I think conker collecting is my favourite activity to do with the children. It’s not just fun, it gets us out in the fresh air, it’s easy and it’s free! The children, whatever their age, all love it too.
We are extremely lucky that we have a beautiful horse chestnut tree just seconds from our door so on our way to school and back each day collecting conkers is a highlight of our day. We also have some other favourite spots to collect them too.
Areas of Learning Covered: Physical Development, Communication & Language, Understanding the World, Mathematics and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Take a look at some of our other favourite childminding activities –
As part of our Autumn Themed Arts and Crafts, we recently enjoyed some pinecone painting. My mindees aged 2 years old and 1 years old both gave this a go. Whilst the 2 year old absolutely loved it the 1 year old wasn’t quite so sure!
The children have been busy with lots of Autumnal Arts and Crafts. These lovely felt and glitter leaf shaped stickers used in these lovely pictures were from our favourite Arts and Crafts supplies Baker Ross
What amazing weather we have had this week! We have enjoyed visits to the park, trips to feed the ducks and playtime in the garden all to the backdrop of glorious bright, blue skies. Our sunflowers are now in full bloom, just as we are seeing our first conkers falling and a change in the colour of the leaves, all in time to say goodbye Summer!
Today marks the end of Autumn, where has the time gone?!
I love Autumn, I am glad the heat of the Summer has passed, I am not rushing to cover the children in suncream or hats or frantically hydrating them and cooling them down and I love seeing the first blackberries on hedgerows and pulling on extra cosy layers.
As a childminder it’s a lovely time of year to be with the children. Here at Aston Childcare we have spent this season jumping in crunchy Autumn leaves, blackberry picking, collecting conkers, doing arts and crafts inspired by bonfire night and Halloween, exploring acorns, conkers and leaves in our nature tray and chatting about hibernation.
This week we have been busy making these lovely Autumn Leaf Suncatchers.
We picked the fresh autumn leaves up off the ground in the garden during playtime after lunch then once back indoors decorated our paper plates with Autumn colours and stuck the leaves on to the contact paper. Once finished, we hung them up on the window and waited for the sun to shine through them. They are really effective and look beautiful when the sun shines.
It was a lovely craft do with the toddlers and pre-schoolers to explore and welcome in the new season.
Areas of learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Art and Design, Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
With the mercury falling to below -5c last night we were excited to find huge sheets of ice in our sand and water table today. The last time I explored ice was with a 4 year old mindee but this time it was a mindee and my son who are 30 and 29 months old respectively, and it was lovely to watch them explore something for the first time. They started to lift out the sheets with their hands before deciding to fish the remainder out with the fishing net.
They filled up a bucket before transporting it to a wheelbarrow and then mixing in some soil. I’m not sure of their thought process but they were completely emerged in their little game!
Areas of Learning covered: Communication & Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design
Characteristic of Effective Learning: Playing & Exploring: Finding out and exploring, Active Learning: Being involved and concentrating, Creating and thinking critically: Having their own ideas, Choosing ways to do things
A recent report by the collectible toy company Sylvanian Families has shown that children’s knowledge of nature is dwindling. The research shows that their knowledge of basic facts is declining to worrying levels.
One in five (21 per cent) 25 to 30 year olds didn’t realise conkers fell from horse chestnut trees – instead believing they must fall from conker trees. Of course, there is no such thing as conker trees but over half (53 per cent) of 25 to 30 year olds thought they fell from conker trees, silver birch trees or even oak trees.
They say “Playing outside as a family has emotional and social benefits, as well as encouraging curiosity about the world around us.”
Here at Aston Childcare we are lucky to have lots of beautiful nature right on our doorstep for us to enjoy.
One of my fondest memories as a child was collecting bag upon bag of conkers with my Dad so I was excited when this week we went out conker collecting. We picked the conkers out of their fallen horse chestnuts and picked up some lovely horse chestnut leaves. We looked closely at the conkers the children collected, talking about their shape, colour and how they feel. We discussed where they came from and how they grew. Children proudly counted how many they had.
We have been looking for other signs of autumn when out and about and in the garden and talking about what we can see – especially the leaves changing colour and falling from the trees.
Back at home, we have a great book with sliding windows about the seasons which all the children love and that encourages them to chat about the changing seasons.