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! 

  

Never, repeat Never teach children to lie!!! 

So off we went to swimming this morning, for those of you that follow my blog you’ll know it’s NOT my favourite past time! The kids literally have to bribe me so I’ll take them. I hate getting my hair wet (I’ve got a huge beast of a Barnet that takes hours to dry), and I cannot see a thing without my glasses! Anyway off we trot- we have a conversation in the car about how my littliest could go on the flumes if we told a little fib and said he was 8years instead of 7. He’s 8 in a couple of months, is taller than average and can swim like a fish. That aside- we still needed to fib! The kids convince me… 

So we get to the desk, the receptionist asks how old the kidlets are “10 and 8” I say through gritted teeth! She then dutifully gives us our flume bands. 

  
As we walk away- My littliest (also the one with the loudest voice may I add) shouts “Ha Ha- I can’t believe she fell for that!!!” 

Cue bright red face, and me scuttling into the changing room! 

  
Being a firm believer in Karma- I know at some point this will come back and bite me on the bum! 

  

Are you a puddle parent?

I am a definite puddle parent, my children at school know if its raining more often than not we’ll grab our wellies and waterproofs and head on out!

Last friday it was absolutely tipping it down, we donned our wellies and waterproofs and spent a delightful afternoon splashing in puddles and hunting for snails and slugs!

We had a few minor incidents, one of which consisted of me dropping my iPad in a puddle, but apart from that all was grand!!

I didn’t see one littley with a sad face, what I did see though was big huge smiles, giggles, whoops to be free of the stuffy classroom! Children jumping, chasing, hoping, running, discovering, chatting, squealing with delight!

So…. Are you a puddle parent? Or do puddles get you in a muddle? Would love to hear below!

20160207-094636.jpg

Assessing risk

My little boy had the most fantastic Receotion teacher! He is fab at assessing risks- I know that the experiences he had in his early years have made him who he is today. 

I try so hard to allow my kids to make their own judgements, and assess the situation. Whilst out on a  lovely woodland walk this morning we came across a fallen tree stretching over a little stream…

http://youtu.be/Xsm0JseIo4E 
Here is how my little poppet tackled it! I try very hard to never say “Be careful!” Even if my heart is sometimes pumping hard in my chest! 

What do you think? 

Fairy doors and other sprinkles of woodland magic… 

Just a quicky tonight… 

This morning we went for a little walk in the woods (“ahhhh can’t we take our scooters” came the cries!!!) 

They only needed a little persuasion to leave the wheels behind! 

We came across a huge tree that had obviously been uprooted in a recent storm, this made an excellent climbing frame, it was huge!  


The roots were fascinating and were a great talking point for the Kidkets! 

Imagine the squeals of pure delight as we came across this…  

    
“I knew it….there are such things as woodland fairies came the cries!” 

We then watched the fairies dancing on the leaves (the rain!) my parents used to get me to do the same when I was a little girl! 

There is something quite magical about being in a forest under the thick canopy of trees whilst it is tipping it down! We were happy to be outdoors- “A little bit of rain never hurt anyone” 

Did it?!?!? 

Deconstructed Role Play

I’ve had lots of people asking me what a deconstructed role play is and how it works. So here we go… 

  
I first saw the idea on an amazing blog I follow written by ABC does! If you haven’t come across his site you really must  pop its a great read for EYFS. We have used lots of his ideas as talking points in our weekly EYfS team meetings. In fact my colleagues say I talk more about Alistair than my hubby!!!! 

So what is a deconstructed role play! And how does it work? 

  
It’s basically role play that allows children to be totally in control of their own learning, for them to take ownership of their ideas, and for them to drive their learning forward with us as practitioners to help them extend their thinking with careful questioning and suggestions for higher order thinking and next steps. All of which are key to outstanding early years practice! 

  
It took me a little while to get my head around letting go… We always had a beautifully created role play, always linking to topic with key words plastered around (that the children never used) and gorgeous writing templates connected to this (that the children never wrote on- because they were our ideals and not theirs!) and went down the deconstructed route! 

  
This is simply a collection of different sized boxes. You will find yourself best friends with any delivery driver, routing through various skips and making special trips to super markets way after closing time! I have found the best place to collect locally is our “Iceland” store. They have fab boxes of all shapes and sizes which are plain cardboard allowing the children free reign on mark making and creativity. 

  
Once you are armed with your boxes, you need a space in your setting to allow your children space to create and design. I have also positioned our deconstructed role play near a white board so the children can use the board to mark make and add to their ideas. I have seen some children using this board to draw sketches of their designs (this happens less frequently but the opportunity is there non the less) if you haven’t got a white board a lovely roll of lining paper will suffice. 

Then let their little minds do the rest. Each week we add a different enhancement. These could be as follows…

  • Material 
  • Rope
  • String 
  • Tarpaulin 
  • Hats 
  • Dressing up clothes
  • Masks
  • Puppets 
  • Tyres 
  • Steering wheels
  • Bamboo canes
  • Wheels
  • Sheets
  • Branches 
  • Cable reels 
  • Logs 
  • Large/small tubes 

Just as we would do with literacy and maths , we plan opportunities to model sessions in the deconstructed role play, but ensure that our children take the lead. 

  
The one rule we have is that you don’t have ownership of your box, what may have been a car in a previous session could in fact be turned into a castle in the next! 

  
We tend to replenish boxes on a weekly basis- ensuring there is plenty of scope for new design and imagination 

I always provide masking tape, scissors, cellotape, string, marker pens and felt tips so the children can turn their boxes into anything that floats their boat. 

Often I just stand back and observe! 

The observations I have collected have been second to non- the world is your child’s oyster when it comes to plain, blank boxes! Give it a go…

I’d love to hear your outcomes! 

  

B and Q wastage scheme 

I posted about this on Facebook this morning, but thought I’d also write a quick post here too! 

Did you know that you can sign up to B & Q’s wastage scheme if you are a nursery, school, scout group, brownie pack, childminder etc etc

http://www.diy.com/corporate/community/waste-donation/
Our local store required you to contact head office and then they add you to the scheme. They will then give away any products that can’t be sold within the store. Items such as wood, paint tiles, turf etc 

I guess each store differs. It’s worth a phone call though! 

I hope you are successful in sourcing some freebies which will help further your children’s development. 

Please do comment below and let us know how you get on 

Bye for now x