Play is just play… It needs no explaining!

I found this awesome quote from Fred Rogers whilst surfing around the net this morning! (Cup of coffee in hand- my favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday morn!)

Too often some practitioners will ask… “But what are they learning- they look like they are just playing!!”

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced this?

I tend to get my ikea fold out soap box out, and explain that although they are “just” passing a ball to each other, two months ago that little 4 year old there used to spend the whole time hurting other children because he/she hadn’t learnt YET how to use their words to convey feeling, that most of their time was spent being changed by a grown up because they hadn’t yet developed an understanding of personal care. That two months ago they wouldn’t have been able to catch the ball yet with two hands, because their hand to eye co-ordination wasn’t developed enough.

I then put away my fold out ikea soap box, and disappear in a puff of smoke to the thick of my learning environment to watch children at play, and extend their learning!!!

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French day fun!! 

My little boy is in Year 3 at the school in which I teach EYFS. On Wednesday they have French day, and have to dress in a costume to represent something from France!!

So here we have our creation!! 

Champagne darling… What could be more French? We have had an afternoon full of giggles and laughter! 

   
    
 

Creativity just makes my heart sing! 

I love watching children explore and create with loose parts. One little poppety and her friend worked for a long time yesterday on this marvellous creation- I tried to stay well back whilst listening to their lovely conversation. It always amazes and fascinates me to watch friendships and relationship build and blossom over the year. The two girls who created this masterpiece have only just “found” each other over the past few weeks, but I can already see their relationship developing and growing day by day! 

   
   
I am such a firm believer in the Prime areas of the foundation stage, this gorgeous pair wouldn’t have been able to complete such a fantastic outcome had they not had a solid foundation of PSED, C&L and Physical Development.

Watching the joy on their faces as they worked together on the same theme was yet another reminder as to why I do the job I do, and also how important child led learning is! 

  
What has inspired you this week? Please leave a comment below 

I spy with my little eye… 

We had great fun this week making this lovely I spy game…

  
We filled a litre coke bottle full of rice using a funnel… Lots of lovely talk about capacity and measure came from this. 

The children then hunted around the classroom to find items to pop into the bottle. It was fascinating to see how they were guessing whether their item was small enough to fit through the bottle neck, and then testing out the size. Cue lots of talk about size and weight! 

  
We then placed all the items on a sheet and photographed these so we knew what to look for. The children loved adding tiny items such as paper clips, split pins and even a rice crispy (“no one will ever spy these” they shrieked!) 

The items were then popped into the bottle and shaken profusely. Then the game began.

Great for…. 

Sounds 

Phonics 

Making relationships 

Resilience 

Speaking 

Listening 

Shape/space/measure 

Turn taking 

Have fun… I’d love to hear of any games you have made. Please add comments below x 

Excuse the mess… 

Absolutely no explanation needed here except for- I’m so glad I’m not alone! 

Some days I look at the classroom and I think “How the hecky peck are we ever going to get straight?”

But we always do… 

With Creativity comes mess!

  

I’m the king of the castle! 

 Today was a grand day… 

We have recently had new clever touch screens fitted. Guess who “bagsied” the box? Yep you’ve guessed it… Me! 

I left it in our deconstructed role play this morning and for the first session just observed the role play using this box. 

During our 2nd session I decided to join my little cherubs in the role play, and model some creative thinking and imaginative play. The children told me they wanted to make a castle…. 

One little girl decided to draw a picture of what a castle looks like. This was to form the basis of our plan.

There was lots of chat about 

  • moats
  • Drawbridges 
  • Kings 
  • Queens
  • Doors 
  • Windows with bars
  • Look outs 
  • Enemies
  • Baddies
  • Guns
  • Cannons 

  
The children found the cardboard too tricky to cut so told me to “find something dangerous” to cut the card! I decided to use a saw from the DT cupboard. In an ideal world I would have preferred them to use the saw, but as I hadn’t risk assessed this with them prior to this I thought it best to take the lead! (Note to self do this for Sept!) 

They directed me, and were very explicit on how it should be done (I have to admit that at times I did find this tricky- I had to remind myself a couple of times that this was in fact their castle and not mine!) 

  
Unfortunately lunch time called and we had to abort play for a while. What this did enable me to do was root out from the depths of my cupboard our “castle role play box” this delightful box is a treasure trove full of anything a king/queen would need when residing in a magnificent abode! 

My gorgeous TA’s also added lining paper to the outside of the castle so to encourage fresh mark making opportunities. 

I adored standing back and watching play develop as their confidence and ideas grew. I feel happy that I have taughtots of new facts today about castles that my little brood didn’t know about when they arrived at school this morning. 

  
Did they know they were learning? Did they heck! Did they have fun, and drive the learning forward themselves? ABSOLUTELY!!!