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 outdoor learning – day 8 of 30 days wild

Day 8 of #30dayswild Listening walks!
Listening walks are a wonderful free activity that you can do with children of any age, anytime, anywhere. You can do it at the park or your local woodlands, walking to the shops or school or even in your own garden. 
A listening walk gives children the opportunity to listen carefully to their environment and talk about what they can hear, this can be the name of the things they can hear or for those with developed verbal skills a description of what they can hear. 
Here is a lovely little page from talking points to explain listening walks and give you some variations on listening walks:
http://www.talkingpoint.org.uk/sites/talkingpoint.org.uk/files/allisteningwalk.pdf 
Listening walks give a great opportunity for literacy as well as communication and language. You can use tick sheets and go on a listening scavenger hunt and mark off the sounds you hear on your walk.
Teach Preschool has a picture checklist for listening walks:

Head outdoors for a listening walk

And here is a written check list for children who are able to read:

http://www.creativefamilyfun.net/2013/08/lets-go-on-listening-walk.html?m=1
Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x 
#outdoorlearning #listeningwalk #earlyyears #education #primaryeducation 

Love Learning – Children educate themselves?

This is an extremely interesting article about children’s learning and play. I’m just reading article number 3 of this series.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200807/children-educate-themselves-ii-we-all-know-s-true-little-kids

I am a great believer that you support children through an enabling environment and that they should lead the provision you put in place. I also believe you should never help a child do something that they can do themselves or they are trying to do themselves, obviously unless they are visibly distressed. This article links to the way in which children naturally learn. Enjoy.

Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x 

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 outdoor learning – day 5 of 30 days wild

Day 5 of #30dayswildForest School!
Tuesday is usually forest school day for us at Ace Forest School.


Forest school is a fantastic learning experience for children. We are lucky enough to have Ace Forest School locally which caters to children from birth and up as they have forest school playgroup. Most forest school cater from pre-school and up and are happy to take classes of up to 30 children during a session. During a forest school session children tend to learn about fire safety and often get to cook some food on a fire. They also get to handle tools and most importantly get to grips with the outdoors through mud kitchens, muddy puddles, climbing trees. The opportunities are endless. There are so many opportunities in the outdoors including maths and literacy. Here are 35 ideas for outdoor learning that include maths and literacy among some other lovely ideas:

http://nurturestore.co.uk/forest-school-activities

Today we took part in some lovely activities at Ace Forest School, we did some leaf threading – all you need are some nice strong leafs, a hole punch and some wool. We also made some ladybirds – this included some wood cookies/slices, some paint and some corks or anything that will print a round shape. Our lovely forest school leader Jane provided us with edible paint incase any of the little ones fancied a taste and they did some printing and once it was dry they could decorate their ladybirds with some black dots.

Some of our favourite activities at forest school are the mud kitchen, the treasure basket (you can create your own with some outdoor goodies you collect, such as acorns, sticks, stones etc), playing hide and seek and also going on a bug hunt. Using magnifiers to have a good look at some little bugs can provide lots of fun and an opportunity to embrace learning across the curriculums. But these activities are to name just a few. 

Forest schools are available to settings and schools for block sessions or one offs. Forest schools are becoming widely available to children on weekends, so even if your child’s setting isn’t involved in one it doesn’t mean you can find one yourself. Some nurseries offer forest school as part of there curriculum, either on site on a small scale or at a separate site. A fantastic setting that offers this in the Liverpool area is Dukes and Duchesses Day Nursery. 

The forest school association offers a lot of information about forest school including its rich history and the learning opportunities it holds http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/

But don’t worry if you can’t get to a forest school, there is plenty of fun to be had in your local woods or national parks, or even in your own garden. Let children take risks, climb trees, look a buys, dig in the mud and jump in muddy puddles. 
Love Early Education,

Love, Kylie x 

(Non of the organisations mentioned are affiliates, just some examples of outstanding provision).

Love outdoor learning – 30 days wild

Day 4 of #30dayswild. Today we went to visit the farm!

The farm gave lots of great learning opportunities for my little boy, who is currently fascinated with making animal noises. He can currently do baa, moo, quack and neigh. All of which he got to practice today. As of today he can now say chicken, which he was excited to practice at the farm today.

Farms can provide lots of learning experiences for children as soon as they can walk, it’s fantastic or children to see animals up close and personal, rather than in a book. If your local farm is like ours they typically have a small petting area and also a play area, which make a visit to the farm even more worth while.

Farms are great for nursery and school trips, so why not arrange to take your class to a local farm. For older children learning about life cycle, food chains and habitats this can be an exciting visit. Today we got to see the baby chicks, you can talk about how they’ve changed, the ones we saw had started to change from that lovely yellow colour and have developed darker wings. We also saw some baby goats and sheep and cows, teach children about the different names for these kids, lambs and calfs. If your lucky enough your farm may have somewhere you can see the cows being milked, which is a great learning experience and opportunity to talk about where our food comes from.

No matter what you do at the farm, children are bound to love it.

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