The life of me

DIY Christmas Gifts….

I love how creative children are. They see things in a completely different way to us.. I decided to encourage the creativity of my nephew’s love of cars this Christmas. Not only is it reusing resources and stopping them from being dumped in landfill.. it is loved by my nephew and pretty easy to create!

I purchased a wooden reel from a local scrap store. If you haven’t visited one then you really should they are amazing!!

 

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I also purchased some black chalk paint from Amazon. I love this stuff… it can be used to paint most surfaces and drys as a chalkboard. I thought this was the perfect way to paint the reel, that way my nephew can draw and create whatever he wants on it using chalk!

 

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Kindly enough I received some AstroTurf free from a local scrap store. I used this to decorate the top of the reel and added  a few dinosaurs purchased from Amazon too! I created a city using some chalk pens from Amazon. These are great and easily wipe off tables and wooden surfaces, as well as this chalk board paint too.

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The most open ended presents are the best right?!

I hope you had a great Christmas…

As always let me know your thoughts!

#MissPinnock

 

 

The life of me

7 Fun and Educational Ways to Pass the Time Indoors with the Kids this Winter

I am excited to post this written by a guest blogger:
Carrie Spencer created The Spencer’s Adventures to share her family’s homesteading adventures where she shares tips on living self-sufficiently, fruit and vegetable gardening, parenting, conservation, and more. She and her wife have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 goats, 32 chickens, and a whole bunch of bees. Their goal to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally-consciously as possible.
blog2019
Image via Pixabay

 

When the weather outside is frightful, the kids can get rambunctious and bored. On those inclement weather days, you might need a few tips to help keep your children engaged, entertained, and occupied. In this article, we discuss seven kid-friendly activities best enjoyed indoors, to offer fun and educational relief this winter.

 

Cooking and Baking Lessons

Bust out the old cookbooks or find an easy-to-make dessert online for baking lessons in the kitchen. Don the aprons and enjoy some quality bonding time over a mixing bowl. The kids will learn about ingredients and following directions. As a reward, they’ll get to enjoy their creations.

 

Virtual Travel Learning

Make use of screen time by creating a digital adventure. Consider choosing a new country and encourage your little ones to learn about its geography on a map, native wildlife, and culture. Create ongoing activities by having your children draw their favorite animals from other parts of the world, or play dress-up to reflect the cultural garb to celebrate worldly traditions.

 

Herb Gardening

Sometimes, kids need a little dirt in their hands. Consider creating a small herb garden and let them cultivate their minds, too. They can learn responsibility while watering and maintaining the health of the garden. After your herbs have fully grown, you can use them to create delicious dishes for the whole family.

 

Family Time Capsule

You may not be able to go outside to bury a family time capsule right now, but you can certainly take advantage of the indoor time to create one. This is a great way for the kids to reflect when they’re older and return to the time capsule. Have them create lists of their likes and dislikes, decide what toys or trinkets to include, and look for newspaper clippings. Pick out family photos together and add them to the capsule.

 

Reading

Encourage your children to read, whether it be a book, magazine, or on a device. Reading is one of the best resources for developmental learning and can also be one of the toughest to convince your kids to do. Let them have their screen time if it helps; you can download apps and e-books for your kids to use. Be mindful to always keep your devices protected, as well. The little ones may cozy up to your smartphone with snacks and hot chocolate, neither of which you’ll want to end up all over the device. Consider a LifeProof case to protect your phone from water, slobber, drops, and crumby fingers—all while giving your kids complete access to the phone’s functions. You’ll rest assured knowing they’ll be enthralled in a reading activity and have the ability to scroll and navigate properly without damaging the device.

 

Old-Fashioned Board Games and Puzzles

Your children may spend much of their time with video games and online funny cat videos. So, the old-fashioned board games might be a source of new-to-them entertainment. Introduce siblings to Battleship or play a friendly game of Sorry as a family. Even the only child families can enjoy new versions of solitaire card games. Learning a new game or engaging thoughtful patience over a puzzle can be wonderful in skill development.

 

Kid-Friendly Workouts

If your little’s are bouncing off the walls and brimming with energy with nowhere to put it, consider some family aerobic exercise. Have everyone sport their best workout gear and get moving! You can walk them through a video or two of dance routines or have them use hula hoops. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them the importance of proper stretching. Whichever workout you choose, the kids are bound to burn off energy and have fun at the same time.

 

If playing in the great outdoors isn’t an ideal option, there’s plenty of educational and fun activities the kids can enjoy inside. In case they come out to tell you they’re bored, have a roster of learning and entertainment ideas ready for them. You’ll not only help them pass the time, but you’ll also be fostering an environment of learning at home.

 

The life of me

Simple activities are sometimes the best!

My class loved entering the classroom this week and seeing a selection of Christmas books, a Christmas tree and advent calendars too.

I created an activity of wrapping boxes for Xmas presents and they absolutely loved it! The children dressed up like elves and wrapped the presents carefully. It also linked into the English lessons of using the language of first, next, then and finally!

I found this idea on an Instagram page so I tweaked it to fit our class puppet Gertrude. A simple assessment of finding out who can write their numbers and letters the write way around. It’s been a huge focus this week as some children are still finding it tricky.

Check out the link of this resource and download it for free on my resources page on Sunday!

I was amazed at how many children chose to sit and do this activity!

Dojo points definitely helped.. some children received 10.

The children have also been busy creating repeated patterns and using an iPad to capture it. The use of technology is great in provision. I often use them when the children build models too!

Just a few more weeks of the festive fun, we can do this!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Can I go and play now?!

If you are a teacher within the Early Years or KS1, there must have been a time when you have called a child to the table to complete some work with you and they have replied with – can I go and play now?

I was lucky enough to meet the amazing author, Greg Bottrill, who has written the book ‘Can I go and play now?’ Listening to part of his talk was extremely inspiring and linked to all of the reasons and values of why I became a Primary School Teacher.

Greg discussed the importance of inputs and hooks for children’s learning – ‘learning should be like poetry,’ with children’s interests woven into how we teach the curriculum.

I love Greg’s idea’s about the magic door. Greg’s suitcase is the planning, and he walks through the magic door into children’s adventures. He provides the skills children need within that adventure and then he lets them continue with their adventure.

No child wants to go on your adventure! Just like us, as adults we are more interested on going on our own ‘adventure.’

Everyone wants to go on a journey, but their own journey. Children learn so much more from going on their own adventures.

When having a discussion with Greg he pointed out a really interesting fact.

Every Roald Dahl books shows the importance of children. Children are portrayed as the ‘magical characters’ and the adults are less important. It gets you thinking right?

Greg also speaks about the ’emotional connection.’ I talk about this a lot in my blog. Children need that emotional connection with others.

Building that emotional connection with pupils is something I really ensure I do. Having a sense of humour, listening to the child, having empathy and showing care is all so important. As recently shown on my blog, I remember packing away all the things in my classroom and a child gave me this card. She waited patiently until I opened it and my eyes filled with tears as I read it. My mission was complete. I had built an emotional connection that will be remembered forever.

‘Children don’t learn from people they don’t like!’ – Rita Pierson

Children don’t always remember what you have taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Greg discusses the constrains of the curriculum demands, school assessment policy, Ofsted…that get in the way (known as the grey area).

He discusses the Yellow area – children’s curiosity, creativity, the skills needed for the unpredictable jobs and future ahead.

Unfortunately this yellow area often gets covered by the grey area.

Greg also talks about the emotional connection known as the black area. Emotional connection in learning and through building positive relationships. Children sense the energy of a teacher and the enthusiasm. Throughout my year of teaching Reception every few minutes a child is proudly showing me a model. I constantly hear:

Miss Pinnock come into my castle or would you like some tea over here? Come to my party , its about to start – I will give you cake!

After talking to Greg I have realised that the children are inviting me into their magical world. Their own adventures linked to their interests and that’s the moment I can use my skills, to get down to their level and provide them with further skills before letting them continue in their magical world.

Children are magical. Children see things completely different to us. They are magic and learning needs to be magic – not like robots. -Greg Bottrill

To enhance the learning in maths this week I have planned a shape hunt that consists of 2D and 3D shapes. Letting children move away from the ‘focus table’ and explore their surroundings by searching for shapes in the environment brought so much creativity, curiosity and interests. Children found shapes in objects I would have never even seen as an adult. As we grow our imaginations get squeezed out of us but a child see’s the world in a completely different way.

This activity meant that all children were engaged and learned the skills needed to name each shape – 2D and 3D. A child picked up his shape hunt sheet at the end and said – “Can I bring it home?” And I never heard the words.. ‘Can I go and play now?’ Why? Because to them they were playing and playing was valued!

Greg is such an inspirational person. He has lots of talks and visits to offer schools.

Take a look at his blog for more details:

Can I go and play now

As always let me know what you think!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Jack and the beanstalk!

We’ve had a long term – (perhaps a little too long) of looking at the book Jack and the Beanstalk.

This has brought so much awe and wonder to the children.

First they found footprints, a giant shirt and giant boots!

What are these? Who do they belong to? Why are they here?

Later on they found the book wrapped up and they were all so excited to read it.

The giant sent the children a letter apologising for leaving all the mess and he gave them some ‘magic beans’ (sunflower seeds) to grow.

The children loved watching them grow and explored what happened when they watered them. They decided to bring them home on Mother’s Day, with their Mother’s Day card!

The giants footprints were used to measure and compare the children’s feet in provision. Children were inspired to work together to build a giants castle.

We used the forest school area to search for the giant, chanting the song: were going on a giant hunt were going to catch a big one were not scared… uh oh..

We used positional language to model obstacles in our way and to make decisions of how to get passed.

The children loved writing letters back to the giant and getting ready to post it!

Such a cross curricular activity – the fun never ends!

#jack and the beanstalk

#misspinnock