Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Sensory Tub

Children of all ages love sensory tubs filled with lots of fun objects to play with. As we are in the festive season I thought I would make up a seasonal tub containing dyed yellow rice with added glitter for extra sparkle. For an extra sensory experience I added cinnamon which gave the entire house a lovely festive smell! I also added some baubles, golden beads and some sparkly stars as well as spoons and cups. 

The younger children had great fun filling the pots with the rice. They then initiated a game of bury the stars in the tubs and getting the other children to dig them out which resulted in peels of laughter. The older children used the tray to initiate making Christmas cakes with the baubles being used to be the cherry on the top and the string of golden beads being used to depict the icing. 

Finally the children asked if they could have lids for their pots and then made their own shakers, experimenting with the sounds the rice in the pot made. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Performing The Nativity

Every Tuesday we go to a lovely toddler group that always organise a large range of activities for the children to participate and socialise. As the toddler group is attached to the church it was decided that it would be nice for the children to dress up and learn about the nativity in the run up to Christmas. 

Approximately 20 children came together to help tell the story of the nativity and I was particularly proud of our shepherd, donkey and rabbit who all walked through the church beautifully when their part was called! Our three year old has been happily retelling the story of the nativity throughout the day and the others have been merrily joining in with his Christmas songs! This was a lovely way for the children to get involved in the story behind the Christmas celebrations surrounding them. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Button Christmas Wreath

The children all love playing with buttons, exploring their textures and looking at the different colours, shapes and sizes and will happily sit for long periods sorting them and examining them.

Each of the children started with a cardboard circle and a glue brush! They set about putting their glue onto the circle (with a little help for the younger ones!) and then began the task that they love most, selecting their own buttons to stick onto the circle. As a finishing touch the children added some glitter from the small glitter shakers. 

The finishing results were lovely and the children were very proud when I hung them onto the Christmas tree ready for them to take home. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Gingerbread Playdough

To start off our Christmas theme we made this lovely and very simple aromatic play dough. After making our normal no cook play dough I added some ginger and cinnamon to give that lovely smell of Christmas spices. 

Offering the children the play dough together with some gingerbread men and star cutters together with a rolling pin and buttons led to some lovely men that the children were very proud of. The children also enjoyed cutting out and decorating stars. Our three year old even experimented with the shapes, working out that if he squeezed the star cutter he could make a shape resembling a Christmas tree!

Once we had quite a range of little gingerbread men, our eldest decided that she would make a gingerbread woman to add to the party so she added some gingerbread ponytails to feminise her creation. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Bird Feeders

All the children here love nature from creepy crawlies in the garden through to feeding the ducks in the pond. As winter is drawing in we thought it would be nice to give our feathered friends a helping hand by feeding them as well as enabling us to view them a bit closer!

We made our feeders from pine cones. The children had a lovely time filling their pine cones with peanut butter and then covering their cones in bird seed that we took a special trip to the pet shop to purchase. 

We hung the feeders in the garden and before long we got some interest, not from the birds but from the local squirrel community. The children did not mind in the slightest and were fascinated with watching these creatures climb up and down the tree, hanging on our feeder and then sitting upright on the wall to munch their claimed seeds!

This was our great activity for all ages to teach children about nature and our school children were keen to have a go on their return. They all kept watch in the window until it got dark.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Spaghetti Painting

Spaghetti painting is a fun and tactile activity for children and, as we have been discussing colours a lot lately, I thought this would be a great, and very messy, way of enhancing colour awareness. 

I squeezed some paints into a baking tray and, discussing the colours, the children helped mix the paint with the spaghetti. The children initially picked up the spaghetti cautiously, feeling the slimy texture and then looking at the paint on their hands. Some were keener to have messy hands that others!

After showing the boys how to place the spaghetti on the paper to make patterns they both joined in. They worked out that by bashing the spaghetti they made bigger marks which was thoroughly entertaining and produced some lovely colourful results. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Autumn at Wembury Beach

As it has been such a lovely sunny autumn day we wrapped up warm and ventured out to the beach. The children had a lovely time running around playing.

The children thought up lots of exciting activities to participate in, each following the lead of the others. Hand digging a hole in the sand and watching it fill with water to splash with provided endless entertainment!

The children also practised throwing stones into the river, talking about the sizes they could throw as well as drawing in the sand, investigating the seaweed and building rock towers with some being more keen than others about getting sandy hands!  

It was a gorgeous morning and we have had lots of fun being outside together but everyone was keen to go home to some nice warm lunch!