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 

Advertisements

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! 

  

Jumping in Muddy Puddles!

Jumping in muddy puddles!

I have been out of class for most of the morning, so was delighted to see my children this afternoon. I love the fact that it’s like being a minor celebrity every time I return from being out, they greet me as if they haven’t seen me for years!

During the register one kiddle begins singing “It’s raining it’s pouring” true to their word it was absolutely lashing it down! He then asks if we can go outside. I promise we can, after our maths focus time, which was investigating capacity using coloured rice (a whole new blog post- not sure I am going to be flavour of the month with our cleaner’s tonight oppps!)

Once our maths time is over, we begin to get ready to go! This still takes a little while, but I try to encourage independent as much as possible.

wellies

And we’re off… Firstly they decide to head to the puddles (of course… who wouldn’t?)  there’s something quite magical about being outside in torrential rain, knowing your hood is up, your wellies are on and all that’s to be had is a grand old time. Some children were a little dubious of the splashes to begin with, but an encouraging smile and the odd “Don’t worry, you’re covered” was all they needed. Play then developed to who could make the biggest splash, and how much of a run up do you need to create the biggest wave!

IMG_3385 IMG_3386 IMG_3387

One child then headed to the mud kitchen and sand area, and so the play then transferred to this area. I heard shouts of “I’ve found clean water”  “I’m going to make clear soup” “We need to use a sieve” “You need half a kilogram”

Before we had set off on our outside adventure the children decided they would like to build dens  so they could shelter from the rain.  We went down to the woods and found some lovely piles of willow. Whilst heading down to the woods, we looked for bears, found bear claw scratches on the trees, one little girl found some berries on the floor- she was fascinated by them, which led to a full scale search of where they came from, which animals might eat them and if they were harmful to humans. We also found a beautiful butterfly. I was so impressed to see how delicate and careful our children were. They looked intricately at the wings and legs. “It’s an insect, it’s got 6 legs” said one of my little boys.

IMG_3392     IMG_3389

Once we had collected the willow we headed back to our garden. It was still raining, we were still happy, and work on The Den was about to commence.  The children chatted to each other about how they wanted it to look. They decided that a triangle was the best shape. They told me I needed to hold them altogether, then two girls ran to get twine and scissors. Much fun was had whilst these two lovlies ran around the den winding the string round the top so we could hold it securely. It never ceases to amaze me, how strong leaders in activities like this come out of the woodwork. Once the structure was complete a little girl after my own heart shouts “We need things to decorate it” She runs inside and returns with a job lots of glitter, tinsel and ribbon! There was nothing more prefect that I could think of to decorate our Den!

IMG_3388 IMG_3390 IMG_3391

An amazing afternoon was had by all, I feel honoured and blessed to have THE BEST job in the world, and to work with the BEST customers!

IMG_3393

Den Building Day

Save the Children’s Den Day is about children being sponsored to transform their sofa, school desk or even a boring cardboard box into a magical super den. And the money they raise will help to save lives around the world

IMG_3344  IMG_3346

Save the Children’s Den Day is a brilliant way for children of all ages and abilities to get creative and learn independently. And the sponsorship they raise will help build a better world for children who don’t have anywhere safe to shelter tonight.

How will you build yours?

* Let your class head off on a Den Day safari without leaving the classroom. Use bed-sheets, bunting and pegs to create an awesome indoor tepee, make some binoculars out of carboard, and maybe some cut-out animals to spy on.

* Why not fix up a den in the great outdoors? Decorate a solid structure like a climbing frame with sticks and leaves – and remember to bring plenty of blankets and rugs to keep warm!

IMG_3349 IMG_3351 IMG_3347

* Do your kids want their secret midnight feast to be a private party? Then let them pile up the cushions, create a bed-sheet teepee, and make a no-entry sign to go outside their living room den.

IMG_3353

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

VLUU L310 W / Samsung L310 W

IMG_3345

* Or why not help them build a brilliant bazaar in their bedroom, filled with flying carpets, magic lamps and other treasures? Raid the dressing up box for some crazy costumes to match.

* Once everyone’s finished creating their shelter, it’s time to get cosy. Plan some activities for your children – set up a crafty activity or let them watch a film they love. If they’re staying in their dens overnight, bedtime stories and midnight feasts are sure to go down a treat.

* Whether you’re planning a camp-out style sleepover or simply a school day with a difference, sign up now http://denday.savethechildren.org.uk/sign-up/ to receive A special Teacher’s kit. It’s full of loads of tips and hints to help you weave some Den Day magic – and loads of extra learning – into your lesson plans.

Have fun… enjoy being creative

(Photographs used in this blog are not owned by eyfsmatters)

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Inspired Addition Game

I am a great believer in making learning fun, exciting and engaging for my children. We have loose topics that are based around the interests of the children, and this week our theme is “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” Lots of our children have been talking about Charlie, so we decided to use this as a theme to hooks lots of learning onto.

The children have gone for it great guns, it’s only day two and already we’ve had lots of fab observations covering all of the characteristics of Effective Learning.

Despite having an “In the moment” kind of planning format, we also plan very carefully for our focussed sessions. Many of my followers often ask what we do, and how we do it. Each day we have a focused phonics, literacy and maths session. We plan very carefully to ensure it not a “Chalk and Talk” session, and that the children are as active and engaged as they possibly can be, whilst ensuring the learning is being firmly embedded.

In our maths focus today we used the idea of the chocolate game. I am sure many of you will have played this game at parties as youngsters, but basically you roll a dice, and if you roll a 6, you begin putting the hat, scarf and gloves on and begin eating the chocolate whilst the dice gets passed around until the next 6 is thrown.

IMG_3354

We innovated this idea somewhat, and rolled the dice twice, and added together the two numbers rolled. If we could find the total, we then began to put on the hat, scarf and gloves. The dice was then passed to the next person in the circle. If they could too roll the dice and add the numbers they could then take charge of the hat/gloves etc. It was a fantastic game to play, as ALL children we involved and engaged. Even if they were not throwing the dice, they also had to add the numbers together to check the dice roller called out the correct answer.

It was lovely to see a competitive side come out in children who very rarely show this side of their character!

Once the game was finished I talked to the children and asked them what they thought they had learnt from this game… Their answers were amazing (I have taken a picture of these answers but they said …)

We were…

* Adding

* Counting on

* Racing against time

* Putting on gloves and hats

* Trying

* Being quick

* Having fun

* Taking turns

* Playing fair

* Reading dice

IMG_3355

I love the fact that they are able to see the learning through their play and verbalise this.

On reflection of this activity, there are a couple of thing I would do differently should we play it again.

1. Smaller groups (we did it whole class, and although all of the children were engaged, it was a long time for them to wait their turn)

2. A blank dice written with higher numbers for more able

3. Use numicon to help some children who were struggling

Please feel free to use this game, do let me know how you get on

Pizza Hut Mud Kitchen

Pizza Hut Mud Kitchen

I saw this fab idea this morning on Twitter, and just knew that the children in my FS2 setting would love this…

IMG_3172

Please forgive me I can’t remember which school it was …

I was out visiting another school and nursery this morning so decided to swing by Pizza Hut and ask if they had any Pizza boxes that we could have for our mud kitchen! They were so very generous and had a huge pile for me to “take away” (excuse the pun!!)

Continue reading