Monday, 29 April 2013

Colour matching with The Princess and The Wizard

Are you familiar with the authour Julia Donaldson? I'm sure you'll recognise her monster the Gruffallo. This month the Poppins Book Nook theme is wizards. We chose to read The Princess and The Wizard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. 

A wizard rather rudely interrupts a birthday party and turns the guests to stone. The plucky princess has to work out how to reverse the spell by changing her colour and shape.

We used the story as inspiration for a colour hunt. I wrote the names of several colours in English and Spanish on a sheet and The Fairy collected items to match.

Although The Fairy can't read yet her interest in text is growing and I'm keen to develop this in a gentle way. I'm keen to create a 'print rich environment';  naturally using writing in our activities is one way to do this. As we are a bilingual family I'm also keen for her to see Spanish as well as English text in her environment.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Gardening in small spaces

Do you only have a small space where you can grow things? Never fear - growing things is still possible! We are very lucky to have an allotment but we also grow plants and vegetables on our balcony. Infact our crops on our balcony are often more successful on our balcony  than at the allotment as there are no slugs or rabbits to eat the plants.

This year we are growing sun flowers, tomatoes and strawberries. These all grow well in pots so are perfect for our balcony

Gardening provides a great opportunity for talking about what you are doing- digging, watering.

Talking about the difference between seeds and plants.

Looking at roots and talking about how plants drink.

Even if you don't have a balcony you can try growing some plants on a window sill.

We are part of :

The Usual Mayhem Child Central Station

Monday, 15 April 2013

Foil discovery bottle

Discovery bottles are great for entertaining little (and not so little) ones.
discovery bottle

Here is a really simple one we made from left over tin foil from Easter egg wrapping and a juice bottle. You could use regular foil if you didn't have any other spare.

recycled toy

The Fairy helped me to make little balls and pop them inside a clean juice bottle.

discovery bottle

The Frog loved the rattling sound as well as the bright colours.

Have you seen our autumn discovery bottle?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Child led books

I'm really keen to encourage a love of literature and telling stories with our children. Fortunately the kids are keen on this too!

When the lovely Cathy over at Nurturestore shared how she organises her play room, I knew The Fairy would be keen to adopt the idea of 'little books'. You provide your child with some blank books - ready to be filled with illustrations and stories. These make a great addition to a writing or creation station.

The set up is simple - some blank paper folded to make a book and pens/crayons.

Let the authors narrate.

One of my favourite things about this activity is how child led it is. I left a blank book next to where she keeps her paper, she found it and started creating (she did check with me first that it was OK to draw on it!) The when she was finished she came and told The Frog and I her story; then promptly asked for me to make her up a other blank book.

How do you encourage your child to tell and write stories?