Saturday, 29 May 2010

Pom-pom flowers

Maybe this will be the last flower post, unless we get into them again (which is of course entirely possible). This has proved quite popular, which actually surprised me. I only had the brainwave as I was packing away another pom-pom activity and was looking for a place to put the pom-poms, and remembered the making of pop-pom flowers on scarves a week or so ago.

"One test of correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child." Maria Montessori.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Flower parts

I saw this idea in a link on Little Blossoms from The adventures of Bear about a poor man's flower puzzle. The Adventures of Bear's idea used felt, I used funky foam and drew around the pieces to make the guide.

Currently this has not been played with, despite my enthusiasm! I will keep you posted, because I love it and hope it will become a favourite that happens sometimes doesn't it.

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." Claude Monet

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Flower Silhouettes

Was thinking up activities relating to plants and flowers and knowing matching is a popular activity was going to find some pictures online to print and match. But no ink not an option!! However when looking through a Waitrose catalogue thought of making this activity that requires more skills than regular matching and doesn't require a printer, you could do this for any theme or with any clear photos.
  1. Select photos from magazine/ catalogue.
  2. Blue tack the back to piece of black paper.
  3. Cut carefully around picture.
  4. Remove blue tack.
  5. Stick silhouette to some card/ backing paper.
  6. Laminate.
"It's paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play with out seeing the vital connection between them." Leo F. Buscaglia

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

counting ladybirds

Matching ladybirds to the correct number or sum, although only a loose link to flowers and plants is a real favourite. Ladybirds were bought from lakeland in their craft section.

"The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things." Plato

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

How does your garden grow?

With the continued theme of plants and flowers, thought that Mary, Mary quite contrary would be a great little play corner. So here's what's in it.
Book and doll
Flowers poked into the bottom of an egg box
Shells and bells
Flower bead threading
Flower buttoning
Threading flowers with silk flowers

"I was always making up rhymes. But I never thought that poetry would become my life." Saul Williams

Friday, 21 May 2010

Again!!!!! Connecting schema

... Don't worry no more buttons today, not to say not been played with, I'm just not going to talk about them. However I am going to discuss the reasons why we are a little obsessed by them currently, and it's all related to schema's, connecting to be precise.

When we observe children we often see patterns in their play and activity, whether we are looking for it or not, these patterns are referred to as schema. For example an infant repeatedly throwing toys out of pram (trajectory schema), toddler filling bags up with toys and moving around room (transportation and enclosure schema) etc. There have been many schema identified but common ones are:

Enclosure/ enveloping.






Vertical Trajectory.

There are full descriptions in the links on the post about theCookie Cutter size puzzle, post. Observing children's spontaneous actions and play allows us to identify their dominant schema's and thus plan activities that extend learning by presenting activities through preferred format or engage further by offering more sustained activities around the schema.

"Schemas can be regarded as a window into children's learning.

Generally, when children are playing schematically they are intrinsically motivated to learn, resulting in long periods of concentration. Through their schemas, children are 'fitting' various experiences into their current thinking." (Colette Tait,16 December 2004, Nursery World)

Within your continuos provision ensure a range of resources to support children's current schema and enhance provision with resources that lend themselves to supporting particular schema's in an open ended way. For example with a connecting schema a collection of pegs can be used in a range of ways to enhance play and development and support the schema e.g. to secure sheets for a tent, simply clipping to things, joining papers together, attaching to string to join vehicles, attaching to string to make a fishing rod, pegging out washing etc.

Adult led and enhanced provision can also allow children to develop new skills through their schematic preference if adults are creative in their presentation of resources, providing appropriate activities and equipment. Using PLOD planning can be a useful brainstorming activity to allow you think think of ideas to support individual children's needs through dominant schema.

Again!!!!! Connecting schema

Here are a few more example of connecting schema:

"A pattern of repeatable behaviour into which experiences are assimilated and that are gradually co-ordinated. Co-ordinations lead to higher-level and more powerful schemas." Chris Athey, 1990

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Button it

We're still buttoning!!!, Think there's a bit of a connecting schema going on here!!
Button's on ribbon and threading felt rectangles.

Matching button dominoes and joining to make a snake.
'“Such experience is not just play. It is work he must do in order to grow up.'” Maria Montessori

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Flower Power

On this week's theme, this flower buttoning activity has proved incredibly popular this week, it's always so exciting when something that has been around for a while suddenly becomes a favoured item. From the amount of times this (along with other buttoning activities) has been done this week we are going to have expert dressing skills!!

Today's quote is from three year old doing the buttoning after being told, "You have been working hard at doing those buttons and you did them, well done!"
"Yeah, and it is REALLY hard work... But I can do it now!!!"

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Great Plant Hunt ideas

If not a little delayed, here are a few ideas and resource links for the Great Plant Hunt. First idea, create artistic collages of plant/ flowers from fabrics and materials and take photos as the end result.
Create flower arrangements from cut flowers, or pick daisy's and dandelions.
Create collages of flowers from observation.
Jasper's Beanstalk Visual aids for story telling and ordering. Download from TES, you will need to register but it's free (make sure you save your password and username)

Create flowers by threading silk flowers onto pipe cleaners with yellow pom-poms. For larger pom-poms you can thread the pipe cleaner through smaller ones need pipe cleaner folding it over, adult to do this part. You can buy bags of of silk flower petals or purchase cheap lei's from party shops and cut the string off. Make leaves out of funky foam and poke a hole in using a biro. In this example I have created little cards for children to copy patterns, early reading and ordering. But I would not suggest that are used at all times as it may inhibit creativity.

I will be adding a few resources onto all join in printables, but am having a few uploading issues, if you can't wait email me at and I'll email them. There are also a few ideas on the spring themed page.

"If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn."
Andrew V. Mason

Friday, 14 May 2010

Great Plant Hunt Week

Don't you just love it when a thought turns into a fab plan. After yesterday's post about needing to think up some more flower activities, turns out next week is The Great Plant Hunt Week. So some activity ideas, shall be added on Sunday ready for Monday, maybe do tonight or Sat but prob not. Add some ideas (so I can use them) before I do. Definitely check out the website above.

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." Iris Murdoch

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Creative kids...

After Tuesdays post about flower puzzle and enclosure schema, I suggested that I would probably do a little series on Schema. Just to remind me that children don't do what we expect and adapt activities in ways we don't even think of. Certainly many professionals are aversive to using templates for drawing around, but if it's initiated by child I say don't discourage!!

Another activity that does include an element of enclosure, putting pom-poms into a chocolate box. I had not intended the sorting of colours into lines, but I love it when kids spontaneously extend their own learning, as if they know exactly what they need. I guess montessori realised this, and also those who created a host of resources related to working with a child's schema.

And again, a child extends again. Think maybe flower related activities needed!!!
“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” Maria Montessori

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Cookie Cutter size puzzle

Another quick post, which may lead to a little series on schema?? With children who do exhibit schema, enclosure is a particularly common one. When I found these cookie cutters @ you guessed it..."pound land" I thought these will be brill, lots of enclosure fun and tie in some size vocabulary and understanding!!!

A couple of great link about schema in practice

‘Schemas are patterns of linked behaviours, which the child can generalise and use in a whole variety of different situations. It is best to think of schemas as being a cluster of pieces, which fit together. (Bruce)

Monday, 10 May 2010

I Can... people books

Only a short post today but hopefully useful, make these little books to high light what children can do "assessing self". Or to enable them to think of things they (or you) may like to be doing next, when they have achieved it they can decorate that person. This could even be done with one particularly hard to achieve skill, with child decorating each time they achieve it.

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." Frank A. Clark

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Wood blocks

You can buy these fabulous things called "tree blocks", but personally I think taking the kids out in the woods or stopping on the side of the road when you see a tree fallen down is a much better idea than buying them. You can then cut them to size and hey presto a wonderful resource to enhance play and a wonderful addition to your block play resources.

Carefully, Creative... Crash!!!
Enhancing imaginative Play

Supplement with stones, shells and pine cones to create more opportunities, and use outside.

Have FUN!

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation." Plato

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Odd one out tactile activity

Perfect for kids with vision impairment or simply as a sensory activity. Children feel/ look at the three items and identify the odd one out, sticking a golf tee in the hole below to identify the odd one!!!

"I can see, and this is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a man made world." Helen Keller

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Poundland Sensory Stuff

Just saw a post on TES asking for cheap ideas for sensory objects for the sensory room and thought go to poundland!! So just wanted to share a few of the wonderful things you can get there to add to your sensory resources all @ a £1!! Go and explore! Have a look in the pet area too as they usually have some nice sensory balls, and rings etc.
"Play is the beginning of knowledge."