Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Building Snowmen

As it is unlikely that the children will be able to build their own snowmen outdoors any time soon I thought it would be fun to let them create their own indoor snowmen using a few simple materials. On a plate I gave the children some sticks, buttons, black beans, foam hat shapes and some ribbons together with some small white circular coffee filters. 

 When presented with the plate I asked the children ranging from two years old through to seven years old to create their own snowmen. The older children demonstrated their creative side and set about creating their snowmen, closely watched and then followed by the younger children. The pictures above, from left to right, show the completely independent creations of a seven year old, four year old and two year old. 

The lovely thing about this activity was that children of all ages were able to use the resources in a different way and were all equally proud of their end results, asking me to take a picture of them all so they could save them. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Winter Rain

Outdoor play is hugely important for children and we try and go out on a daily basis. Not only does it enable children to gain fresh air and exercise but it also prompts exploration of the natural environment, providing even more great play opportunities!

This winter has been particularly wet but this hasn't stopped us, we've donned the waterproofs and ventured outdoors. As you can see, the children are not phased by the weather at all and have a great time socialising and exploring. 

We believe that using open space to run, jump, hide and splash in muddy puddles is what childhood is about!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Homemade Puzzles

Children of all ages love puzzles and providing constant variety can become difficult at times so these homemade puzzles added new interest to problem solving. 

 I began by raiding the house for objects that had an interesting shape and then traced around the items onto a large piece of paper that I then presented to the children together with a treasure box of the items that I had traced. 

The puzzle immediately engaged the children who had great fun. Our preschooler took the lead in placing the shapes in their outline but this was soon followed by the younger children. Once all the shapes were in place the children turned to investigating the objects with our 20 month old being particularly fascinated with combing his hair!

The puzzle proved to be a hit with children of all ages with the one year olds through to our six year olds whose interest was increased by the use of household items. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tape Resist Winter Paintings

Tape resist art is a fantastic technique that enables even younger children to paint something entirely by themselves but that is good enough for them to recognise from their surrounding environment. 

As we are looking at winter this month I created a few simple patterns on some blank paper using masking tape. These included trees and snowflakes. The boys set to work using various colours of blue, white and red watercolour paint and a platted as much paint onto the paper as they possibly could. For added effect we used some glitter glue too. One the paintings were dry I removed the masking tape, showing the boys their finished pictures. 

To extend this activity for the older child present I wrote in white crayon so that as he painted, the word 'snow' appeared much to his fascination. This enabled us to talk through the letters and he worked out what the word said.