Egg rolling- a tradition 

I have the fondest memories of egg rolling as a child. 

We would always take a BBQ and head up to Grizedale Forest in The Lake District, with a basket of freshly painted eggs and big smiles a plenty. 

I have always wanted to recreate this magic with my own children, and today we did! 

 We started the day with dippy eggs and soldiers (of course!) 

  
The kidlets then decorated their eggs 

    
    
   
Once all the eggs were good to go, we packed the kitchen sink (literally ) and headed north.

Only a few loo and “I’m gonna be sick” stops and we arrive at our woodland retreat. 

It was just as I remember, even down to the sound of the rushing water fall splashing over the mossy rocks! Isn’t it funny how evocative smells and sounds are. I was suddenly transported back to being a pickly 6 year old! 

   
  
There’s something quite special about eating in the great outdoors even if at times we had to flick a few bugs off the colslaw that dropped in for a nibble 

   
 
So everyone is fed and watered, and so we go in search of an “eggcellent” (sorry) rolling hill. 

    
Enroute we find a very lonely wood cutter and a money tree (I’m sure my folks always said money doesn’t grow on trees- well here is the proof that they were wrong!

  

  
And so the rolling competition began, although I use the term rolling very loosely… It was more of lobbing! I pulled the short straw and had to be at the bottom of the hill- I’m sure they hatched a plan and were aiming directly at my head! 

Despite their best efforts I came away egg free, the kids shrieked with laughter, argued about who won and who didn’t, ran around in the fresh air, but best of all made memories that I hope like mine… Will last a lifetime! 

  

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 

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket…

As today is National poetry day, we embraced poetry, grabbed it with two hands and ran with it! 

My year group colleague is the Literacy co-ordinator at our school and found the most fantastic ideas based around twinkle twinkle little star. 

We began by playing our children this beautiful animation by my good friend Jim! http://youtu.be/ata6QbvRQpc

We then talked about all of the words that rhyme within this song. The kidlets were just fab at hearing the rhyming words. We talked about how a poem is just like this with lots of rhyming words. 

During fruit time we read “How to catch a star” by the utterly fabulous Oliver Jeffers. The children adored the book, it truly is magical! 

 
We had lots of children who “just got it” but others who didn’t quite understand the concept of reflection. We talked together about what activities they would like to do. It was agreed they’d love to create the night sky with twinkly stars. 

We set to to create this. We used inks and pipettes and straws to blow the ink across the paper. 

   
    
   
Once the art work is dry, the children would like to add their own stars. 

It was fantastic to see lots of examples of COEL in fact I am pretty confident that I observed every characteristic at some point during this little activity. The children were wowed with their finished masterpiece and each one was as individual and special as them! 

We then decided to try and make some glitter stars in laminated sheets….

When I say it was a complete and utter disaster I am kidding you not- lets just say I now realise that my scrumptious little lot have a secret love affair with glitter (who doesn’t)and I think I owe our cleaner a big box of chocolates! Ooppsssss

You know you’ve had an interesting day when you find glitter in your bra!!!

Ta ta for now, whilst I shimmer off and say Toodledooooooo!!!

Play is just play! (In any language!!) 

Greetings from gorgeously sunny Spain! 

  
Typical that there is a heat wave back in Blighty… I hope this post reaches you all enjoying your summer break and that your Kidkets are enjoying playing in the lovely outdoors! 

I couldn’t help write this blog post, something marvellous just happened that I must share with you… 

My little boy was playing on his lilo close to the edge of the water when a little Spanish boy who I think has Down’s syndrome came over and grabbed the lilo off of him. My little one looked quite shocked and I quickly explained that he just wanted to play but was unable to communicate this to him.  Sam literally gave the little boy a huge smile and held out his LILO to play! 

  
The little boys papa ran over and began profusely apologising! My Spanish is not great (in fact non existent except for ordering sangria!!!)   so I used a little of my Makaton knowledge and signed a few signs to say it was ok, that the boys could play together. The father instantly relaxed and the two boys played beautifully together for a little while. As the children parted company it warmed my heart to see the little Spanish boy sign Thank you to Sam! 

  

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!!! 

   

Physical Phonics

Children learn best by doing… We all know that. In my teaching/modelling of skills I try to make my sessions as active as possible. I hate sitting still, so I can only imagine how tricky it is if you are  four or five! (My mind starts to wander after about 7minutes flat!!!)

I “borrowed” this idea I think from a Twitter friend. 

Basically I used a sharpie pen to write our weeks digraph sound onto balls…

   

Our session started with me throwing the balls around our outdoor area and the Chdn running around to collect a ball. They needed to show me the ball and tell me the digraph before throwing it into the tray! 

Game two… Same as above but once they had told me the digraph they had to hold this in their heads, and go and write it on their white board! 

Game three… Two Teams- each player has to run to end of assault course, read the digraph, then go and root in the tray to find the matching digraph and roll it down the tubes. At the end of the game we looked in the tray and counted up how many correct balls ea h team had! (We realised we get a little confused between ‘ie’ and ‘oi’ 

   
   A great phonics session was had by all. 

I loved the fact that later in our “free explorer time” I saw my little phonics group teaching other children in the class!