Thursday, 28 May 2015


Half term is always a great time to enjoy some crafting. I always get far too much and we never have a lot of time to really enjoy crafting in term time. School and meal times get in the way! So we have really been making the most of being creative this week!

My boys joined the little ones and sat with them making and painting Warhammer figures.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Bug hotel making was the aim of the day at Forest school this week! We put a shout out on line for donations and as usual so many people were generous with their gifts!

This is the end result of our mornings work. Grand job, lead by our Forest school leader, Charlie and her helpers!

Our other Forest School leader, Melanie, helped the children make smaller versions to take home! Using real tools and wood!

Give children good quality tools to use and they will find a love for creating and building. We have all used low standard tools and the job is never as enjoyable as if we had the right tools for the job.
Children are the same. If everything is too hard or doesn't work properly then they will soon become frustrated, By giving them the real, quality tools we are showing them that we trust them and respect them to use the tools safely and correctly.
With supervision and the opportunity, these little ones can make some amazing things!

I suspect we have many bugs living in real luxury around the county tonight!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015


 Today we dug a mud pit in our Forest school session. I am hoping that this will be a well loved area of the site and one that I know we will use a lot on our visits here.

 Little "X" in particular, loved the mud pit. He wallowed in it for ages!

We used some boards of wood as painting canvas's and used twigs and our fingers to paint with. Mud is an amazing medium to use in art activities outside. It really encourages your artistic and creative side to come out! It can be molded in a way that sand can not and in the case of this mud, which is very high in clay, it can dry hard to make lovely natural sculptures!

The little ones were not afraid to get messy. They could not wait to get in and feel the mud under their feet. We laughed a lot each time a well got sucked down and a foot was pulled out of the pit minus the welly boot!

It is so important for children to be able to experience this sort of play. Not only does it connect them with Nature in a very physical way but it also seems to calm children. I am not sure if it is the act of mud play in itself but I have read that scientist have found micro bacteria in mud that boosts serotonin and gives a general "Fell good" good mood to the person exposed to it.

Mud is a sensory experience like no other.... people pay good money for someone to cover them in mud at a spa! Sensory play for children is a way of learning that can not be underestimated. Children learn and experience the world with their whole bodies. The more "in it" they can be the better! They not only learn about the item they are exploring through listening to you telling them about it, but they are feeling it for themselves, smelling it and even tasting it in some cases! This makes stronger neural connections that strengthen the learning potential and outcomes for our little ones. Many children are kinesthetic learners and this hands on approach is so important for them.

The opportunity for language development is endless. In this session we talked about the feel and smell of the mud. We used descriptive language such as "sticky, slippy, thick" mud!
Little "X" told me he was a hippo because he was bigger than a piggy!
I love this quote! The connections that he made to mud, animals that like mud and his size in relation to those animals was wonderful!

Mud is also such a universal experience for all ages. It is so inclusive! It doesn't matter how old you are or how mobile you are. It doesn't mater if you have delayed speech or understanding. It is enjoyable for all. Each child will bring their own ideas to this area of play. Making things from it, painting with it, or just enjoying the feel of it!

You know what..... we all come washable! Yes it is messy but it is what childhood memories are made of! And that is the biggest part of my job as a parent and childminder. Giving these little ones the childhood they deserve and the memories that will make them the adults and parents that they might become themselves.

Monday, 18 May 2015


I picked these up really cheap from a supermarket and thought nothing more of them. I found them this week while sorting out a cupboard and thought they would work nicely with the minibeast tray I had set up.

Little "L" was the first to try these out and with some help we sounded out the letters on the cards to see if she could work out what each one said. We were also introduced to some of the more unusual insects which we hadn't talked about, like Mosquito. This led to looking in the bug reference book to see if we could learn more about Mosquito's.

For such a cheap item, it was a great addition to the minibeast tray for my pre-school aged children. Extending the learning in the activity and making it suitable for a larger range of children.

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Communication and language
  • Literacy
  • Understanding The World

Sunday, 17 May 2015


Little "C" is a very physical girl. She is not at all keen on learning if she thinks you are teaching her...... so we have to get a bit craft and inventive. She is a child  that really thrives on the outdoor environment and being with nature and animals. She is in her element in out Outdoor learning centre.

The water butt provided me with an opportunity to observe her manual dexterity and how well she could manipulate tools to serve her purpose. She took a little while to work out the tap on this water butt but once she had mastered it she was back and forth gathering water.

After some trial and error she soon worked out that she needed to turn the tap off before the watering can was full or it would quickly spill out the top!

She found some of the wands that we had hung in the trees and swirled the streamers in the air. We matched the coloured steamers to things we were wearing. There was a pink one like her coat!

She also made me soup! Yummy mud and leaf soup in 2 cups!

Learning but not knowing it..... in the best place for her very kinesthetic way of learning!

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

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


The blocks have been really enjoyed today by the older children in my setting. 
We have talked about the new Royal baby and they all shared the information that they knew.

They told me her name and when she was born.
We read "The Royal Nappy" and looked for all the Royal figures in the happyland box.

The girls asked for a Palace to be built and explained that they needed different rooms for different people.

Kenzie was off school today and he decided to build the front of the Palace. He has seen Buckingham Palace when we were in London a couple of years ago.

The girls said this was Harry and he needed a party room with the fairies..... I did giggle a bit!

Here is the very busy Palace!

Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Communication and language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional 
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Understanding The World

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


We have been given these large building blocks on long term lone. I am super excited about it and have enjoyed building different structures.  
The little ones have watched with interest and have then been keen to join me or even try and build with me. At the moment I am being asked to build but I suspect in a few days they will be more willing to experiment for themselves. 

Little "M" brought some people and animals to walk along the big long road we made!

Then she thought it was time to try out the road for herself!

Monday, 4 May 2015


Sunny day and an Outdoor learning centre to enjoy. We took a few bits up in the week and i took the boys up to enjoy them for the afternoon. This is the mud kitchen that was donated by my sister in law. We made one for her and myself last May and now due to them having to move, she has kindly donate this one to the centre. 

I made the most of relaxing under the blue sky while my boys made me a cup of tea on the Kelly kettle.

Brendan said he would make some signs for the entrance so found some wood and used the sharpies to design one.

We kept an eye on the new herb circle. Gave it a water. Melanie did a good job making this.

Our local sports and social club had some wood that they said we could use. We found this unit in the pile and so have re purposed it as a place to store the stick bread sticks and other useful bits.

Kenzie also made a sign for the site.

I love this sign. It covers it beautifully I think!

The boys did enjoy the mud kitchen and Kenzie made a stinging nettle cure..... I didn't want to get stung and test it though

The  boys friends came to join us and we cooked marshmallows and bacon over the fire!


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