Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Understanding Food

It is important that children learn where their food comes from in order to establish a healthy diet and a good relationship with food as well as developing healthy eating habits. This term we have undertaken a number of activities to help the children learn about their food whilst having fun. 

Together with another childminder we planted and then harvested some potatoes. The children helped tip out the contents of the pots and took it in turns to find potatoes within the mud. Some used their hands whilst others were more comfortable with spades.  The children discussed and then put into practice washing the mud from the potatoes. This was also a great opportunity for counting them out and incorporating size language. 

Once our potatoes were clean we cooked them and included them within our lunch with each child enjoying tasting them.

Our term ended in a slightly damp trip to the local pick your own. The children were not put off by the rain and were keen to all have a go at picking a variety of fruit and vegetables ranging from strawberries and raspberries through to carrots and onions.

We were lucky enough to have the farmer show off a section of fruit and vegetables to the children before taking them home for lunch. For the older children I used the opportunity to enable use of knives for cutting up the strawberries before the children polished these off with a large spoon of ice cream!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Butterfly Life Cycles

Even the youngest of children are often fascinated by butterflies and the children here are no exception. This gives the perfect way in which to start to teach them about life cycles, something that will enable them to connect with nature as they develop and start to gain an understanding of basic science. 

We started with 5 caterpillars that the children came and counted on a daily basis as well as commenting on their size and their movement. We talked about the food that the caterpillars were eating and the fact that we must not put them in the direct sun. It is important that the children can relate such activities to the outdoor environment and we were lucky enough to find some caterpillars on one of our trips to the local nature garden at the park. 

Whilst our caterpillars grew and became chrysalises we undertook a range of age-appropriate activities with older ones discussing the life cycle order for the caterpillars from egg through to butterfly with the aid of our toy models and appropriate picture books through to painting butterfly pictures for the younger children. 

Finally our butterflies all hatched safely and, having fed them with flowers and orange juice, it was time to release them to the wild, something that the children particularly enjoyed. 

Other life cycles that we have covered this term include that of the frog with several visits to Saltram House to view the frogspawn and subsequently tadpoles and frogs together with that of fruit, predominantly focussing on strawberries and a trip to the local pick your own.