Saturday, 26 February 2011

fish fabric art

Fabric makes the most wonderful expressive material, and particularly lends its self to sea scenes. This "picture" was created using some of the fish painted in the fish stick painting session. I have a host of photos along the same theme as this and will post tomorrow but right now can't find and need sleep.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Fish Stick painting

Couldn't resist the pun!! These fish made from paper pates with a triangle cut out and stapled to the opposite side make lovely fish. These ones were given an extra dimension by scratching on scales with twigs and sticks found in the garden (children's idea), they then painted little fish with the sticks, which proved to be a great motivator for reluctant pre writers.

A great how to can be found at Enchanted Learning

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Funky Foam Fishing

From boats to fishing....
Funky foam makes most wonderful fish (if a little dead, floating on water), when accompanied by a tea strainer, mini fishing net or in this case a spoon? It provides a great fishing activity. I originally did this a responsive activity in pre-school sunday group where I wrote words on one side, with affirming words about what God thought of the, subsequently a memory verse. You could equally do the affirming words with any group of children, even allowing the children to each pass thier fish to a friend. This group of fish had various emotions drawn on to allow discussion about emotions, there are any number of possibilities (speech sounds, numbers, phonics, colours...) and plain simple free play too.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Row Row Row Your Boat

That classic children's song/rhyme Row Row Row Your Boat, has a few verses added by creative persons along the way no doubt but most people stick to merrily rowing and screaming at crocs. So I've collected them together (If you want it in pdf/ ppt. let me know and i'll mail it until I get my website sorted) including some lovely Christian verses that would most defiantly complement a few Bible stories (including Paul at Sea)

Monday, 21 February 2011

Paul at Sea

There are sooooo many Bible stories featuring boats! Here's one that isn't a "classic" children's Bible story, and certainly not one that has an abundance of ideas relating to it on the web.
Paul at sea snack: Boats made out of small slices of cake with half a bread stick with a rice paper triangle stuck on with melted chocolate pushed in the top to represent a sail.
I am a passionate believer in giving children the freedom to express themselves creatively and not stifling or constraining their creative and exploitive interests. I think this is particularly relevant in "christian responses" where creativity and exploration in many forms mould our understanding and indeed our application of Biblical messages,and even more so in childhood. This theory is well established through the theological model of Godly Play and catechesis of the Good Shepherd, but are probably not widely acknowledged beyond these circles. For those not following these models due possibly in many cases to the high levels of structure and "rules" which possibly put many people off and do not fully express the church, family or individuals character fully, I think there is a middle ground to be found. One that incorporates the nature and ethos of Godly play but expresses the character of the church, family or individuals exploring the Bible with children. The middle ground exists when one acknowledges the foundational theories of Godly play, that is (I believe) the freedom to respond to and explore theological/ biblical stories/ ideas within a safe and accepting environment in a personal and sometimes group dynamic, through the medium and depth one chooses to. Two publications which explore the ethos underpinning Godly play are Playful Orthodoxy and Church at Play and are well worth a read if you are interested in giving children the freedom to respond to and explore the Bible in a meaningful and respectful way.

With regard to my response to Godly Play I think you will realise that whilst I am not a stoic puritan on the programmes application I believe there is significant merit in the ethos and its use as a foundation for any programme that is biblically responsive. In particular relevance to craft I feel the more freedom we can allow children to have when responding to bible stories the better (that is not to say that on occasion a pre designed craft does not have relevance, but feel the question should always be (as with all childhood planning) why am I doing this?)

In response to Paul at Sea, free collages relating to God being with us all the time.

Paper plates used for snack to make snakes, in relation to Paul getting bitten by a snake once docked.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Maisy's Bus

Today more laminated props, this time for the lovely story of Maisy's Bus.
The road is made of a length of hessian (used to tie young trees to a steak)
The pieces were drawn and laminated (front and back of bus) with window of the bus cut out before laminating.
Putting velcro on the back of the bus allowed the characters to be stuck into their seats and driven along (characters also drawn and coloured both sides so the they can be seen both sides of the bus)
This is such a simple story it lends its self to retelling by the child with or without text, and allows opportunities to add more story lines and different journeys.

This lovely book is available through Amazon, and load of other book sellers (in UK often reduced in The Works)

Maisy's Bus is also available on YouTube.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Hooray for Fish

Matching words to pictures.
I simply love Hooray for Fish so simple, but wonderful illustrations and text!! I made these cards some time ago and they haven't been used for months then all of a sudden today- look! Don't you just love how you think something has past its use then all of a sudden it's used again.
Words and pictures all matched!

I love using props and pictures to accompany stories (particularly favourites) and find they are so useful for extending and engaging involvement in the story. You can download my story cards from TES Connect.

There is a video available on youtube of this wonderful story too!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Charity Shop Finds

Another successful shop at the most wonderful charity shop ever (in USA I think you call them thrift stores, the money goes to the specific charity though in this case Salvation Army). A sandwich bag of assorted characters , a Fimbles bag and a baby einstein photo album.
Butterfly life cycle puzzle and bugs matching book.
A little worse than wear tool kit/ work bench. It's rather wobbly with paint worn away, but nothing a little tlc won't fix!!!

Will post the outcomes/ uses found for all the items...

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Valentines playdough and sewing

Cut felt hearts (poundland dish clothes again) joined together with safety pins for the sewing process. The stitches to be guided with penned dots.
Play dough tray, with heart cutters (poundland), heart silicone cup cake cases (poundland), heart tin with buttons in, red playdough, rolling pin and little modelling knifes.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Five Favourite Valentines blogs

I din't have time to take photos today (couldn't post without so boring so googled this one, playdough tray tomorrow) so am giving you links to my five favourite blogs that suggest Valentines activities for preschoolers (mainly Montessori based), hope you will find then as inspiring as I do.

Valentine's card making basket @ Chasing Cheerios

February shelf activities (montessori) @ Counting Coconuts

Valentine's activities @ My Montessori Journey

Valentines shelf activities @ Montessori Spanish

Sorry one that I couldn't really pass without drawing your attention to it, it is not strictly a "children's activity" but think you could use with children very successfully.
Heart Page Markers @ It's all Fiddle Fart

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Valentines Activities

5 Pretty flowers song I created to the tune of five current buns. I have created a little song box to accompany the rhyme (I actually did it the other way around but...that's just highlighting the outcome before the activity frame of mind I'm disposed to I guess) I added, a little bag, purse money song card and created peg flowers. I wrote the cost on the flowers to support in adding money (for those at that level, not necessary though)
Copy and print the rhyme below to create your own rhyme box.

Extending from the popular button snake, I've created a button heart. Incorporating size into the activity and a bit of problem solving required to thread the hearts in the correct size order.

Sorting felt hearts (and a bow) by colour/ shade.
Creating repeating patterns from the sorted hearts.

Monday, 7 February 2011

valentines pairs

So here starts the Valentines activities...
Stones painted with matching hearts.
Turn all stones over, turn two over at a time to match pairs. Play alone or in twos.
Stored in a gift box.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bottle filling

On closer inspection of old photos it would seem we have done a fair few bottle filling activities, all of which have been well received particularly for those with enclosure schemas.
Putting pasta bows into wide necked bottles (they could be shock out after and reused)
Rice scooped carefully into the bottle and then poured out again, to do it all over again!!!
Placing gems and pom-poms into a bottle

Discovery Colour Bottles

I've been going through old photos and found these, made some time ago but still in use! Originally made for a very little person as a rattle/ sensory toy helped to create by a little bit (but not much) bigger person with the aim of developing their fine motor skills and colour sorting concepts. I simply added a little hot glue to the inside of the lid before screwing on very tightly, but plastic glue also works. Making the bottles was especially enjoyable and probably looking back the most fun sorting activity to date, maybe should do that again (we can cut bottles afterwards to get tiny bits out I guess).

Little person much enjoyed shaking, rolling and placing in and out of box, bigger person enjoyed tidying into correct colour spaces in box. They have since had use as; skittles, good for instructions too knock red then blue down, and colour language e.g. what colours have you knocked down?; driving round in trailers (coloured milk delivery); and as fizzy drinks in roll play...

The bottles make wonderful sensory toys for children with a range of special educational needs, and the best thing is you can personalise to individual needs e.g use bottles with handles to assist grasp, make sound bottles for those with visual impairments, themed bottles for those with particular interests.

There are a host of ideas for discovery bottles online such as Kinder friends, Dr Jean and Mrs. Pohlymeyers class.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Matching Pegs

Surprise, surprise another MIY creation, and as is often the case incredibly simple create. Collect embellished pegs (the kind you simply can't resist at the craft stall but have no actual use for them), cut out little squares of card, and draw pictures that match those of the embellishment. The fortunate thing is most of these are simple pictures so easy yo recreate. On the back you could write the name, when the child is ready they can match to the name and self check from picture (or cheat?). If the cards are going to be used excessively I suggest you laminate.