Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Little "L" chose to bug hunt this morning. She managed to collect a fly that was buzzing around the playroom and was (if we are honest) a little dazed and confused!
She asked me if it was a Bee? 
"Lets look shall we" I said..... and off we went to find a book about insects!

She sat with her bug and book and looked at each of the pictures. Often she would stop to talk about one of the insects in the book and expressed her interest or fondness in a particular one, like a Butterfly.
After some time we came to a page of fly's. She became very excited when we found a picture of the fly she had caught. It was a hover fly!

After studying our fly and reading about it in the book, we thought it best to release it!

Other bugs were not so cooperative about being caught so she started to collect the plastic pugs that are hidden in the flower beds!


  • Offering lots of different resources for the children to use and to help them learn about the natural world.
  • To provide ways for the children to identify and learn about the living things in our world, such as books and support to use the internet.
Hide more plastic bugs in the garden to be found. Place the magnifying glasses outside. Print and laminate an insect identification sheet for common garden insects and then pin to the fence. Look at some insects and how they live using David Attenborough DVD's or You tube clips.


    Little "L" was very keen to find insects to identify and spent a long time lifting bits of wood and stones to see if any were hiding. She was engaged and focused for a long period of time.She initiated this activity after finding the bug box in the garden and drew others in to her play by asking them to come and find bugs with her. She shared her knowledge of insects with me while learning new things.

    Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
    • Physical Development
    • Communication and Language
    • Literacy
    • Understanding the world


    Little "B" is becoming much more mobile now. She has managed to gain enough strength and control in her movements and walking, that she soon felt confident to try other things, such as pushing dolls buggies and chairs around the room. This has now progressed to a more complex task of lifting a wheel barrow and pushing it along the floor so that the wheel turns but the legs are off the ground.

    She can now negotiate small changes such as the single steps in my garden and lifting the barrow over obstacles in her way. She has managed to lift it over the ledge in to the outdoor kitchen area so that she could fill it with wood chippings and then turned in that small space and lifted it back out again. All of this while still keeping her balance. When she became stuck or found herself faced with a tricky obstacle, she tried different ways to get both herself and the barrow out and moving again! She did not become upset or frustrated at all but showed a great strength of will and perseverance.


    • To offer more toys that can be lifted, wheeled, carried and pushed.
    • More trips to the parks to climb and balance on the play equipment.
    • Provide bags and baskets for items to be placed in and carried about.


      Little "B" has been slowly building her confidence and ability with walking and manoeuvring toys and items while walking. When she found herself stuck in a small space, she changed strategy from pushing to lifting the barrow and trying to carry it as she turned. Exploring what worked and what did not. Learning from this and problem solving as she went along. Persisting when challenges arose and understanding that a different approach might work when other ways did not. At one point she started to walk backwards and pull the barrow to negotiate a more tricky area. She did not become frustrated by this but showed a real "can do" attitude, patience and determination.

      Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
      • Physical Development


      The weather has been amazing the past week or so and we are truly making the most of it. Every morning the door is opened wide and the children choose to be outside for a good 90% of the day. I am having a battle at the moment over sun hats which I seem to be loosing. 

      We enjoyed lots of mark making today whilst we were outside. 
      I offered some buckets and paintbrushes to start with, adding a small amount of water in to the bottom of each bucket.

      Before long the little ones found different things to paint. Little "B" quickly noticed that the water made a nice dark mark on the patio and so dipped the brush in the water and made another mark. I took a brush and painted a "B" for her name. He then made another mark from the letter, across the patio.
      She repeated this several times in different areas of the patio. Dipping the brush and painting marks.

      She offered a brush to Little "M" and made marks on the floor as if to show her what to do. Little "B" is a very loving and caring 17 month old girl, who loves to help look after younger children.

      Little "L" and I looked at how we could make marks using other items. We had lots of fun making foot prints around the patio, comparing the size of her prints to mine. Using mathematical language such as "larger" and "smaller".  We wet our feet and then counted how many prints we could make before our feet became to dry and the prints stopped. We counted to 12 on one occasion.
      Little "L" noticed how fast the prints were drying because it was a "Hot day and the sun is out!"

      Little "L" looked closely at the prints and pointed out things that were similar and other things that were different. Here she noticed that my print was drying and that the toes had gone!

      She then had a little go at writing the letters that she knows. She knows some letters from her name and some letters from her friends names.

      A little later, we looked at painting over chalk numbers and our names. She often starts with the last number or letter on the row. When painting over her chalk name, she started with the last and worked backwards. We are going to spend some time looking at working from left to right.


      • To offer the children with the resources to explore making marks in the garden. Encouraging number and letters with older children in the setting.
      • To use larger controlled movements to form shapes, numbers and letters.
      • Model the use of mathematical language. Talk about the sizes, shapes and make comparisons.
      Offer more outdoor water mark making activities. Use the chalk to create letters and numbers but also maybe make little "chalk pathways" for the children to follow with the paintbrush. Give the pathways a clear start and finish point staring from the left and moving to the right to help encourage the idea that English is written and read, left to right.
      Offer chalk for the children to make their own marks on the patio. Offer other things to experiment with such as watercolour paints, home made chalk paint.


        Little "B" spent a lot of the day coming back to this activity. She learnt to understand the process of wetting her brush and then using it till it stopped making marks. Repeating this process over and over. She showed curiosity in the way the water changed the colour of the floor and also how it started to change back again as it dried. She used her senses to explore. Feeling the water, putting the brush in her mouth, painting her toes and stepping on the wet patches with her dry feet. She was fascinated by this activity and showed a strong focus and concentration.
        Little "M" is 13 months and is very much at the exploring with her mouth stage, She enjoyed sucking water out of the brushes more than mark making, but once she made a mark she soon worked out how to make more. She returned to this several times over the day and even tried to do it with a dry brush and an empty bucket.
        Little "L" is keen to learn to write more Letters and especially her name. This sort of activity is something she gets a lot of enjoyment from and pride when she realises she can write and recognise some letters. She Was particularly fascinated and engaged in the footprint making. She noticed lots of things such as the size of each of our footprints. Picking out the toddlers prints, my prints and her own prints. Noticing that the dogs prints were different to ours. She counted how many foot prints she could make and then asked me to see how many I could make.

        Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
        • Physical Development
        • Literacy
        • Mathematics


        Little "B" found a soft toy bird sitting with his friends in the garden. She carefully picked him up. Gave him a cuddle and listed to his bird song when she pressed his tummy!

        I had recently added the wooden bird boxes to the garden fence to see how the children would use them. Little "B" had seen the older children putting the birds to bed and remembered this. She took her little blue tit to one of the bird boxes!

        Very soon she was copying what she had seen the older children doing and popping her bird in his nest.

        Night night birdy!

        • Help little "B" to extend this understanding of where things belong. by including her in tidy up time and showing her different boxes for different toys, simple puzzles with a slot for each each piece, offering items that have 2 parts, such as teapot and lid, tins and pots that open and close.


        Little "B" showed curiosity about other children's play and paid attention to their actions. Recreating these in actions in her own play. Exploring with new ideas and understanding.

        Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
        • Physical Development
        • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
        • Understanding the world

        Monday, 16 June 2014


        I have to say, the toys that are used the most in my setting are the Treasure Basket and the box of curtain rings. Every day they are used. Sometimes by the babies for exploring and investigating. Other times by the preschoolers and older children who use them in a similar way but also like to add them to their play to represent other items. I am always on the look out for ways to expand these resources and charity shops and car boot sales are the best place by far!

        As the children play, they use a lot of descriptive words.They talk about how the items feel, how they have different textures. Wood is warm to the touch compared to metal or stone. A spoon is hard and smooth compared to say a piece of natural sponge, that is soft and rough. A baby will hold these items and explore the textures with their mouths. All the while making new neural pathways and connections. The more chance a child has to explore and investigate these items the stronger these connections will become. They will start to form a little database in their heads of these textures and sensory experiences which will help them to make sense of the world they live in. A pre-school child can learn to describe these textures. Learning what smooth feels like and giving it a word. They can compare two items.” This one is hard and this one soft.” They can talk about the weights and sizes of items. Comparing, grouping and sorting.

        Little "R" enjoys putting as many of the rings on her arm as possible. She starts off saying they are smooth, light, cold. After filling her arm, she tells me they feel heavy!

        She finds two pebbles in the basket and tells me that they are smooth ad cold. She starts to bang them together and tells me they are noisy, while laughing at what she is doing!

        I also like to have instruments that are in easy reach of young children and that are made from natural materials.These are also used on a daily basis. Not always for singing and rhymes but often just to experiment with sounds. Talking about loud and quiet sounds. Comparing the sounds and volume that each instruments make.

        This is one toy that really is enjoyed by all ages and abilities and costs very little.

        Learning Intentions:

        ·         To provide the children with a natural and cheap play experience which allows them to use all their senses safely to explore and investigate the items.
        ·         To provide the opportunity to extend their vocabulary by talking to the children about the textures as they play. Using descriptive language such as hard, soft, rough and smooth. Also to introduce simple mathematical language such as larger and smaller, comparing and grouping items by size or shape.

        Next steps:
        I will look to provide more resources to expand this play. Different instruments from around the world, Some crocheted items, maybe a kitchen towel holder to stack the rings on too. I would like to find some large shells as well.

        Today's play meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas
        • Physical Development
        • Communication and Language
        • Personal, Social and Emotional.
        • Understanding the world.

        Sunday, 15 June 2014


        In a bid to improve ICT in my setting, I bought a couple of second hand Kidizoom cameras. I placed them in the playroom and waited to see what happened.

        They were a hit from day one. We explored the different visual effects and edits together and they very quickly picked up what buttons to press.

        These pictures are a great example of the different effects!

        They seemed to be very interested in taking photos of our pets!

        I am fascinated to see the pictures of the world from their height. This door looks huge! It is a real eye opener.

        I have lots of pictures of feet!

        Pictures of favourite toys and play spaces.

        Pictures of each other!

        More toys!

        I have found it really interesting and I loved looking through the photos that the children have been taking. I can see how things look to them and what they enjoy playing with. What is important to them. I will be keeping an eye on the cameras and using the images captured to help me with my planning.


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