Love Diversity – Chinese New Year also known as The Spring festival.

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I had the chance to see some of the Chinese New Year celebrations at my university yesterday. There was Chinese food including some tasty spring rolls and a tea ceremony. There was also Chinese calligraphy, origami, table tennis and Chinese drums with a dragon dance.

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These are fantastic for a university but are you wondering what to do in your early years setting for Chinese New Year? Here are a few ideas:

🐴 Year of the horse – so for the most basic of activities get the paint or the pens out and draw some horses. Talk about Chinese New Year and the zodiac and let the children pick what animals they would like to draw, talk about what they look like, how many legs, what colours they are and what noises they make etc.

🐴 Expressive arts – Want some more arts and crafts activities? Well there are plenty for Chinese New Year, as well as the animals paintings you can make Lanterns, Chinese fans and for your pre schoolers you could even try some basic origami. You could also help the children to make some red envelopes or a Chinese drum.

🐴 Music and movement – you can make some Chinese drums with your children, all you need is two paper plates each, some sticks (lolly sticks will do), some string and something like a pair of bells or beads and you are good to go. Let the children decorate them and then let the music and movement begin 🙂 As well as your Chinese drums you could include some sings such as gung hay fat choy!
http://www.nancymusic.com/Gunghayplay.htm

🐴 Fine motor skills – Today in my setting we made some rainbow rice (red is perfect for this time of year)
and used our fine motor skills to try and use chop sticks to pick the rice up, it was good fun and the kids loved it.

🐴 Maths – Make some Chinese food this week, some that takes a few ingredients, something like spring rolls. That way you can get the children to help measure and count the ingredients and at the end of it, they even get to try some yummy Chinese food 🙂

I know there are a lot more activities out there to celebrate this special time of year but we have 23 days of spring festival starting tomorrow, so please share all your ideas and keep an eye on my Pinterest for more ideas.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

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Love Expressive Arts – Food Printing

Food printing, something so simple that can offer so many opportunities. All you need is your food of choice, some paint and paper or if you want to make it more complex then you can include paint brushes, sponges and safety knives.

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The many opportunities of food printing:

🍎 Healthy eating – Food printing is a great opportunity to talk about healthy eating, what food is healthy and what food is not. Use fruit and vegetables to do the printing, talk about what they are, their colour and shape. You could also talk about taste and smell, try them before you start the painting. You could also include healthy and less healthy foods and ask them to group them.

🍏 Kitchen safety and hygiene – Food printing is a great opportunity to get the children’s safety knives out if your setting has them, let the children cut the fruit themselves. It gives them the chance to take supervised risk and learn about kitchen safety. You can also talk about hygiene, getting the children to wash their hands first and washing the food.

🍊 Colour – Any painting activity gives us the chance to talk about colour, Food printing gives us the opportunity to talk about colours of foods the children like and eat on a regular basis, as well as the food children are using to print. You can talk about foods that the children eat at home, including culture specific food. The great thing about painting is it also gives us the chance to mix different colours together and see how they change and talk about this change.

🍅 Maths – Cutting food up means we go from having 1 piece of food, to 2 pieces, 4 pieces etc. Cutting food up gives children the chance to count alone or in a group, using number names in sequence. For older children you can use food to teach sums or fractions. We can also use food to talk about shapes, what shape is the food and what shapes can we make on paper with them. If your using potatoes for printing you can carve shapes into them before you start printing.

🍆 Using tools – As well as using safety knives, you can include other tools such as paint brushes and sponges to do the actual painting, all of these will help with fine motor skills development.

🌽 More than just paint – You don’t have to limit your printing to paint, you can also use play dough to print shapes into. If you use salt dough you can cook it and keep the imprints and paint them, they’d make a nice gifts for parents and grandparents.

I hope this will inspire you to use food in a different way today. I would love to hear some ideas on other activities that you do with food in your homes and settings?

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

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Love Sharing – Sharing ideas and activities

I have been thinking of different ways to share ideas and activities as well as on my wordpress blog.
I’ve now got a Facebook page and a Pinterest, please follow me on them, as well as sharing my own ideas and activities they are great platforms for sharing other sites and pages that I follow.

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Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

Love Sensory Play – A sensory afternoon

I’ve had a lovely sensory afternoon in my university placement today!

We played with shaving foam and jelly, obviously not together. As well as using shaving foam as a sensory activity, we used it as a maths and literacy activity, once the children had, had enough of exploring the sensory experience of the shaving foam we started drawing in it, they were encouraged to draw shapes such as circles and for the older children they were encouraged to draw the letters from their names.

After we’d cleaned up the shaving foam, round 2 of sensory play came out and we had jelly play! I love jelly play because it uses all the senses:
🔹Taste – pretty self explanatory.
🔸Smell – getting to smell the different flavours, today we had strawberry and lime.
🔹Sight – getting to see the different shapes and colours, watching it wobble.
🔸Hear – Hear the different sounds you can make with jelly, the squelch when you squeeze it, the splat when you drop it. Plus all the lovely words you can learn about it, today’s favourites were cold, wet, soft, squishy and sweet.
🔹Last but definitely not least Touch – getting to squash it and squeeze it.

As well as all those lovely senses you can use tools such as spoons, mashers, rolling pins and many others to develop fine motor skills, today we used spoons and bowls. We used the spoons to scoop up the jelly whilst developing the children’s different grasps and filled the bowls and then empty them again, whilst using maths words such as full and empty, more, lots, big spoons and little spoons.

If your looking for a few alternatives to just good old fashioned shaving foam or jelly, here are a few to consider:

🔸Shaving foam paint – great for bath time or outdoor play, washes straight off children and surfaces 😊 http://pinterest.com/pin/431571576764059931/
🔹Hidden objects – before you let that jelly set pop some objects in there to compliment your current theme, letters, numbers, animals, whatever’s right for you.
🔸 Shaving foam sensory bag – Pop your shaving foam in a zip lock bag for those with allergies or those who aren’t a fan of messy play.
🔹Frozen Jelly – a fantastic sensory science activity. http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/05/frozen-jello-sensory-play.html

If you need an alternative to shaving foam cause of allergies or if your in a setting that doesn’t allow it then try an edible alternative such as whipped cream, as long as you consider dairy allergies. Or use lotion instead – http://mynearestanddearest.com/lotion-paint/

I’m sure there are lots more and I would love to hear any ideas anyone has.

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

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