Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Water Play

It wasn't really that warm today but the children chose to wonder off outside so off we went, with camera in hand to see what was chosen!

Earlier that morning I had filled up a big trug of water and after a bit of mixing in the mud kitchen 'S' noticed the water and headed over with some tools to investigate!

After lots of scooping, mixing, splashing and pouring...and even some tasting, 'S' then investigated the trug itself

Running her hands around the edge and then with spoon in hand she was banging on the side under the water; looking, feeling and listening on the outside of the trug. Feeling the resistance of the water in her other hand as she explored the sounds she could make.

When she was finished with that 'S' went back to the water, abandoning her tools, she wanted a really good look...

Supporting her weight with her hands to keep herself safe 'S' lowered her head down towards the water.

Seeing her breath causing ripples in the water 'S' began blowing harder and saw the ripples increasing across the water surface, leaning lower and lower, blowing as she went, until eventually her face dipped in the water at which point she pulled herself back up and looked up with a huge smile on her face!

At this point I took her cue she was finished, and everyone was really quite wet and getting cold so we headed inside to warm up and find some snack!

Characteristics of Effective Learning
'S' was provided with plenty of time to take her self-led learning where she wanted it to go. She kept her attention on this activity for quite some time, not distracted by another child playing around her, sometimes also in the water. She noticed the small details, such as the ripples in the water and tried to take this further, showing her obvious pleasure after her slight dip at the end!
'S' was somewhat aware of the risk of playing with water and knew how to keep herself safe, slowly and carefully exploring, managing her own safety but keen to have a go to extend her knowledge. She used many of her senses to explore the media and displayed curiosity of her tools and how they could be used.
'S' tested out her ideas of banging against the side of the trug and perhaps linked this to her existing knowledge of when she bangs things outside of water. She explored the cause and effect of splashing with different tools and her own hand/arm and decided in her own time when she had finished with her exploration and moved on to another activity.

Next Steps
Extend water play incorporating bubbles, water beads, items that sink/float
Extend scooping/pouring with wider range of containers, funnels, tubes
Transfer skills of scooping/pouring to mud, sand, baking activities
Extend knowledge of resistance to mud, shaving foam
Extend understanding of her breath blowing against the surface by repeating activity, provide straws to observe from a different point of view

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Chalk Painting

We often have chalks out in the garden, I will draw out a road for the cars and extend it to include fields for our farm animals, or a zoo area too...sometimes even the Dinosaurs come join in!!

Today I got out the chalks, but added some water and black card. My idea was to do some mark making, perhaps finger painting too. But let see where the children took it!

 'J' began with some mark making following my example but he chose to draw straight on the patio as he has done previously.
 After a bit of drawing 'J' decided instead to do some transferring and poring of the coloured water and chalks
All together in one pot!

 So far 'S' had been sat back watching our play, but at this point she decided to come over and have a go herself! She tried some mark making first, seeming to connect her movements with the marks left on the patio
 Next 'S' tried combining her paint brush with the chalks. Perhaps this was exploring combining objects in a variety of ways; poking, stirring etc. Or perhaps she was transferring her knowledge of other painting experiences to what she had available to her today?
'J' came over to have a little look at the different colours and they had a little babbling chat between them, I do love their little interactions!

 'S' went back to her mark making, trying some different colours and looking closely at her work on the floor
When she was done 'S' spotted the little ride on toy which she then spent some time pushing back and forth through the 'paint' on the floor. Unintentionally making some great track marks and foot prints on some of the black paper which had previously been discarded for use in our arty activity.

Characteristics of Effective Learning
'S' made links from her previous experience and transferred her knowledge to this activity. Testing her theories (trying to use a paint brush) and then moving on to different approaches.
'S' began by observing 'J' and I to see our approach. She was keen to engage with 'J' when he came over, looking and babbling with each other to share the experience. I had begun with an idea for the activity but was keen to follow the children's ideas. 'S' knew she had plenty of time to explore the material at her own pace, pausing to interact with 'J' at his initiation, before then returning to what she was previously doing. I took their cue's when they were done and ready to move on.

Next Steps
Spend some more time mark making to ascertain if 'S' has an established knowledge connecting her movements with the marks she leaves.
Introduce some cars, balls, marbles etc with painting to roll through and see the different marks they leave

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Jigsaw Play

We went to our local Toddler group today! Once we had helped set up 'M' chose to sit with the jigsaws initially. Spotting a simple shapes one she proceeded to take each shape one at a time, take it out, have a look at it and then put it back in it’s spot.

After she had done this a couple of times with each shape I wanted to challenge her a little more. So I took two pieces out of their spots and placed them on the table next to the board. She easily put them both back in their correct places.

After seeing how easily she managed this she was happy to help me take all 4 shapes out onto the table and then she proceeded to put them back.

We did this a number of times, 'M' seemed to enjoy the challenge. Occasionally she would get a bit stuck on the rectangle or the triangle and after giving her a chance I would say “turn it round a bit” and it would fit back into the correct place. She rarely went to the wrong space with a piece, perhaps already having recognised the colour correlation, she just needed to try it a different way round.

 Characteristics of Effective Learning
'M' is definitely a child who likes a bit of a challenge! She seems to enjoy working things out and seems to notice details that other children may perhaps miss. She persevered in placing the shapes over and over. I mixed and spun the shapes around but 'M' was happy sat for quite some time repeatedly placing the shapes back into their correct spots, not getting frustrated but determined to get it right!

Next Steps

'M' already enjoys playing with my shape sorter I have at home but she just takes the top off! Bit of a cheat! Sit with her to encourage she uses the shapes around the sides. Present her with slightly harder jigsaws, perhaps two or three piece images too.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Three Little Pigs

 An activity day was organised to explore the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’

We listened to the story during lunch, some of the older ones repeating phrases such as ‘Huff and Puff’ while we encouraged the little ones to try to blow the house down!

We spent some time playing with Play-Doh and the different materials the pigs used to make their houses! 

'E' was able to retell parts of the story remembering the wolf came along to 'Huff and Puff' because he wanted to "eat that piggy"

'H' and 'M' explored sticking the 'building materials' into the dough 'H' saying "oh no!" as the bigger sticks kept falling over. They used some pig and wolf animals to stick into the dough and we looked at the foot prints they made. I used one of the wolfs to re-act parts of the story saying "I'm going to huff and puff and blow your house down!"then we all blew at the buildings and said "gobble gobble gobble" and the wolf ate up a piggy!!

Lastly we made some Pig masks! Mark-making practice on a plate to colour it in pink like a Pig. Then we cut out some eyes and helped put some detailing features on before we all practiced our Piggy snorting!

The older ones obviously understood this quickly and enjoyed colouring in their masks trying to cover up all of the white bits

The younger ones needed a bit of encouragement, but enjoyed taking part in the activities with the older children and lots of snorting and giggling at the end!!

Characteristics of Effective Learning – All children enjoyed listening to the story sitting quietly or joining in with familiar lines. 'H' took his cue from us and the other children to practice blowing the house down, 'M' chose not to take part in this. While sat with Play-Doh the younger children looked around the table to see what the other children were doing and followed their example. They chose different sticks and bricks to stick into the dough, testing which ones stayed stood up and saying ‘oh!’ when the bigger ones fell over.
All the children are familiar with Mark-Making but we were using new paint sticks which the younger ones wanted to scratch at to explore and feel the texture of the paint between their fingers before we then gave them a bit of encouragement to colour in their pig faces

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Duplo Building

'E' pulled out the Duplo blocks today, they have been out for a while but there hadn't been much interest in them until today. After she had tried to force them together a couple of times and announced "I can't do it!" We spoke about how they fit together, I showed her how the lumps need to fit inside the hollow side of another piece. They need to line up square and click together, then she got it and started making some short towers.

A couple of days later the blocks came out again, 'E' has mostly remembered how they go together, I had to remind her just a couple of times to turn one of them over. She announced she wanted to make a really tall tower!
I showed her how to put the bigger pieces at the bottom so it balances better, we made a tower so tall 'E' could hardly reach the top!!

Characteristics of Effective Learning
'E' tried to have a go at first but being a bit tricky she needed a demonstration on how they fit together. After she had learnt how to do it she came up with ideas of what she wanted to do

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nature Painting

We started the morning talking a walk around the park to collect leaves, sticks and any other natural objects we could find

Throwing some leaves around and watch them flutter to the floor

Picking some good leaves for painting

Beautiful autumn skys

Lets get painting! We demonstrated how to paint one side of a leave and then turn it over to stamp the image on the paper. 'E' picked this up very quickly and made a few good prints!

Mixing some colours together to make autumnal combinations.
'E' also had a go with some sticks, dipping them in the paint and making marks on the paper.

'M' and little 'E' explored the paint and objects with interest. 'M' made some circular prints with acorn caps and 'E' rolled a conker around on the paper leaving painted tracks

Great exploration and she wasn't worried about the mess either!

Characteristics of Effective Learning
'E' joined us after we had done our collecting and just joined in with the painting. She usually enjoys painting greatly but today she wasn't all that interested in the activity and after one quick picture she wanted to go off and play. She understood direction of what we were doing (leave printing) and was able to replicate our demonstration quickly. She extended what had been demonstrated by picking up a stick and dipping it into the paint too.

'M' and Little 'E' explored the paint and objects with interest. Trying different movements with objects and the marks they leave. Little 'E' spent some time running her fingers through the paint, feeling the texture of the paint mixed with some bits of bark.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lets Go Walking!!

'M’s mobility has been coming along great, here are a few more shots along her journey!

18th June – Creating uneven terrain for 'M' to manage

23rd July – Pulling herself up to stand at every opportunity

26th August – Exploring different levels and climbing opportunities outside

27th August – Standing and taking some steps with minimal assistance

23rd September – SHE’S WALKING!! Fantastic achievement for her, she’s also very quickly mastered getting herself stood up without any assistance. Well done 'M'!!