Friday, 23 June 2017

Heatwave Week

With the heatwave we have had this week my priority has been keeping the children cool and out of the direct sun but we have still managed to incorporate a variety of fun play activities!

We have been to another childminder's house to play with both water and ice cubes in her lovely shaded outdoor space. Children were fascinated by the colours, shapes and textures of the ice. They realised they had to share them out so they could all get a turn to explore. One child was determined to squeeze the ice as hard as she possibly could until it melted!

We have visited the sensory garden in Devonport Park and used the shade of the trees there to enable the children to explore. With the absence of play equipment they soon invented their own games including hide and seek through to chase.  We also introduced some bubbles that were being swept around rapidly by the wind creating much excitement for the children.

Our final morning was spent at West Hoe Park where the cloud cover provided some relief from the heat. Hear the children were all able to develop their physical skills, working together to push the roundabout and then using the climbing frames and slides as well as the large boat which was great for imaginative play.

Areas of learning covered through these activities:

PSED: children have enhanced social skills through working together to share resources, come up with games to play and push the roundabout together.
Physical Development: Numerous opportunities for running, climbing and balancing through to ball catching and kicking.
Communication: Children have listened to and followed instruction, communicated with each other and heard new language introduced through play to describe the ice.

Literacy: Children used water and paintbrushes to make marks through to looking at the signs in the play areas.
Maths: Children commented on the number and shapes of the ice cubes through to playing hopscotch in the park.
Understanding the World: Children have enjoyed being out within the community.
Expressive art and Design: Children used their imagination to invent games and used the natural resources in the park to invent games.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Mother's Day 2017

We have used Mothering Sunday as a good excuse to engage our creative sides as well as an opportunity to plants some seeds and learn about plant growth with a variety of kitchen herbs. 

The children all love painting and were able to experiment with different forms of mark making, using their fingers to create flowers on pots and then brushes to create some beautiful watercolours which we later cut into flowers. Our eldest mindee decided he would like to paint his mum some flowers and carefully picked the colours and washed his brush after each colour. 

To plant seeds we made use of expanding soil. The children all took turns in pouring water on to their soil and then moving the soil into pots. We introduced language to describe the change in size and texture of the soil. 

Children had great fun pressing the seeds down into the soil and watering them. All the children were very impressed with their efforts, let's hope the mums like them just as much! 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

World Book Day 2017

In order to celebrate world book day this year we had a 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' themed session courtesy of one of our fellow childminders.  

We read the book with the children who all took turns at lifting the flaps and discussing, where able, what they could see underneath. We talked about aspects of the story that hey liked and what they thought would happen next.

In order to engage the children further, various sizes of teddy bears were provided together with various sizes of chair. We used this to encourage the children to develop understanding of the language for size, shape and general numeracy although the presence of the bears also encouraged children's ability to share and engage in imaginative play. One of the youngest was particularly drawn to a large teddy bear the same size as himself!

Also provided was some sensory play based on various sizes of bowls and spoons. The children tested out their shopping and mixing skills and, with many children present, were encouraged to take turns and share. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Shrove Tuesday

Today was Shrove Tuesday and we had a few activities planned that even the youngest children could participate in in order to enhance children's understanding of their community. Initially a fellow childminder set out a role play tray. We talked about the ingredients used to make pancakes and about using up the food before we give up some of our favourite items for lent. The children pretended to mix, break eggs and generally make pancakes for each other.

Then came the cooking and eating element of the day! The children watched how the pancakes were cooked and then all had a go at trying to flip a pancake. They chose some toppings and then attempted to squeeze some lemon juice to go on their pancakes.

Later in the week the activity was extended through incorporation of some pancake themed messy play. I incited the children to play with flour, some small jugs of water and a combination of utensils. For the benefit of the older children there were numbers and words that they could incorporate into their play. The children had a great time scooping the flour into the water, stirring, pouring and eventually being brave enough to get their hands into the dough!

On their return from school our older children were keen to come and play and introduced the concept of making the dough into pancakes that hey could attempt to flip.