paint the material. I chose lovely pastel colours and circle stampers. My fabric was 21cm x 21cm.


It's always interesting to watch the children tackle an activity like this. Some children like certain colours or like to paint methodical patterns and some children like to mix the colours together.




When the material is dry, put it through the laminator.


To cut the basket I used a paper template and held it on the top of the fabric to make sure I was cutting in the correct place. 
Hold the basket in place and punch a hole in the sides. You could also staple the sides together.


Attach the handle with some ribbon or string.


Fill your basket with some shredded tissue paper and some Easter treats!!

Enjoy
Niccola

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Water Trolley Number Activity


I bought these fantastic scissor grip scoops-(I have no idea what they are called!!) at Christmas and have been dying to use them. 
They could be used with pom poms, bottle tops, rice, peas, sand- really anything. I used them this week in the water trolley with ping pong balls for a fun number activity.

Here are the scoops!!


I wrote the numbers 1-10 on a few packets of ping pong balls.


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




The children tried to pick up a ball and then put it in the corresponding cup.




As you can see, we are just learning our numbers!

Tip them out and start again...



The children loved this activity. You should try it.
Niccola

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

DIY Weaving Frame

I don't know about you but I have looked at buying weaving frames before and they can be quite expensive. I decided to make my own at school which is easy to make and inexpensive.

I used some plastic gridded gutter guard and cut a large square.
Then I tied it to two long sticks- one along the top and one along the bottom.
I used rope to hang it from our classroom verandah at a height that allowed the children to sit or stand at both sides of the weaving frame.


As we are talking about the sea I started the weaving off with some sea creatures.


I put out some material scraps, pegs, pipe cleaners and some sea creatures that I cut out of firm felt and punched holes in them.




The children could weave, peg, thread and poke!!





You could add any materials you can think of to compliment your theme or interests of the children.
Let me know what you think.
Niccola