Thursday, 31 October 2013

Painted Pumpkins

The children were so excited about buying the pumpkins in preparation for Halloween so I wanted to get them more involved. Obviously they are a bit young for carving so we decided to decorate them first.

We used the pearl acrylic paints straight from the bottle so that they would be easy to squeeze out. Whilst some simply squeezed the colours directly onto the top of the pumpkins and let the paint dribble slowly down the smooth surface of the pumpkin, others used their pumpkin as a canvas and requested paintbrushes to mix up the paint. 

The colours all began to blend together and actually looked quite stunning pieces of art although they did take several days to dry and were only just ready in time for carving our halloween faces! Once lit, the children were delighted with them. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween Sensory Tray

The children are becoming aware that it will soon be halloween so I decided to incorporate a little sensory fun into our day with this Halloween themed sensory tray. 

 Our tray contains a few halloween themed items such as cups, spoons, spooky shaped cutters and some plastic fingers and skeletons for effect but the main fun comes from the orange lentils and the black beans. As ever with the sensory trays, the pouring and scooping of the beans brought out some lovely imaginative stories as well as enabling the younger ones to practice spoon control. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rolled Conker Art

We have been out and about in various parks and the children had collected a lot of lovely shiny conkers. After playing with them for a while I decided to add some paint and shake things up a bit! The children had a lovely time choosing colours, shaking their paintings with some eye catching results.

Using a washing up bowl, some paper and a handful of conkers, the older children chose the colours of paint they wanted to make blobs with and squeezed some blobs onto the paper. We opted for autumnal colours in line with our Autumn theme this month but any colours would work. They then began to shake and roll the bowl to make the conkers move. 

As the conkers travelled through the paint they transferred it all over the paper in a lovely, unpredictable variety of lines, colours and patterns and the colours blend together to make some beautiful marbled effects and produce some lovely abstract artwork.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Drain Pipes

Often the value of enabling children to play with natural materials is forgotten in a world where we have such a variety of, often expensive, toys. This afternoon our garden play session reminded me of the value of natural objects in encouraging the children to question what they can do with these things. 
Banging the pipe to make noise
Jumping over the pipe
Balancing a ball on top
Attempting to stand the pipe up
Flowing water down the pipe
Children aged from one to six years of age chose to play with the pipes at some point during this afternoon and, as demonstrated above, they all came up with a different purpose for the pipe and demonstrated that natural curiosity that comes from having open ended resources.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Pumpkin Watercolours

As we are approaching halloween I introduced a bit of pumpkin themed watercolour painting today. After using black glue to paint the faces of the pumpkins I let the boys loose with the watercolours. The black glue forms a raised edge that enables the children to paint inside while the face still stands out.

The children started off painting orange like the pumpkins we had looked at although others prefered to personalise their picture with some purples! The raised surfaces helped the older ones to enhance their fine motor skills through helping them paint within the eyes and nose.

The end result was some lovely colourful pumpkins to add to our display!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Autumn Apple Painting

We were lucky enough to be given some lovely small autumn apples. As we had a surplus I thought it would be great to use some of them in our paintings. I first cut open the apples in different directions and the boys compared the shapes that they saw inside, one of them thought he could see a space rocket!

We then chose some autumnal colours and set about the creative task. One thing that I had not foreseen was that paint sticks the apples to the paper so our youngest kept looking surprised when he could not lift his apple, he didn't mind though and created a nice picture by sliding his apple around the paper. 

Once we had some nice prints, the painting turned into more of a messy play session with the children choosing to paint their hands and make autumnal hand prints instead!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Baking Powder and Vinegar Play

Today we introduced a little science experiment into our daily activities. I set a three year old the challenge of finding out what happens when you mix baking powder and vinegar.  He had great fun experimenting with this and definitely proved that science can be fun! 

I added some food colouring to clear vinegar and provided some pipettes and a baster to enable the vinegar to be added to the baking powder. Cautiously he began to add the vinegar using the smaller pipettes. Initially he was fascinated by the colour changes when the vinegar hit the powder but then he noticed the bubbles, putting his ear closer to listen to the resulting fizzing sound. 

To see the reaction better he began to use the bigger baster and this gave a much better bubbling reaction and produced some nice colourful results.  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Autumn Leaves

We have been making the most of the lovely warm weather out and about and stumbled upon some lovely colours of leaves that had begun to fall from the trees in the park. This prompted plenty of discussion ranging from describing the different colours of the leaves through to talking about how it is 'Autumn'. 

The leaves were so colourful that I decided we must be able to make something with them so I set the boys the task of collecting some leaves which they thought was a great game and kept running up to show me their offerings. One child decided he would rather collect sticks which gave me the idea of creating an Autumn collage. 

We took all of our autumnal things home and I gave the boys some sticky back plastic. They set about making their own collages and particularly enjoyed hammering the plastic back down at the end. I though the colourful results were a lovely sample of the nature we saw in the park.