Messy Play

We all love messy play or do we?

I personally love it, I have worked in nurseries and schools and had to clean up after 30 children. So messy play with 1 or 2 is a breeze. So much can be explored and learnt with messy play, so many topics can be covered and you can do it over and over again without getting bored.

I introduced cornflour to B3 this term, he is not a huge fan of getting his hands dirty, so thought this was a happy medium of mess and clean because of the texture. Something to this day I am still fascinated by. It pours and drips likes a liquid but is solid under pressure. B3 was amazed by it and mainly loved the fact it dried quickly and he could wipe his hands. Baby steps. I allowed him to add transport toys to explore.

Seasonal messy play is something i enjoy, so quick and easy to prep and most of the time cheap and cheerful to prepare. I mentioned before that Autumn was my favourite season and I like sharing that with my children i look after. Leaf picking and conker collecting is something I get excited about as soon as summer is over. B3 literally fills my pockets and bag with conkers so its only right to have activities with them. We did conker rolling in paint to create pictures, we used them to have a tea party with. We even used them in place of marbles. There is so much you can do with them and it brings outdoors, natural and playing together.

Tea Party

You can add messy play to most topics and themes as there is always something to make or explore. It can be as messy or as clean as you like. Do not let the tidying up stage stop you from having fun.

Go crazy!

Sink water play

Bug swamp

Water play using a sink, is a great way to allow your child to still have fun playing and exploring water if you do not have room for a water tray. I saw this on social media and thought such a good idea. You can create lots of different scenes using props and toys.

B3 loves water and currently really into bugs so I created a swamp and filled it with bugs and water animals. He loved this and spent lots of time playing and making up stories. Then once you have all finished you simply pull the plug and let the toys dry.

Areas covered in this activity, communication and language and understanding the world.

Autumn has arrived

leaves leaves leaves

My favourite season has arrived and I am over the moon. Everything from the colours, smells and sights I am in love with. The weather is not perfect especially if it rains, but the leaves and the conkers make excellent activities. One thing I like doing is a scavenger hunt for autumn objects.

Sensory Play

I started our autumn theme with a sensory activity, with dyed rice, key words and conkers and acorns. B3 had lots of fun mixing, filling and emptying and counting. He also made up his own story with the squirrel and the nuts.

We talked about the textures and colours of the tree nuts. When we go out I got B3 to look out for the tree nuts and we collected more.

It is very easy to make the dyed rice, it is literally 3 steps and it took me less than 30 minutes to prepare it all. Activities for children do not have to be with lots of expensive items, it has to be inviting and interesting.

  • place rice in a sandwich bag
  • squeeze in paint and shake mix together
  • place on tray to dry and within 30 minutes it is ready to play with.

The rice will last a long time if kept in containers with lids on it.

Key words for the theme

Areas covered in this activity: communication and language, literacy, understanding the world and expressive arts and design,

Let’s get baking

We have apples

The family I work for are luckily enough to have an apple tree in the garden and the time has come for yummy apples. So I thought it would be a great idea to make something yummy and get the little boy involved.

This was a fun and great for learning opportunities, including Maths; Communication and Language and Understanding the World (links to the EYFS).

I found a simple recipe online and we got baking.

Peeling apples
Placing apples in the tray
making the crumble
Tada

Each step was a great opportunity to discuss steps and encourage independence (the whole process was supervised).

Once it was all prepared it was placed in the oven and we set a timer and waited. This became a lovely treat for after dinner.

Outdoor Play

the best classroom and richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.

Margaret McMillian

Outdoor play has a positive impact on children’s wellbeing and helps with their development. Play has a vital role in children’s learning and they begin to understand the environment and their surroundings. Which is where the saying “learning through play” comes about. Children will be able to explore in more ways then they would if they were indoors. They will use a range of senses and experience first hand: smells, textures and sounds.

While outside there are many areas of learning that can be covered such as, Communication and Language, Maths and Expressive arts and Design, to name a few. Being from a Nursery/School background, I follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), when I plan and arrange activities.

Bug Hunting

Resources used for day out

So my little boy (3) is really into bugs as most children are at this age. He was very excited to show me his bug hunting kit that he had received over the weekend. The minibeast sheets I got off the website Twinkl. We headed to Heartwood Forest to start our adventure. This National Park has so much room to roam around and explore the great outdoors and plenty of places to look for bugs, especially Langley Woods. We spent a few hours here looking around and counting dogs, this park is popular with dog walkers, then we finished the morning with a picnic.

Den building in the woods