Monday, 28 September 2015


We took a little walk down to the Outdoor Learning Centre today. The weather was really nice and just begging us to come out and play!

There are so many blackberry bushes at the entrance so we picked some for our snack as we walked in.

We spent a bit of time in the mud kitchen area. The pots often have rain water in them now so the children are keen to make some mixtures before doing anything else.

The site has quite a lot of tyres now which are just AWESOME for playing with. We built them up in to a castle and each of the children had a go at climbing to the highest point!

Little "E" got inside a tyre tower and it made us think of the Jack in the box song. We sang it and i pretended to push her back inside ready for her to jump up again!

"Jack in the box jumps up like this,
he shakes his arms as he waggles his head.
I gently press him down again,
saying Jack in the box, you most go to bed!"

Little "J" showed super strength moving and arranging the tyers how he wanted them.

He loves to sit and watch car wheels roll as he pushes them along the floor. This was the same experience for him on a much larger scale!

Little "B" shows no fear and tackled any part of the tower! Nothing was going to hold her back!

There were some great examples of working together and helping each other. "B" was finding it tricky getting her feet in the right places to climb in to the look out tower, so "E" talked her through it. Pointing to gaps and saying "put your foot there" and then helping by taking her hand and helping her up!

    • Make small world castles at home with construction toys.
    • Read a story about a castle.
    • Spend more time at TOLC using the tyres and encouraging a narrative/ imaginative play.


    Playing and exploring – engagement Finding out and exploring, Playing with what they know, Being willing to ‘have a go
    Active learning – motivation Being involved and concentrating, Keeping trying, Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
    Creating and thinking critically – thinking Having their own ideas, Making links, Choosing ways to do things

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

    Thursday, 24 September 2015


    We made a lovely crumble this morning with all of the fruit we foraged this week. I peeled the apples and the children used the chopping tool to cut them and core them.

    It was a lovely crumble and they were really keen on having some for pudding.

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

    Wednesday, 23 September 2015


    The mornings are feeling rather Autumnal now and there is so much fruit to forage!

    We took a little walk this morning up to the farm track and back. We walked past the tree on our way so that we could collect apples for a crumble.

    Little "M" started to notice the leaves that were falling and that they were not all green. We took a walk a few weeks ago and there was still a lot of green leaves and I pointed out the few that were changing. This week there were quite a few orange and yellow leaves.

     She also noticed the dew on the grass.  She told me it was wet and shinny.

    We found something even wetter! A puddle!!

    We picked some blackberries to put with the apples in our crumble.

    Yummy berries....... several of them didn't make it to the pot!

    We collected some leaves and compared the different shapes and sizes.  We are going to use them in the discovery tray next week.

    We collected sticks too! We nibbled on them too!

    There were so many crane fly's in the grass today, We crouched down and watched them for ages. They are so silly and bumble about like clumsy spiders with wings strapped to them.

    There have been quite a few squirrels running along our fence and neighbours wall. We have talked about how they are looking for nuts. We decided to pick some to take home with us.

    There was just enough time for a play at the park before we went home for lunch.

    We also had another crawl and run through the leaves.

    Two apples "magically" vanished between being collected and getting home........

      • Take another walk and notice further changes.
      • Make a crumble from the foraged fruit.
      • Set up a discovery tray with Autumn items in such as leave, sticks, conkers. 


      Playing and exploring – engagement Finding out and exploring, Playing with what they know 
      Active learning – motivation Being involved and concentrating, 
      Creating and thinking critically – thinking Having their own ideas, Making links

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


      The Cress that we planted last week at Forest School has now grown. Little "M" wanted to try some. She watched me pick and eat some before being brave enough to give it a go. The photos show everything she was thinking! 

      It took a little while but she said she liked it!!

      Monday, 21 September 2015


      I am trialing a new idea for planning. I am sure that I have not invented it, but I can not find it on the web anywhere so I have called it "Bring and share" planning! It suddenly came to me last week when I was thinking about how I could make planning simpler and included the families and children in the planning process.
      So this is how it works.......
      We have a big fold up display board (making it easier to keep your home like a home when you are not working) and children add their ideas for play and learning on to the board.
      This seems to involve everyone from an age where they can communicate their interests. For children who are too young or unable to share their ideas, the parents send in photos and little snippets of info for the board. Even after schoolers get a say and add their ideas to the board as well. Parents email me or Facebook me. They send over pictures or send me a text and I copy this on to a "Bring and share memo".
      These memo's remind me of what the children are interested in or learning at home and also allows the children the opportunity to share their learning with others in the setting. They point to their item or picture on the board and tell their friends about their "Bring and share". This introduces other children to new learning and experiences through their friends. 
      I then think of something fun to continue the learning and follow up on the shared interest and then add a picture to the board to show what we did.The children can also be included in the next steps/ extended learning through discussions.
      When the board gets full, I will take a photo for my files and use it as evidence for Ofsted and then start again...... 

      Anyone else use an idea like this? I am sort of making it up as I go along so would be interested to hear your thoughts. The pictures below show examples of "Bring and share memo's" from home and the follow up activities (Shared and enjoyed memo's) for children in my setting.

      The board is made from strong cardboard and can be folded and slotted in beside a unit or behind the sofa when not in use. I blue tack all items of interest on to the board so that the board can be used over and over again.

      "L" is now at school and her mum emailed me with this message. I have photocopied some sheets from my colouring book for her.

      Another mum shared this over email this weekend. I printed out our conversation and added it to the board.

      Today I added this follow up post!

      Another mum Facebook messaged me last week and I copied the conversation and added it.

      Today I added the follow up from our activity.

      This planning has been really embraced by the children and parents in my setting and I am finding that the experiences I am offering the children are more relevant and as a result are engaging them more! The continuous provision offered is more interest linked and the communication between parents and setting is fantastic. Ofsted can see you are using children's interest and next steps. They can see communication and working with parents. They can also see that learning is being supported and continued in the setting and at home.

      Children feel that their interest and excitement over an event or interest is really valued. That what they have to say and share is important. Giving them a real boost!

      If you find that a family are not engaging as much as you might like, for what ever reason, you could always take photos or make notes yourself and add them to a "Bring and share" memo. You could take a picture of something they have brought in from home or an item they have collected from a walk. You could also print out some "Bring and share" blank sheets for parents to fill in by hand.


      After finding the bug and little "J"'s weekend of bug finding, I decided to extend the learning with making Butterfly paintings. Everyone was keen on a spot of painting and once they saw one painting turned in to a butterfly.... they wanted them all turning in to butterflies! 

      SQUASH IT DOWN!!!!!!!

      Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
      • Physical Development
      • Expressive Art and Design
      • Understanding the world


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