Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Air Drying Clay Pictures

In our activities I like using the natural ingredients, something that can easily be found in the kitchen cupboard or in the garden. Low cost activities and lots of fun!

Today we made air drying clay pictures using some clay leftovers and different size seeds, beans and dried pasta I found in my kitchen.

Simple gather your ingredients, roll the piece of clay and create your own pictures and patterns!

Making clay pictures with natural ingredients

I like using well known ingredients in a different way. Crating pictures with all these colourful bits helps child develop imagination and creativity
We talked about different textures and tried to describe them. We also talked about where the beans and seeds come from (great starting point to talk about plants growth). And all these tiny pieces, beans and seeds were great for practicing fine motor skills.

And as it is Easter soon we couldn't resist and we made and decorated clay egg shape. A little Easter detail to decorate our kitchen :) 

clay Easter egg decorating
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Teaching Mama

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Easter/ Spring Sorting

Sometimes simple ideas work best. Especially when they help practice some basic skills. Today I set simple Easter Sorting activity for Mr Frog.

A plate filled in with colorful rice and tiny Easter/spring-like shapes bought in a pound shop. Some small cups and tweezers.Very easy and quick to prepare.

It is great for practicing fine motor skills and tripod grip (so important when holding the mark-making tools) and hand-eye coordination. Plus some maths skills - sorting objects according to shape

For Mr Frog it was a good way to practice concentration and patience as the tiny shapes were quite difficult to work with. 

Sorting shapes using tweezers

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Treasure/ Egg Hunt

Mr Frog loves all treasure hunt activities and we play it at home quite often. Every summer we organize a big treasure hunt for him and his cousins - they follow the clues running through the fields of countryside. They even have to dig up the treasure on their own! It's kind of family tradition now and lots of fun for all the kids. 

Easter is coming soon and we have lots of plastic eggs at home. They are perfect for treasure hunt with a bit of literacy :)

In each egg I hid a word which was a part of a sentence - a clue where to look for a treasure. Then I hid the eggs around the house and in the garden and took a photo of each egg in big closeup. 

Mr Frog's task was to find all the eggs using the photo clues (great to practice observation skills and attention to detail ). Then he used all the words to arrange the sentence and read it to find out where is the treasure (literacy skills and reading). Simple isn't it? Well, arranging the sentence can be a great challenge for 5 year old!

I think it could be great variety to traditional Easter egg hunt. We play like this at home all year round. We use photo clues to find hidden toys or cars - it is a great way to develop observation skills and talk about the objects' texture (the closeup photos are perfect for this).

Egg Hunt with a bit of literacy
To find more creative Easter egg hunts visit Kids Activities Blog   and Childhood 101 - they have so many great ideas! I plan to use some of them this year! :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Funny Dancing Eggs

Sometimes when Mr Frog is bored and I am bored too and we have no plan for any special learning or creative activities.....we make something simple and just for fun :)
We quickly dig out some stuff from craft cupboard. And because it's Easter coming soon but not quite time for eggs colouring we make something different using our plastic eggs. Something that Mr Frog called the funny dancing eggs :)

So just collect some stuff..... 

....and stick and decorate (it may take a while to stick a marble in a correct position so the egg stands vertically)..... get the funny dancing eggs! Just push them, flick them, roll them and the marble stuck inside cause them move and dance funny way :)

Something simple,quick and just for fun :)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Paper Sculpture.

Do you remember "The game of sculpture" book we played with some time ago? 
This time we experimented with 3d space again making own paper sculptures.

We used shiny paper (but any colorful paper will work), black card as a sculpture base, double sided tape and scissors.
Mr Frog practiced his fine motor skills cutting paper stripes and planning skills sticking them on the black card to create a sculpture and explore 3d space. 

Simple and fun :)


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Learning about planets with LEGO small world play.

Do you remember our felt Solar System mat? We use it to learn about planets with 3-part cards. But we also have another great way to play with it and learn some facts about planets easily at the same time. 

As Mr Frog really likes small world play and  LEGO we use it to learn some facts about Solar System. With some LEGO and felt Solar System mat we set a spacecrafts building unit and organize a space mission

We have some pictures of spacecrafts with our building unit. Building is a great opportunity to talk about space vehicles and practice fine motor skills. 

When the space ship is ready it's time to start planning the mission - decide which planet we would like to explore, who is the captain. This is the time to dig in our space theme books to find some important facts - is the planet build of rocks or gas, can we land on it or need to send a space probe? how far from the Earth it is? how big is it?.....For Mr Frog it was so much fun to find all these fact! He was so excited and motivated to read. We have a special space missions journal where we note all the facts and make a picture of the planet. 

When everything is ready it's time for play! Lot's of fun :) And what's even better Mr Frog remembers so many facts about planets! And practice his fine motor skills, reading, writing, planing skills....and so much more!

And of course we still make some  Moon Playdough  to create the rockets, stars, planets, aliens....and whatever else you can think of! 


Monday, 3 March 2014

Solar System learning - felt mat and 3-part cards.

Outer Space and Solar System theme is our ongoing learning project. Mr Frog became interested in it last summer and since then he keeps asking questions about outer space and reads the books about it. Well, let's face it - I learn with him too! Questions he asks force me to admit I don't know the answer and dig in a book sometimes ;)

I made  a Solar System Mat that can be use to learn and play. I used  the black glitter felt sheets (but it can be black card stuck together as well). I added the needle felted planets (If you can't do needle felting don't worry -  these can be easily made with styrofoam balls painted with acrylic paints) and some stones as asteroids.

The mat is very useful for learning. Mr Frog uses the planets to match them with 3-part cards (kindly shared by Imagine Our Life) and puts them in a correct order on the mat.

Working with mat and 3-part cards

I tried really hard to keep the proportions between planets (more or less...). It wasn't easy, but works well for us. With 3d different size planets Mr Frog learnt easily which planet is the biggest, smallest etc. 

We have some Solar System books in both languages.  Our favourites one are Usborne books. First one is "Big book of stars and planets". It is really good - simple and colourful and contains enough interesting facts to learn for 5 year old. Another one is Usborne's "First Encyclopedia of Space"

Pop in tomorrow to check how we extend our Solar System learning and how we play using planets and mat :)