Goodbye Autumn

Today marks the end of Autumn, where has the time gone?!

I love Autumn, I am glad the heat of the Summer has passed, I am not rushing to cover the children in suncream or hats or frantically hydrating them and cooling them down and I love seeing the first blackberries on hedgerows and pulling on extra cosy layers.

As a childminder it’s a lovely time of year to be with the children. Here at Aston Childcare we have spent this season jumping in crunchy Autumn leaves, blackberry picking, collecting conkers, doing arts and crafts inspired by bonfire night and Halloween, exploring acorns, conkers and leaves in our nature tray and chatting about hibernation.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter.

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Autumn Leaf Suncatchers

This week we have been busy making these lovely Autumn Leaf Suncatchers.

We picked the fresh autumn leaves up off the ground in the garden during playtime after lunch then once back indoors decorated our paper plates with Autumn colours and stuck the leaves on to the contact paper. Once finished, we hung them up on the window and waited for the sun to shine through them. They are really effective and look beautiful when the sun shines.

It was a lovely craft do with the toddlers and pre-schoolers to explore and welcome in the new season.

Areas of learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Art and Design, Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

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

 

 

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?!

 

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

What a hoot!

The children have been enjoying the lovely ‘Owl Babies’ by Author Martin Waddell recently. Owl babies is a lovely tale of three baby owls who wake up one morning to find that their mother has gone. They sit on a branch and wait wondering when their mother will return. It’s a charming, reassuring book for any child who has ever worried about Mummy leaving them alone and the beautiful illustration seems to really capture their imagination.

To extend their interest in Owls, we have made some fab Owls in our Arts and Crafts sessions and enjoyed sticking with some cute Owl stickers. We’ve read more Owl related books including “Wow! said the Owl”. I still have some lovely Owl drawings an older ex mindee did which I just love.