I like to keep a well stocked bookshelf for the children full of fun, quality, colourful books for the children to enjoy. Amongst our favourites are these two books which I remember fondly from my childhood.
Both books are by the wonderful Janet and Allan Ahlberg with the most beautiful illustrations. The first is Each Peach Pear Plum and the other is Peepo. Opening the pages of these transports me back to my own childhood and I love having the opportunity to read them to a whole new generation.
For an easy, go-to activity, a mask is always a winner! The little ones can explore an early mark making opportunity whilst older children can get as creative as they wish. They always spark enjoyment in the children and are often the start of some fantastic role-playing games. We’ve enjoyed lots over the years, here are just some of them –
I have spoken before about my favourite activities to do with the children. Just like feeding the ducks and conker collecting, Blackberry picking is another favourite of ours. Once again, it gets us outside, the children love it and it’s free!
Blackberry picking is a great activity to help children learn to manage risks. Blackberries are often found in amongst stinging nettles and prickly bushes which gives the children an opportunity to assess risk.
It provides children the opportunity for some Maths – counting their blackberries being an obvious one and they can explore mathematical concepts such as full and empty.
They can extend their vocabulary learning new words such as “ripe”. Children learn where blackberries grow and how to care for things in the environment. They develop their fine motor skills in picking the blackberries and handling them whilst using their gross motor skills stretching up high to reach them and on the walk itself.
All the while they are developing their personal, social and emotional development and communication and language skills by interacting and chatting to one another.
Areas of Learning Covered: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication & Language, Physical Development, Mathematics and Understanding the World
Take a look at some of our other favourite activities:
The children had great fun growing their very own magic beanstalks last month.
First they chose their own beans, carefully weighing up which looked the best! They then soaked their chosen bean in water before placing it in a jar on some damp kitchen towel, no soil – magic! We placed them in a sunny windowsill in the kitchen and at every snack and mealtime we took a look to monitor their progress and water them.
We also read and enjoyed ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ and the children enjoyed comparing Jasper’s beanstalk to their own.
The children loved taking their bean plants home once they grew and transferring them to a place in their own gardens where they continued to grow. Ours has now been planted outside too and is currently growing happily alongside our sunflowers.
Areas of Learning covered: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication & Language, Understanding the World, Literacy and Mathematics.
Growing sunflowers is one of our favourite annual activities! We were a little late in sowing our sunflower seeds this year but, are hoping that, with this amazing weather we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, that we have some lovely Sunflowers soon!
We’ve just experienced the wettest winter on record and with Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis bringing some high winds as well it’s possibly one of the windiest too – certainly in the lifetimes of the little ones I look after.
So, the sight of golden, yellow daffodils in the garden, parks and village have been particularly welcome. During the recent half term break we enjoyed these gorgeous daffodil wreaths which lifted our spirits in this particularly gloomy Winter and served as a reminder that Spring is on it’s way!
I have spoken about our love of stickers here at EY&B before! These stickers scene boards from Baker Ross in particular, are fantastic. We have enjoyed all sorts of themes – Genies, Snow Princesses, The Solar System, Spring Animals, Easter Egg Hunts and Santas Workshop to name just a few.
Children are given their own board depicting a scene to which they can add numerous stickers off a sticker sheet. It’s a great activity for developing fine motor skills. The children love having ownership of their very own board and sheet of stickers. They love to chat about where they are placing their stickers. The themes are a great topic of conversation and help extend the children’s vocabulary learning new words such as “sleigh” and “carriage”.
“I’m gonna put my Princess in the carriage here”
“I’m going to put my polar bear here”
“I’m gonna put my snowflakes in the sky”
“My snowman can go in the pond”
Little ones from as young as two can enjoy these and children up to the age of 7 in my care are currently still enjoying them very much too.
Areas of Learning Covered: Communication, Physical Development (Fine Motor Skills), Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World.
The children have enjoyed colouring these fun Pudsey Bear pictures this week. They older children have been supporting Children In Need by buying lots of fun Pudsey Bear merchandise at school, dressing in non-uniform in return for a donation and buying some yummy cakes from the cake sale.
As a childminder with two school runs, multiple children’s nap times to manage and hot lunches and dinners to prepare, getting out comes with its challenges so Outdoor Classroom Day was a great impetus to get us outside.
We were blessed with beautiful skies and sunshine so armed with just waterproofs to protect us from the wet ground we headed out.
We started off by feeding the ducks…
And some beautiful swans swam over to see us…
Then we had a fun game of pooh sticks…
We saw some lovely sheep…
Before taking a nice walk and jumping in some big muddy puddles…
We went back home for a nice hot lunch and a long afternoon nap…
We had a lovely morning chatting and discussing what we could see. We experienced lots of different surfaces underfoot and found that some were slippy like the wooden bridge when wet. We got up close to open water and listened closely to instructions to ensure we stayed safe.
How did you spend Outdoor Classroom Day?
Areas of Learning Covered: Physical Development, Communication & Language, Personal Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World.