Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Recycled Fruit Trays

I use egg cartons all the time in my classroom in many different ways, but the other day I saw these at the fruit and veggie shop and thought- these are brilliant!! 
Why haven't I used these before? Luckily for me, the shopkeeper said they were for the bin so I took a few. I love recycling!

Cardboard Fruit Trays
I am constantly putting out alphabet games and activities in my classroom and these fruit trays have 27 indentations!! They were made for alphabet games and sorting activities.



You could use bottle tops with the alphabet, magnetic letters, pebbles with letters.....the list goes on. You could also add tongs or tweezers. You could have coloured letters, or a combination of upper and lower case to increase the complexity of the activity.

I cut up an old fish mobile and wrote the letters on the fish.


I also wrote the alphabet on some shells.


As I had collected a few trays, I decided to set a shop in the outdoor area as well.



Next time you are doing your shopping, look out for some trays.
Niccola



Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cardboard Ship

Have you got a few boxes you would like to recycle? Here is a pretty simple idea that you could get your whole class involved in making, decorating and of course playing in.


I used two TV boxes, some scrap boxes and some cable ties.


We assembled it inside the classroom to make a very exciting writing and drawing area. We added drawing materials in buckets, towels to lie on and assorted paper and card.


We painted flags for the class ship.





After a few weeks I think the ship will sail to another area of the classroom. I will let the children decide where it sails to and then as a class we will add new materials. It could be fun to be the 'block ship' or the 'puzzle ship'.

I'm sure it will probably end up outside eventually.
Until next time..
Niccola

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Frozen Sea Creatures

All children love playing with, watching and experimenting with ice. We have had such hot weather lately, so I thought I would combine a painting activity with a sensory ice experience and.......

They loved it!!!

I froze small fish, sharks and whales in blue and green edicole dye.



 I used icy pole containers and put one, two or three sea creatures in each until the fins were sticking out the top. These were our handles.


The children painted with the dye and then washed the remaining ice in a giant fish bowl.



It was very messy and children even went home with blue and green toes as the dye was everywhere!!






It was a lot of fun and the children all wanted to play with the ice all at once. If you want a fun sensory activity then this is for you.
Have fun
Niccola


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Shell Memory Game

Here is a lovely natural version of a memory game. Instead of using cards, I have written on shells which adds a tactile element.
This fits in well with what we are doing because at the moment we are looking at the beach and Summer and looking at numbers.

Firstly you will need to collect your shells.


Write your numbers on the shells with a permanent marker.



Lay your shells down in a sand tray.


Turn the shells over so the children can't see the numbers.


Get the children to turn over two shells. If they match they take them and put them aside.


Get the children to name the numbers as they turn each shell over.
Continue turning over the shells until they have found all of the pairs.


The beauty of these shells is that you can use them in the water trolley, on the wonder table, in the block area to reinforce numbers.
Have a go at making your own memory game.
Niccola

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

DIY Outdoor Car Track

School started this week after about 8 weeks of Summer holidays. Our playground was a big mess because we have had builders driving through the yard with work trucks all holidays. It took us a while to rake and clean the yard but then we managed to create some lovely new little play spaces.

I saw a similar idea once and thought it would be perfect for a little nook in our outdoor area. This little car track is perfect for your garden or playground, it is inexpensive to make and fun for all to play with.

Choose the bricks you want to use. I chose grey to resemble real roads.


Measure the middle of the bricks and mark the centre lines with a pencil.

Paint the lines on the bricks with white outdoor paint to resemble the white lines on the road.
( It would be a good idea to plan your road map before painting. I didn't do this and the lines don't flow as well as they could!!)


Sink the bricks into the sand and add pebbles, plants, cars, people, wooden blocks.....anything you can think of.





Let me know what you think.
Niccola

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Pebbles and Play


I love the challenge of trying to incorporate natural elements into every area of the classroom.
I particularly love beautiful pebbles and have used them in many different ways. Sometimes I have very specific objectives (as you will see) and other times I encourage the children to explore, discover, imagine and create whatever they like.

Here are a few ideas of ways I have used pebbles in play:


Block Play


Maths - Counting Pebbles



Matching Patterns and Finding Pairs




Light Table - Making Patterns and Pictures



Art and Craft - Painting on Pebbles


Creating Stories with Picture Pebbles


Outdoor Play



Pebbles in Playdough



Classifying Rough and Smooth


Small World Play.....Dinosaurs

.......Farms


......Fairies - add a bit of glitter to you pebbles.


.......Pirates and Mermaids


I hope I have inspired you to incorporate some pebbles into your child's play.
Niccola