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Recycled Carton Bird Feeders

Recycled Carton Bird Feeders


Recycled Carton Bird Feeders - Spring and Summer Activities for Kids


Well it is May already and I don't know about you but I am really enjoying the slightly warmer weather! Its refreshing being able to get outdoors without lots of layers! We have taken to the garden most evenings now the lighter nights are here! We have been enjoying lots of games and of course the garden tidy up ready for Summer. We have been looking at different areas where the children can leave their mark. 

I love nothing more than children's creations and so today I am sharing with you some beautiful coloured carton bird feeders we have made to help our garden birds that visit a few times each day.
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Amy Louise
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Pirate Themed Tuff Tray

Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


Pirate Themed Tuff Tray


It's a very miserable May day today. I am sitting down with a brew and sharing with you a wonderful Pirate themed tuff tray created by the lovely Sue Baxter. Sue Baxter joins us often here on Learning and Exploring Through Play, and shares the fabulous play set ups she has carefully planned for the children. The activities link to topics, personal interests of the children, celebrations - you name it! 
Sue is an outstanding rated childminder and after seeing her play invitations she sets up for the children daily - its clear to see why!
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Amy Louise
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The Inequalities Of Parenthood

The Inequalities Of Parenthood


The Inequalities Of Parenthood


We live in a society of inequalities. Some people have too much money for their own good while others are forced to sleep on the street and beg to survive. When it comes to gender inequality, it is difficult to fully understand how the western society deals with the two most common genders, being male and female. There is also a gender-neutral type that has emerged, but it is currently still too early to evaluate the social discrimination – if there is any – about it. At the workplace, there is no denying that in the majority of roles, women are still paid less than men. When it comes to gender inequality, it is often portrayed as social discrimination against women. Would you be surprised to know that women are equally guilty of gender discrimination against men? As surprising as it sounds, ladies, we can sometimes be just as bad as our male fellows, especially when it comes down to pregnancy and parenting. Care to think about how to make dads feel less excluded from it? Here’s how.

The Inequalities Of Parenthood
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Amy Louise
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We're Going on a Bear Hunt Small World

We're Going on a Bear Hunt Small World


We're Going on a Bear Hunt Sensory Small World

I am super excited to share with you a 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt's' Small World we have made!
If you follow us over on Instagram you will know that we are very outdoorsy. Whilst out on our ventures it's common for stories to creep into what we are doing and we enjoy reciting and chanting parts of the story. We're Going on A Bear Hunt is one that we do quite often, especially as we reach the squelchy mud!
It's a story that's been a favourite world wide for a quarter of a century - children (and adults) love it! If you haven't seen the animation that they released Christmas 2016 - put it on your to do list! It's brilliant! Today I am sharing with you how you too can make a small world inspired by this wonderful book.

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Amy Louise
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Bird Themed Tuff Tray

Bird Themed Tuff Tray


Bird Themed Tuff Tray


We have the wonderful Sue Baxter joining us today sharing another fabulous Learning Through Play set up. Sue is a childminder, rated outstanding by Ofsted and its easy to see why. We have already been lucky enough to see activities she has shared with the children for Duck Week, Easter, Pancake Day, St Davids Day, Spring and we have more coming! 

Today Sue is sharing with us a Bird Themed Tuff Tray her children have enjoyed playing with. A bird topic is an evergreen topic to cover with the children. Throughout the year birds need our help and through these trays and activities we can teach children all about the birds we see out and about and discuss ways we can help them - for example making homemade bird feeders, recycling and making your own feeding stations, providing bird houses for birds to nest with their eggs. 
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Amy Louise
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Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels

Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels


Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


I love it when one activity spontaneously creates a new one. My daughter had just finished painting her Recycled Carton Bird Feeders, I took a glance over at all the paint left over and it was perfect for an activity I have been wanting to do again for a long time - using water colours to paint on kitchen roll.

We have done this for fun before and created a beautiful Butterfly Craft with it. Today we set it up just for fun. The art technique we experimented with did link in brilliantly with the art Jackson Pollock was famous for! Lots of fun! We enjoyed painting in the style of Jackson Pollock in the Summer last year on a much larger scale but this activity was perfect for the table top. 


Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


You will need:
Surface/Container 
Paint
Water
Pots
Paint Brushes
Jug


Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


I set this activity up outside. You can create the watered down colours prior to the activity if you wish however do keep in mind having children involved in the whole process is important. I have my daughter the opportunity to add water to the pots and she did a brilliant job! She concentrated and used her hand eye co-ordination when pouring the water. We used a small gravy jug that worked excellent for little hands. I also used recycled yogurt pots to mix our paint in. 

Initially the water sat over the paint. The paint didn't move from the bottom. As she started mixing she was amazed to see the vibrancy of the paint appear in the water. 
TIP: The more paint you use in the pots the more vibrant the colour will be.


Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


Once all your colours are mixed up ready, reach for the paper towels. It was a windy day today but we were able to keep the towels held down with the pots of paint. Once the water was being added we had no issues with the wind lifting up the towels. Neve did a great job of placing the towels around the tray and making sure it was all covered up. 

Then it was the fun part. Getting stuck in and flicking down the paint. You could see the paper towel soaking up the watercolours before your eyes. 
My daughter loved the freedom of being able to use gross motor movements to paint, making this a must do activity outdoors for us. I love when children have no restrictions and if I was doing this indoors I would have had to have encouraged her to use much smaller motions. 


Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


It wasn't long before the paper towels were completely covered over with a beautiful array of colours that had worked their way into mixing with one another. In addition to this activity we were able to touch upon a little science too. We spoke about how the paper towels looked and felt and I asked my daughter what she thought may happen if we left the paper towels so wet outside. 

Here is our activity in action:



Come and follow us on YouTube for lots of play ideas in action. 

A few hours later we returned to see the sun had been super busy and had absorbed the water making the paper towels dry. It was no suprize that my daughter insisted to do the activity all over again.
Lots of fun! I am looking forward to doing this activity again with her soon.

Have you ever done this activity? Get in touch and send some of your photos to us! We love seeing what you have been busy doing.

Painting with Watercolours on Paper Towels - Preschool Process Art


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You may also like:

Nursery Rhyme Crafts - Once I caught a Fish alive    St Patricks Day activities for kids    Process Art Drip Painting


Space Themed Sensory Play    Easter Activities for kids    Three Little Pigs sensory play


Spring Themed Sensory Bag    Easter Activities for kids. Cross Suncatcher Craft    Duck Themed Activities. Duck Tuff Tray.



Literacy Ideas for the Classroom. Story Chair.    Creative Area ideas for the Classroom.    Shirt and Tie Fathers Day Card Creative Area ideas for the Classroom.


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Amy Louise
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Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

Creative Area Ideas for Early Years


Creative Area Ideas for Early Years

I have been stumbling across some pretty awesome ideas for your Early Years classrooms. I thought it would be great to bring these ideas together and collectively share them all with you. Whether you run your own daycare, work in a school setting or if you have young children at home - this collection of amazing ideas will no doubt inspire you to bring even more fun and adventure to your settings. Today we are looking at the Creative Area. 

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Amy Louise
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Mess Free Painting Colour Mixing

Mess Free Painting Colour Mixing




Over the last 4 years, particularly when my daughter was younger we often enjoyed mess free sensory activities. I started off with mess free painting and sensory bags as not only were items contained but my daughter suffered with eczema. I had to be very careful about what I exposed her skin to. She began reluctant to explore hands on so these opportunities offered a stepping stone for her. She now can't get enough and there isn't a day that passes where shes not keen to get her hands stuck in and get messy. Sometimes children need to be eased into getting used to having their hands messy.

Now we have babies in our household again I was keen to make some more sensory bags for the boys to explore whilst enjoying tummy time. We made a range of sensory bags which included these mess free - colour mixing paint bags. The boys enjoyed watching the paint move around in the bag and seemed fascinated with the sensation. Through the laminating pouch you could feel how cool and squidgy the paint was. Again the boys sadly suffer with eczema so I am again being cautious of what I expose their skin to. 

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Amy Louise
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Duck Themed Spring Tuff Tray

Duck Themed Spring Tuff Tray


Duck Themed Spring Tuff Tray


With Spring in full swing here in the UK and April showers falling, it really is the duck happy season! We love feeding ducks all year round but there is something about seeing the ducks waddling around happily in the showers that pour suddenly. 

There are so many lovely stories and nursery rhymes that would accompany play set ups perfectly. Today we have the lovely Sue Baxter here to share with us her Duck Themed Tuff Tray she set up for her children to enjoy.

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Amy Louise
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Summer Toys for Kids

Summer Toys for Kids


Summer Toys for Kids



With Summer approaching us before we know it, it’s time to start gathering some fun SUMMER toys for kids and I’m sharing some of my favourites today!
When summer hits around here, it’s go time for the kids! They’re outside playing and much of the time is spent playing with fun toys. They really love getting new toys for summer every year - it’s a huge favourite for our kids. When the whole family joins in, summer toys are a great opportunity to play games together and we all love it!

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Amy Louise
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Flockmen

Flockmen


Flockmen - Open Ended Play Toys that grow with your child. Natural Toys for children.


Over the last few years we have been carefully taking into account the toys we offer our children. I am really keen on having as many open ended resources available to play as possible.
Open ended resources ignite a child's imagination and you will discover (quite quickly) that they hold a little ones attention much longer than a toy that is for a specific reason.

Open ended toys can be used in a number of ways so from one day to the next they may be selected for different reasons. With simple toys children can make up their own games and lead their own play and learning. The toy doesn't dictate what must happen in order for it to work. For example if a toy has a button, the child needs to press the button to operate it. It's simple and will no doubt be enjoyed but the play and learning is very limited.

Open ended toys that can be used in a variety of ways and include blocks, dolls, small world items can promote learning in many ways. Children can problem solve, experiment, create, design and imagine. Through open ended toys children develop their cognitive skills, playing with and alongside their peers helps develop social development in addition to fine motor skills.
Giving children the opportunity to explore and trial, also experience a boost in their confidence and self esteem.
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Amy Louise
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Cross Suncatcher Craft

Cross Suncatcher Craft


Cross Suncatcher Craft - Easter Crafts for Kids


Embrace that beautiful Spring Sunshine with this colourful Cross Suncatcher Craft. Easter is lots of fun as we gather together for parties, are challenged by the Easter bunny to go on Egg hunts however it's also useful to touch upon why Easter is special.
Regardless of what religion you are part of, teaching children about either your own religion AND others is very useful. Not only does it give them an insight to beliefs but it also teaches them to respect faith.

This Cross Suncatcher Craft is particularly great to make around the Easter period and a talk to the children about the Resurrection of Jesus.

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Amy Louise
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