Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Playdough Cupcakes

I only had two little girls to look after one day last week and they asked to make some playdough.

The girls helped to add the ingredients into a big saucepan and we added lots of purple food colouring which they chose themselves. The recipe I use can be found here.

I set it on the hob and stirred it continuously until it formed a doughy consistensy and then set it to cool on the side while we went to play.

Once cooled, the girls practiced rolling, cutting and mark-making in the dough and cutting out little people which I then had to make playdough T-shirts for!


I then provided them with some paper cake cases and some birthday candles and they made some playdough cupcakes.

When Oliver came in and saw we were playing with Playdough he joined us too and made his own cakes! See; not just for girls!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Characteristics of Effective Learning

I have spent the past couple of months reading up on anything and everything to do with the revised EYFS in preparation for 1st September and have discovered that in addition to the 7 areas of Learning and Development there is a huge emphasis on how children learn and how this underpins all learning.

The way in which children engage in activities, are motivated to learn, and think creatively are vital to a child's development.

The Characteristics of effective learning are:

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

I have now revised my observation records to include the Characteristics of Effective Learning and I hope to monitor and audit my continuous provision to ensure I vary the way in which children have opportunities to learn and to support each child's preferred way of learning.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


I have limited spaces availble from September.  The spaces I have available are as follows:

Children aged 0-5

  • Wednesdays - Between the hours of 13:00 - 18:00

  • Fridays - 08:00 - 18:00

School aged children

Spaces are available in the holidays. 

I am unable to do school drop offs or collections at present.

If you know anyone who requires childcare during these hours, please feel free to pass on my details.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Homemade Crayons

Our crayon box was looking a bit sorry for itself last week.  A lot of the crayons were broken and the papers peeling.  I went to Asda and stocked up on new ones but I tried to think of a way of recycling the old ones rather than just throwing them in the bin.  I remembered something I had seen on Pinterest where somebody had melted their old crayons down to make little discs, so I got the children together and we attempted to make our own.

The most time consuming part was peeling off the paper.  The children quickly got bored of this part and I was left to do it myself while they went off to play, but eventually they were all bare and the children came back and helped to break them into little pieces.

We got some paper cake cases which we put in a bun tray and then we began filling them whilst sorting them at the same time.. all the pink ones first... then all the blue ones....

When we were fnished sorting, they looked like this...

I put them in the oven on about 200°C and kept checking on them.  It only took a few minutes before they had melted into liquid in the paper cases.  I took them out of the oven and put them on the side to cool and set. 

After an hour or so they had gone hard so I turned them out of the cases onto a plate.  They had a lovely marbled affect on one side and this colour explosion on the bottom!  The children were very surprised to see what our broken crayons had turned into.

The paper cases had also transformed slighly. They now had a waxy texture and had turned very colourful.  What a shame it would be to put them in the recycling bin!  So out came the glue!  I had run out of green paper so we used green napkins to cut out leaf shapes and long strips for the stems. The children stuck them onto paper to make flowers and drew bees with the new crayon discs.

I cannot believe how easy and effective this activity was and I'm tempted to break up all out new crayons just to do it again!

I was flicking through the summer edition of Creative Steps magazine this morning and saw that they have actually done the same activity in the magazine.  They did some star shapes on theirs and used glitter, which has given me some more ideas for next steps.  Perhaps we will try some different shapes next time we do it and add some different textures.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Olympic Painting

This afternoon, to show support for the GB team, the children did some Olympic painting.

They explored the toilet roll tubes and pushed them into coloured paint to make Olympic rings onto paper. The older children painted unioin Jack flags. 

As with any other messy activity, the children got very messy!

We hung them up to dry and displayed them on the wall when they were dry.


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