Sunday, 27 November 2011

Plasticine fun.

I don't consider myself to be the most creative of people especially when it comes to taking part in plasticine and playdough activities. Believe it or not, I've spent a fair few hours trawling the internet for some inspiring plasticine tutorials but have so far been unsuccessful. Hope loves getting these modelling materials out but I often feel a bit useless when it comes to giving her a bit of direction. So on this occasion we had to rely on our own creative skills; as we had just been looking at The Hungry Caterpillar finger puppet book we decided to make delicious plate of fruit.
And counted: one apple, two juicy pears, three tart plums, four sweet strawberries and five oranges. We also had to make a banana!

And a beautiful butterfly with two wings!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Practical life

Here is an update of the practical learning activities that the children have been doing around the house lately. Hope enjoys doing a variety of Montessori tasks such as using tongs (though she often cheats and uses her fingers) to pass objects such as little plastic frogs from a container into the portions of an ice-cube tray.
In these pics she is transferring water from the left bowl to the right using a sponge. These activities are thought to get young children ready for the left to right process in learning to read. Then we played with the little frogs, counting them and making them jump from pool to pool.
Henry uses these base ten blocks which are fabulous for helping him understand loads of number concepts.
Here, we are about to follow a recipe for cheese stars from this jolly phonics book.

And I set up this pet shop to help the kids learn about adding up money and calculating change. This play till cost £10 and as well as calculating mentally, the children checked their answers using the till as preparation for future SATs tests that they sit in school - one of the papers is a calculator paper.
More uses for ice-cube trays! I've almost managed to sort out my homemade moveable alphabet. I just need one more for my vowel sounds.
We use this alphabet for word building. I am currently making a new set of tactile letters for Hope. I used to have a set of sandpaper one that I made years ago but they got ruined when the hot water tank leaked into our cupboard. As I don't much like the feel of sandpaper and find it quite tough to cut the letters out, I decided this time to use foam board and lighter foam to make these.

The website has some great ideas and free resources.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Stuff and nonsense.

I don't know why I don't invite the children's friends round more often as it seems to be the only time they leave me alone to a bit of peace and quiet. At last I get to catch up on a bit of blogging. Today is Children in Need day and the children went to school wearing spots and took part in activities to raise money for this worthy cause. So last night I was up 'til midnight sewing spots on Henry's blue t-shirt. We've agreed to put the t-shirt away somewhere carefully afterwards so that he'll have something to wear next year and I'll be able to go to bed a bit earlier! Before I started on the sewing, I had taken Honor and Henry to the rehearsal for the pantomime that they're involved in with a local theatre group. We absolutely love going to these rehearsal evenings. It's great for the kids to be working alongside other people of all ages and it's such a fun and uplifting way to spend the evening. Of course, the kids love it even more because they get to stay up late. Honor, in particular, is really getting into the performing arts side of life. She's now going to guitar lessons (Hubby goes with her and tries to learn too!) And she has joined a performing arts school on a Saturday which she loves. They practise one hour of singing, one of dancing and one of acting. I think Henry would enjoy it too so maybe he'll join a bit later on.

And I've just received an email from the NHS. They do a national weighing and measuring programme in schools and are about to go into Honor's class to gather their statistics. After they measured Henry in Reception class and called him obese I decided I wasn't going to play this game anymore! So I let them know that HM wouldn't be taking part and to redirect the money they might save into paying for someone to feed the starving and neglected old people in hospital. My comments have been passed on to the head of dept.