Sunday, 22 May 2011

Role Play Washing Line

I put up something really simple in the garden on Thursday which took a matter of seconds to make, but the children spent most of the day playing with it...

It was this little washing line.  I just used some canes I found behind the shed and a bit of gardeners twine.  I have bought some proper washing line and am on the lookout for some logs of some sort to make a more permanant washing line, but this temporary one suited the children just fine.  It just goes to show that expensive toys aren't always the best learning aids for children, a piece of string and some old clothes and some pegs can provide so many learning opportunities for children. It developed their creative development; Being Creative - responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas, Exploring Media and Materials and Developing imagination and imaginative play.  Using the pegs also devleloped their physical development; Using equipment and materials. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Geeses and Gooses and a Little Green Bug..

The children all asked if we could go and see the geese at the lake again today, so we took a walk up there with some bread.  There were so many of them on the bank and they all came down to greet us.  I captured their cute little cheeping noises on my camera.  There were so many of them it was quite noisy!

We didn't stay at the lake long as we had to get back home for Oliver when he finished school.  As we started to head back home, we spotted Oliver on his bike and he rode home with us.

We were half way home when I noticed I had something green on my hand.  I looked down to find it was a little green bug.  I gave it to one of the children and there it stayed on the sleeve of her t-shirt all the way home.  We walked a few metres and we noticed the bug had a little buggy friend; a little black ant which was next to the green bug on her sleeve.  Then when we got home, another little black fly landed on her.  We laughed that she was a little bug-magnet!
We went out into the garden and put them all into our wildlife corner on the ladybird nesting box.  They seemed to like their new home.

Monday, 16 May 2011

New Garden Equipment

Paul spent Sunday afternoon painting our new blackboards for the garden.  I painted some leaves around the edge and Paul put them up on the fence.  The larger of the two sparked great interest with the children and they drew lots of pictures on them.


The thing the children spent the most time playing with today though, was our new Little Tikes "Makin' Mud Pie's" play set. It has a sink, a bowl with a working whisk and a real working tap. We just put water in it today and the children got lovely and wet... actually soaked!  But really enjoyed playing with it.  They also filled up the watering cans and watered the herbs in the sensory garden, the vegetables in the vegetable corner and their sunflower seedlings which are now standing about an inch tall. We also have our very first strawberry!

Our Sunflowers are sprouting!


Our first Strawberry

Oakley Vale Lakes

We go on walks to the lakes in Oakley Vale about 3 times a week. It is only a 20 minute walk from our house (when walking with little ones). When we went today we made sure we took an extra large bag of bread.  There were hundreds of ducks and geese and 3 families of goslings.  I look lots of photos.  They were all so cute and fluffy!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Green Fingers!

Our theme this month is Wildlife.

Paul has been out in the garden this weekend tending to the new improved water feature which will hopefully be home to lots of new wildlife that will be visiting the garden over the coming months. We now have a shallow pool at the end of the stepped rocks where we will be growing lily pads and other water plants.  Of course safeguarding was our number one priority. We have talked about water safety with the children and Paul has also made the water feature completely child proof by installing a metal grid which covers it.

The children have been busy in the garden today, helping to create a wildlife corner which we will be building around the water feature.  We have been planting wild flowers, cosmos and french marigold seeds which we hope will attract lots of ladybirds, dragonflies and butterflies.  The children were also very interested in the new ladybird nesting pole which I installed today.
It has holes drilled upwards into the centre where ladybirds will hopefully take shelter.  We hope that when our seeds start to grow, ladybirds will be attracted to the garden and set up home here.

To help them on their way, all of the children each planted their own "Mammoth" sunflower seeds in a pot which have been labelled.  This variety of sunflower has been known to reach up to 20 feet tall! We will be recording their growth on a chart and will be having a competition to see who's sunflower grows the tallest!

Here is Ella sowing her sunflower seeds.
The rest of our garden is coming on nicely thanks to the children's efforts.  Our strawberry plants which we planted back in March now have several flowers on them and our lettuces are blooming!  The Vegetable corner is really coming along now. The children have been doing a great job watering the seedlings each day.

Our lettuces are blooming!

Our first strawberry flower
   You may also remember last year we were lucky enough to receive a free Rowan tree from the BBC as part of their Breathing Spaces for Schools project.  The Rowan tree was a tiny sapling when it first arrived, with no leaves.  It got a little mistreated in the harsh winter we had and was blown this way and that... We didin't think our little sapling would amount to much.  However look at it now!  Full of leaves and it now standing proudly next to the chicken coop about 3 feet tall.

Well I better dash for now.  I will be back again soon with more updates on what we have been up to and will upload photos of our wildlife corner as it grows.

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