Love Child led learning – Old MacDonald sensory bin 

Following a child’s lead…As you can see I had set up a lovely little sensory bin this morning for the little man. He is very into animal sounds at the moment and constantly points out animals in books and picks up toys to make sounds. He is also on constant repeat singing his version on old macdonald. So I made this modest little sensory bin with his farm.


Needless to say the farm went out the window very quickly, as he went and got some bowls out of the cupboard to fill and empty rather than play with the animals. So I followed his lead and did some filling and emptying. I then added a funnel and a jug to practice pouring, which he absolutely loved! 


Second child lead learning of the day was the Hoover. Needless to say having a lentils sensory bin down stairs in your open plan house was asking for a large amount of cleaning up. Whilst he was deeply involved in the sensory bin I decided to have a quick Hoover up of the rug that was now full of lentils. He stopped and watched and suddenly made the revelation of what a hoover does! He watched me Hoover the mass amount of lentils, ran back to the sensory bin, grabbed a hand full of lentils and threw them on the floor in front of me as I hoovered and continued to watch in awe as I hoovered them up. He did this a few more times before he wanted to test this theory that the hoover will make anything in its path disappear. He tried balls and cars, obviously neither of which worked. So he went back to lentils. Thankfully he decided since it only hoovered up lentils it wasn’t that fun and went back to his sensory bin.

Sensory bins are a wonderful experience for children and there are probably thousands of ideas out there for them. You can shape them to a child’s interests and Schemas and also to current themes or planning in your settings. I had planned on writing a post about sensory bins today and sharing lots of ideas, I will do that another day, as today I wanted to show you that the magic of learning happens when you let children guide their own learning and your planning and play. You can extend their play through parallel play, sustained shared thinking or my adding a few more resources that fit the play they are immersing themselves in but please please please never stop a child and show them how you want them to play or what the activity ‘should be’! Be truly child centred and child led even in your adult led and planned provision, this is how the most learning will get done. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x

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Love nursery rhymes – day 6 of 30 days wild

Due to the grey thundery skies Day 6 of #30dayswild wasn’t as wild as it could of been.


Today we listened to the thunder and the rain from inside and took the opportunity to sing some weather related songs. These included I hear thunder and it’s raining it’s pouring. 

Nursery rhymes are great for children’s communication and language development as well as literacy skills. The joy of nursery rhymes are they are completely free and available anytime any place. Currently our favourite in this house is baa baa black sheep, now that the little one can say baa. 

Have a read of this wonderful document all about the importance of nursery rhymes for children’s development:
http://www.kbyutv.org/kidsandfamily/readytolearn/file.axd?file=2011%2F3%2F2+Rhymers+are+Readers-Why+Important.pdf 

Also there the activities you can plan around nursery rhymes are endless! 

From sensory bins:
http://adventuresofadam.co.uk/old-macdonalds-farm-tuff-spot/

To maths activities:
http://picklebums.com/five-currant-buns-free-printable-puppets/

And everything in between!

Physical development – http://lifeovercs.com/jumping-with-jack-be-nimble-gross-motor-activity/#comment-51620

Science – http://www.science-sparks.com/2015/08/06/humpty-dumpty-science-ideas/

Here are 45 nursery rhyme crafts from How Wee Learn:

45 Nursery Rhyme Crafts

Enjoy.
Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x 

Love Sharing – the power of imagination 

This is a fantastic example of the power imagination holds!

Support children’s imagination through sustained shared thinking. 

Here is a lovely little piece about jargon busting sustained shared thinking 

http://little-blossoms-childminding.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/what-is-sustained-shared-thinking.html?m=1 

Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x

Love Sharing – Natural Resources 

Just spotted this on Instagram, some lovely ideas for anyone who’s been collecting some rocks during their 30 days wild challenge.

http://www.youclevermonkey.com/2016/06/25-diy-rock-art-projects-to-make.html?m=1

If anyone has any ideas on resources you can create from goodies you collect in nature, please share in the comments as I would love to share some.

Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x 

Love Literacy – The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle celebrates it’s 45th anniversary this year. The book was originally published on 3rd June 1969 and 45 years later it is still a favourite with children around the world.

So In celebration of this incredible book I decided to go on search of some Very Hungry Caterpillar activities and here are a few.

This activity is one of my favourites that I have found, if you love using props to bring stories to life try this Very Hungry Caterpillar sock puppet .

Here is another caterpillar prop that can be used during the story, as well as for counting and fine motor skills.

If your looking for something to improve critical thinking why not try a Very Hungry Caterpillar puzzle. This activity can be used in a variety of ways, you can start it as a mark making activity and as well as being a puzzle you put together you can use it to talk about shapes and colour as well as using it as a counting activity. If you want a little less prep time use paper plates.

If your looking for some more mark making activities, here are two painting activities for making some caterpillars, cup painting and balloon painting.

And last but not least here is a page that I found on Facebook called toddler approved and it’s full of fun activities including 25 Very Hungry Caterpillar activities .

I hope you find something on this post to help you to celebrate one of my all time favourite books in your settings but if not how about a live butterfly garden. They aren’t expensive and you can buy them quite easily online. You get a small container with 5 caterpillars in and it contains all the food they’ll need before they make their chrysalis better known as a cocoon.The container has a window on so the children can see everything going on inside. Once they have attached themselves in their cocoons to the lid of the container, you take the lid off and attach it to the inside of the butterfly garden (which is actually a large cylinder net) with the safety pins provided. The children can seem the transformation take place and eventually the caterpillars come out of their cocoons as beautiful butterfly, you can feed them fruit for a few days and then the children can help to set them free. It is fascinating for the children to watch and setting them free can be an adventure in itself, whether you set them free or go to your local park or local woods.

A nice little song to go with this is

Incy wincy caterpillar(in the tune of Incy wincy spider)

Incy wincy caterpillar crawling on a leaf
Spun a little chrysalis and then he went to sleep
While he was asleep he dreamt that he could fly
and when he woke up he was a butterfly.

If your looking for more books about butterflies and caterpillars, one of my current favours is Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson. Monkey Puzzle is a fantastic book that is about a little monkey who has lost his mum and dad and a butterfly helps him to find them. The confusion begins because the butterfly doesn’t realise the monkeys mum and dad look like him because as she later says ‘none of my babies look like me’, her babies still being caterpillars. It is a lovely book that you can use to talk about caterpillars and their transform to being butterflies. You could also use it to talk about diversity and families and communities such as ‘do you look your mum or dad?’, this could include a mark making activities such family portraits or self portraits. You can also you can use it to learn about rhyming words, as you can do with a lot of Julia Donaldson books.

What was your favourite book as a child?

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

Love Literacy – The Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

I have just seen the on Facebook and I love this idea! I think it would be great to do along side reading The Stick Man by Julia Donaldson (if you’ve not read it, read it as soon as you can another fantastic read from Julia.) You could bring the story to life by making the stick man and his family.
http://www.danyabanya.com/2014/02/stick-people.html

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x

Love Science – Stinky potions

This week I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to share any Valentines Day activities. Since Valentines Day has been and gone for this year, I’m going share one that we did for Valentines Day in my setting but it’s a great one you can do all year round 🙂

I discovered this activity on Pinterest as a Valentines Day activity for making love potions:

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/01/love-potions-valentines-day-science-play.html#comment-309142

I absolutely loved the idea and decided to do it with my preschoolers. We ordered White Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for the activity but Malt vinegar was delivered instead and we ended up making what the children called stinky potions instead. The potions were obviously darker in colour and smelled really strong but the children loved it. Once they got over the initial excitement of seeming the expanding foam pour out of the containers they asked if we could make big potion and they started to add things like toy bugs, one of them even asked did we have any toy eyes to make a scary potion.

It was fantastic we got to do some counting and measuring of the ingredients and we used fine and gross motor skills picking up the jugs and using them to pour and fill the jugs and containers. Also the language the children used and developed was brilliant, talking about how it smelled and how it felt, eventually the children came up with the title of stinky potions.

I will definitely be recreating this for Halloween.

Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x