Some activities just have the lot!

Some activities really do hit the spot for all areas of learning, letting the children explore and initiate their own learning.  It’s fascinating to watch and I feel lucky to be a part of the process. My teams are always thinking of what they can use to inspire our children and when I arrived at one of my settings this morning I could help feeling “OH yeah! This is going to be great!

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We we often mix seeds or beans but pure seeds so tactile, so inviting. But what will the children do with these?

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First a muscle work out for those fingers. Nothing like a pair of tweezers to challenge us! These were tricky to pick up, a bit of a test for the best of us!

One child fills a jar, and it becomes a musical shaker as we sing a few rhymes. Some one offers me a pot as my breakfast with a spoon carefully ensconced from the home corner. Delicious!

So we have brought what we need to the tray to set our challenges and fun, but as a final twist, and I don’t see this one coming..

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Apparently it’s a muddy puddle!

Evolution of an activity

Activities are brilliant if you let them evolve. Starting an activity tempts the children in. The table is simple, we have flour and chocolate powder creatively displayed as a smiley face.

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It it doesn’t stay like that for long..

imageCurious fingers can’t help but make marks and it’s not to long before it looks like this

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The  children use their hand and fingers to make patterns and abstract drawings. The smell of cocoa powder fills our noses as we all enjoy using this media to develop early writing skills, feeling the silky flour mixture.

This isn’t where the activity stops…what can we add to this to change it up. Water!

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A puddle initially. Children sprinkle the flour and chocolate powder mix onto the puddle. The conversation extend to ” it’s snowing” the flour floats on top before it absorbs into the water and the children watch the change with awe. By the way, they are all covered in flour! Now, what shall we do next? Hmmm

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We we have props. Bob the Builder has joined us plus a few diggers and lorries. Stories are created by the children. The activity throughout the whole day has been so popular, so much learning has taken place in this small area. It has been interactive, it has taken the children’s lead and their imagination. We’ve drawn in it, written in it, mixed it with other ingredients, added toys and thoroughly enjoyed our evolving learning environment.

“The garden’s a bit dirty”

….said a prospective parent. I could see what she means.

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It it is rather dirty in the garden. But as you can see, the children love it! This delicious naturalistic stew is made from a simple recipe using leaves, bark and swept up dirt from the path. You will need a shovel, a broom an old saucepan and a spade in order to get the correct consistency. A few magic ingredients of exploration imagination and conversation, and the value of a dirty garden becomes crystal clear!

An Invitation To Read

Book corners and reading are so important in early years, yet for some children, books don’t hold their interest. So let’s invite them to our book corner, or let’s have books where these children like to play and learn.

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Here the ark with pairs are a great learning opportunity for playing and learning. The area is comfy for those who want to hug the sofa early on, and related stories are there to tempt our young readers.

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Here the theme in the book corner is wrapped around the rhyme of Hickory Dickory Dock. There’s a basket of musical instruments nearby, just out of shot to maximise the potential of the book corner. Both pictures remind me of ABCdoes website when Alistair Bryce Clegg talks of Thrill, will, skill. Make learning thrilling giving children the will to learn early years skills. Entice them in, enjoy those books!