Woodland walks and building campfires

My 3 year old son and 2 year old mindee proving the best things in life are free…

Advertisements

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Whilst stocking up on new craft supplies in Poundland the other week, I came across this fantastic Very Hungry Caterpillar ‘Create a Scene’ sticker book which the children have really been enjoying.

It’s an A3 laminated picture scene and comes with lots of lovely colourful vinyl stickers to create your very own Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends action scene. The stickers are reusable so the children can change the scene again and again. There are lots of stickers including sunflowers, a cow, a horse, a ladybird, a duck, a bee, a butterfly, a spider, a sunshine and of course a caterpillar!

I first sat down to do it with one of my 2 year old mindees and we had a lovely time as she sat and placed all the stickers in her chosen place and called out all the animals, insects and plants.

“We’ve got TWO caterpillars!” she exclaimed  and then  – “I love these stickers”

She sounded out the animal sounds as she placed each sticker down –  “Moo”, “Neigh”, “Quack”

“Wheres the pond?” she asked me as she laid down the duck sticker.

We have also been enjoying the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle which is a lovely story and great for counting. They have also been using their fine motor skills and enjoyed creating collages by gluing and sticking with some great Very Hungry Caterpillar picture cut outs which really help bring the book to life and they’ve learnt new words such as “cocoon”

Next year I hope to do one of these fantastic ‘Caterpillar kits’ from Insectlore which would be such a lovely activity.

https://www.insectlore.co.uk/butterflies/live-butterfly-kits/butterfly-garden-with-5-live-caterpillars.html

they are also available at Argos –

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/6125532

Areas of Learning covered: Understanding the World, Literacy, Mathematics, Arts and Design, Physical Development (Fine motor skills), Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development

 

 

Splish, Splash, Splosh!

With Autumn upon us, we can say goodbye to our Summer which we may all remember as being notably wetter than average!

Whilst many were bemoaning the rain filled days however, as a childminder it was an opportunity to indulge in one of the children’s favourite activities – Jumping in muddy puddles!

As adults if we see a muddy puddle our instinct is to avoid them, when children see them they want to jump in and splash in them.

The children love getting bundled up in their waterproofs and wellies and even a short drive to our chosen muddy puddle destination(!) is an adventure for them as we drive over bridges, spot sheep in the fields, pass big tractors, and drive along the bumpy country roads.

The children love it and it’s a great way for them to let off some steam whilst getting some fresh air rather than being cooped up in an overcrowded soft play on a wet day.

It gives great opportunities for the children to learn and discover and to indulge in some “risky play”.

Areas of learning covered: Physical Development, Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Mathematics, Personal, Social and Emotional development

 

Back to School…School Readiness

With the children I look after in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) age range (birth to 5 years old), I am ultimately aiming to provide them with all the necessary skills for starting school.

Through all the activities we do, the resources I provide and the games we play we are establishing school readiness and a solid foundation for their future.

This road map is a great way to see if your child is on track for starting school.

School-Readiness-Poster

 

Magic!

A mindee (aged 2.5) arrived recently one morning desperate to make a fairy wand. It was 8am and I didn’t quite have my arts and crafts head on at that time(!) but with some quick thinking I summoned up some glittery card, a star shaped object to draw around, grabbed some drinking straws, sequins, pens and some sticky tape and off to work we set!

They loved the end result so much that we had to make a few!

Aren’t they fab?!

 

Summer Sunflower Success!

I am pleased to report that we have had great success with this years sunflowers. They are currently standing tall and proud with a few reaching nearly 6 foot!

The children have loved them and they have sparked many conversations and lovely comments –

“Emily, I love your dandelions”

“It’s really big”

“It’s as tall as the house!”

They’ve attracted lots of minibeasts including some beautiful butterflies.

To extend the children’s interest and learning we have worked them in to our arts and crafts sessions too with lots of colouring, drawing, sticking and gluing.

I am now busy thinking what to plant next that will create the same level of interest!

Areas of Learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Mathematics, Arts and Design.

 

Stickers!

Here at Aston childcare the children all love stickers. They get immense satisfaction from peeling the backs off and sticking them down in their chosen spot.

At one time, I questioned whether they were slightly limited in what they can teach children but, after reflecting, I found that they are great for Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language skills and Physical Development (Fine motor skills). They also help children learn and talk about all manner of subjects (Understanding the World) so I think they do have their place when varied with other activities.

I always try and have a good stock of them. I find they are particularly useful say, at transition times, when we are waiting for parents to pick up at the end of the day when it’s not so suitable to have messy paints or arts and crafts out. I also have a range of reward stickers that the children always love to receive with positive comments such as “lovely listener”, “great helper” and ones to reward self care and healthy eating such as “I ate all my food” and “I used the toilet”.

Some of our favourites have been from the Usborne sticker books and some fab re-usable Melissa and Doug ones. We’ve covered all manner of subjects – sea creatures, wild animals, domestic animals, minibeasts, airports, trucks and transport, children of the world, letters, numbers and shapes  to name but a few!

Areas of learning covered: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Maths, Literacy and  Understanding the world

Focus on…Phonics

Here at Aston Childcare, with my son and mindee turning 3, my mind has turned to phonics and how I can support them in their learning. We have this lights and sounds phonics toy and I also have this I’m ready for phonics – Say the sound book both from the Early Learning Centre.

The book is a fun, bright book that helps children from the age of 3 upwards focus on the initial letter sounds at the beginning of simple words. It contains all 26 letters of the alphabet and words beginning with that letter. It claims to have been developed in conjunction with a literacy consultant and phonics expert and says it’s ideal for introducing phonics to your child.

Meanwhile the lights and sounds phonics ‘desk’ is an Interactive game unit teaching phonics, spelling and counting and colours has 8 different games to play. It claims to help with early reading and builds communication skills and is good for learning to sort and match.

I am also in the process of creating a ‘Letters and Sounds’ file with further activities we can enjoy.

Finally, there are lots of fun phonics songs on YouTube that are fun to watch too, here’s just some –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq3yfQnllfQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELlZKpi1Zs