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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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!

  

Deconstructed role play 

Many of you will know I have written about this before…

I have a real passion and innate desire to allow children to be free in their own creativity. 

In our setting gone are the days where we create a Gruffalo cave (I’m not being funny… How many gruffalo caves have you been in? Me neither and even if I had I’m not sure what play I’d do in there?) I hold my hands up and say that I used to be that teacher that would print off a load of key words, spend hours laminating them and stick them up in “MY” role play area, and expect the Kidkets to sit with a clip board and write them down, or read them and use them in their conversation! Of course they didn’t use them… All that was happening was a big old waste of a few hours spent at the laminator! 

What I do do is spend my weekends trawling round various supermarkets and shops asking for boxes so that I can provide my children with a great range of different types, sized, shaped boxes that can be whatever the heck they like! 

Today was one of those days my heart felt happy, and a few goose bumps appeared on my arms! (Ok it doesn’t happen every day- but you know that feeling when it does!)

I looked over to our role play and this is what greeted me…  

  
I literally whooped and cheered! I think  I perhaps made a few children jump with fright in the process! (Oops- surely they are used to this crazy lady by now!!)  

I was totally blown away by the creativity, craftsmanship and collabation that had gone into this design. Not only had they cut the paper into a flag shape, drawn the skull and cross bones, attached it to the mast (big tube) tied the mast onto the box with string! But they also presented their plan!  

   

“We decided what we wanted it to be first” they said “So we drew it!”

And there we have it… Creativity in its simplest form!!

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…

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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!!)

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What to do with a cable reel?

I have seen lots and lots of posts recently about “Cable reels” Until now I didn’t have the foggiest idea what a cable reel was, let alone what to do with it! It is now fair to say I think I could probably class myself as a cable reel expert! So fear not, if you like me, have had no clue, you too are soon to be an expert!

So first things first…

  • What on earth does one look like?

plain reel

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Outstanding Outdoor Area!

I couldn’t help but share this stunningly fabulous outdoor area with you! You may have read our guest blog earlier in the week from Anna Ephgrave from http://www.freedomtolearn.co.uk/

Anna is an Assistant Head Teacher for the Early Years Foundation Stage at Carterhatch Infant School and Children’s Centres – an OUTSTANDING setting based in North London.

Here is a link to her outside area! It has been truly inspirational for us, and has really made us question and think about the provision we have for our children, and if and how we could make it even better. The thing I love about teaching is… We are always learning!

http://youtu.be/0OHFTGADcnI

Enjoy x

It’s not a box…

Evening all!

Recently we have been having our bathroom “done”, is it sad that I was excited (and I actually mean really, really excited) about the huge cardboard boxes that the bath, unit and shower came in?

It would seem that I wasn’t alone in this excitement:- Number 2 son had also spotted the array of cardboard that I had tried to sneak out, and decided today was the day he was to claim it as his own! Joined by his little apprentice “Noah” (ironic they are now to build a boat!) they toddled off to “Play”

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