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14 topic support

  1. Growing!

    author: Sue Ridgway summary: The first in a series of articles supporting topic development - with downloadable activity plans. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    ‘Growing’ is always a useful topic for children in the Foundation Stage because it can be firmly rooted in the children and their various experiences. Some of these experiences (such as losing teeth - although not common at this age, I have known it to happen, and they may have older siblings) might trouble them, so this topic can provide reassurance. It can also facilitate a development of understanding that change occurs through life and in the wider world, to whatever degree is appropriate for the children in your charge.

    The topic may be confined to human growth, with links to healthy eating and healthy practices, but can also easily extend to animal, insect, plant and underwater or undersea growth. An interesting extension I have used in the past is to look at cave growth – stalagmites, stalactites and the unique plants and fungi found in this environment. It can help to show the infinite variety of life (and life requirements) on the planet – although these aspects might be a bit much for some children. You will need to pitch your coverage to the children with whom you are currently working.

    Below you can see a graphic depiction of the six areas of learning. If you hover your mouse over these areas you will see a list of suggestions and ideas (commonly called a topic web or mindmap. Click on any of the areas and you will be taken to ideas and activities (including downloadable planning sheets relevant to each area of learning) to do with the topic of growing. The planning sheets are provided in MS Word and pdf (Acrobat Reader) formats. Clicking on the relevant icon will start the download.

     

     

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Photos of life, from baby – adulthood
    • Own baby photos – guess who?
    • Caring for living things – plant, animal, insect
    • Discuss new babies in the family (if appropriate) –can help to cope with jealousy.
    • Photos of family groups – discuss stages of life
    • Circle times
    • Interest tables -seeds/bulbs/fruit etc to explore
    • Group mind mapping of the topic
    • When I was a baby I …….. now I…..
    • Sharing experiences e.g. a visit to caves where growth is different
    • Visits from dental hygienist, health visitor or school nurse

    Activities

    I Can Do /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Our Families /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to mindmap)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Make own books of ‘growing’ stories
    • List of books, both fiction and non-fiction to support topic (link to booklist)
    • Rhymes and songs appropriate to the topic
    • Make signs, labels and prices for role play area
    • Circle times
    • Make plans for growing activities – what they will need, how to etc
    • Storymaking sessions around the theme
    • Making a fruit/veg letter line
    • Scribe for children, encouraging them to attempt.
    • Notepads, pens, magnifying glasses outside
    • Lists, invitations for important life events

    Activities

    Role Play Baby Clinic /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Story Making /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    list of activities in MS Word and pdf format

    (Back to mindmap)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Design and make area
    • Make rain gauges, wind socks, kites, umbrellas etc
    • The water cycle
    • Different types of clouds
    • Make rainbows
    • Investigate the effect of water on different materials
    • Tape and play back our own weather forecasts
    • How extreme weather affects people
    • Looking at puddles and shadows
    • Ice play
    • Hibernation
    • Seasonal changes

    Activities

    Growing Different Plants /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Seasonal Change /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to mindmap)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Measure each other over a period – height, hands, feet.
    • Make a height chart
    • Measure plants
    • Sort seeds
    • Make symmetrical paintings, drawings
    • Sort items of clothing into ages
    • Baking – weighing and measuring
    • Comparisons –tall child, short adult
    • Count and record trees, plants in the outdoor area
    • Share out seeds, using simple number operations
    • Make patterns using seeds/leaves
    • Discuss shapes in nature
    • Sort natural objects by size

    Activites

    Counting and Recording Plants in Outdoor Play /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Measuring our Feet /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to mindmap)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Life needs – how do these differ with type of growth (plant, animal, fungus, mineral)
    • Life cycles
    • Grow caterpillars
    • Re-enact butterfly life cycle in a movement session. Try the same for frogs or plants.
    • How do we feel now? – after above activity
    • Naming the parts – body/plant/insect
    • Keeping healthy
    • Make vegetable soup – healthy eating, hand-eye co-ordination
    • Move like different animals
    • Work together to mirror actions or guess the animal

    Activites

    Be a Seed /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Making Vegetable Soup /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to mindmap)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Butterfly painting
    • Butterfly/plant dances
    • Moving to music like different plants/animals
    • Role play –Garden Centre, baby clinic
    • Look at the works of famous painters, make own interpretation e.g. Sunflowers, Van Gogh.
    • Messy play – compost, ‘cleanish mud’ with digging implements
    • Fruit or veg printing
    • Explore natural textures
    • Collage using natural materials
    • Bark rubbings
    • Observational drawings of seeds, bulbs
    • Singing sessions
    • Act out a ‘growing’ story e.g The Enormous Turnip
    • Make shakers using seeds

    Activites

    Making Shakers /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Mud Pies /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to mindmap)

    right content:

    'Growing' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Growing' forum here

    Other Resources

    • 0 comments
    • 32,395 views
  2. Growing Calendar and Guide

    author: Mundia summary: A gardeners year from a Foundation Stage setting perspective. Hints and tips on beginning to provide some growing experiences for young gardeners. content:

    For those of you that have never really grown anything before in your setting, I hope this guide will give you a useful starting place, and that you are inspired to start. It isn’t by any means exhaustive, but if you worry about what to grow when, then hopefully there will be something you can take away and get excited about (and more importantly, to get the children excited about).

    It seemed a lot easier to think of a growing guide in terms of half terms rather than month by month. The season varies from year to year and also according to where you live. The growing season starts earlier and lasts longer in the south then in the north. Most seed packets give a range for the growing times - take these as good advice but if you are a couple of weeks out here and there it shouldn’t be the end of the world. More importantly, have a go; be prepared for a few disasters here and there, and take it all as a learning curve for both you and the children.

    If you are new to growing food, I would stick to foods you can eat raw for the first season, with the possible exception of potatoes. I would then get more ambitious as you gain more confidence. You can’t really go too wrong with lettuce, salad leaves, radish, carrots, onions and cucumber as well as beans sprouts of all sorts and the usual mustard and cress.

    I’m going to take the growing year as beginning in September, to fit in with the UK ‘academic’ year, and the time when most settings will be taking in new children. Also, if you want to see anything in the miserable winter months, you need to do the groundwork in September and October!

    One of the problems of being in a school or other setting which closes for the summer, is that you need to plan ahead and bring the season forward or you run the risk of the children not seeing anything productive, as your products will mature during the weeks they are away. Also, unless you have a very kind caretaker, you run the risk of plants being damaged by too much sun and no one to look after them. Thinking around this is often a case of trial and error for your location and soil conditions.

    September/October

    What can I plant now?

    • bulbs: If you want some colour in your garden in winter and early spring, plant snowdrops, crocus, cyclamen, daffodils. Once in they don’t need much looking after.
    • Young plants: Now is a good time to buy pansies, violas, and primulas, these will all continue flowering well into the winter, (not planting the seeds at this time though) and if mild enough will continue all through winter into spring. (next year you can plant the seeds in spring).
    • Edible crops: You need to plant quick growing crops at this time of year for speedy results. Radishes can mature in 6 weeks, carrots in about 8 if you grow a small variety (like Parmex which are small round carrots), salad leaves of all sorts, spinach (make sure it is a late sowing variety), at a push even salad onions, which you can eat when they are still quite small. Root vegetables like carrots cannot be transplanted so you need to plant them where they are to grow or pop them into cardboard tube pots or peat pots and transplant the whole lot. I like Swiss chard with its brightly coloured stems and this will survive a cold winter and look great once established, even better when left to flower.
    • Herbs : If you want some quick herbs in a new plot, buy established lavender, rosemary, curry plant and creeping lemon thyme. All are evergreen and you still get the lavender smell from the old dying flowers if you leave some of the plant through the winter. I do, the children love just brushing their hands along it. Children are fascinated by curry plant - it's quite strong smelling and you get wafts of it in windy weather. Rosemary flowers in the winter too, so more to see in those cold months. They are supposed not to like clay soil but mine grow in clay, I just add sand to the immediate growing area when I plant them.

    All of these can be grown in tubs if you don’t have a garden and most of them can be grown indoors, even the herbs, although you may need to keep them trimmed to keep them small. If growing in pots, do make sure they have holes in the bottom and improve the drainage by putting in gravel, bark, or old teabags (yes I mean that!), before adding your compost.

    November/December

    Our autumns have been fairly warm in recent years, so much of the list above can still be planted at a push. You may even pick up some cheap bargains at end of season fairs or garden centres.

    Beware though the early frost. Generally speaking, don’t plant anything outside when there is a frost, as this damages the roots, especially in a clay soil, which holds more water than other soils. If you want to grow some very late carrots, or other veg, then grow them in pots and bring them indoors overnight if it looks cold. If you are planting into a garden bed, mulch well with bark or gravel to help protect them until they become established.

    If you have a garden you do need to tidy it up. If you are in your second season, dig up your dying annuals and collect seeds for next year. Let the children examine seeds, paint them or make some collections for the investigation table. Take seasonal photographs. Keep your perennials in, it gives height to the garden and also provides a habitat for hibernating insects and also seed for birds.

    If you have clay soil and this is your first year, dig it over and leave the big clumps as they are….let the frost do the work for you, it will be easier to dig in spring. If this is your first season and you have recently acquired a small plot or garden, cover it with black plastic sheets and leave it for the winter. This will kills off grass and many weeds and you will just need to dig it over in the spring.

    This is the time to try some fun things indoors. Lots of kitchen food can be grown eg avocado, carrot tops, onions (to see how they grow), apple and orange pips etc. Try scooping out a large carrot (so that it doesn’t split) and fill the reservoir with water. Skewer it and hang it up, the leaves grow round the carrot. Do this with parsnip and even beetroot. If you want to show the white flower changing colour, gently split the stem and put each bit in a different colour. Do this with celery and you get stripes…you do need a dark colour though like red or blue. Grow bean sprouts and eat some nutritious sandwiches.

    Use this time as well to plan what you want to grow for the space you have, the time, and your interest and experience. Planning now will save time later.

    January/February

    You should start to see some bulbs now, depending on the winter; it’s the first burst of colour you will see in the garden. Your pansies and primulas should still be going, and you will also see crocuses and snowdrops, and cyclamen. If you have had a warm season so far, you will even see the daffodils popping up now.

    Now is the time to buy seeds that you want to grow this season. Broad beans can be sown early February, they are traditionally one of the earliest vegetables to grow. You can also plant early varieties of carrots, onions and potatoes now, although you will need to start them covered or use a fleece to keep off the frosts. Better still, grow what you can indoors or in a greenhouse if you are lucky enough to have one. You can buy relatively cheap plastic cold frames or mini greenhouses and these are ideal as you can dismantle them when not in use.

    I use this time to prepare the beds for the growing season; if the winter is mild you’ll see new shoots on any perennials starting to pop up. This is when I cut back the old growth (some people do this in the autumn, but I like to have something to look at through the dreary winter). If you have a bare bed, dig it over on a nice sunny day.

    March/April

    • Edible crops: This is the month you need to do some serious thinking and what you plant now will be affected by when Easter falls. If you are in an all year setting, this won’t affect you, but if you are going to be closed for 2 weeks at Easter, what you don’t want is plants germinating so the children don’t see them, or drying up because there is no one to water them. On the other hand if Easter falls later as it does this year (2006), leaving it until after the holiday leaves you short of time. Most plants will take around 2 weeks to germinate so I would suggest you plant either early in March so you have decent sized seedlings, or in the last week before the holiday. Carrots and onions can be planted in succession so if you planted some in February you can plant more now. You can plant tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumber, courgette now. Think in terms of the space you have. Cucumbers, courgettes, melon, squash all take up a lot of room and need a lot of water. Beans can also take up room, unless you go for a bush crop variety. For children, Id grow the tumbler variety of tomatoes, you can use a pot or even a hanging basket for these. These are easier to manage and take up a lot less space. They produce masses of small cherry like tomatoes so they are easier to eat too. If you have plenty of room, I would grow sweetcorn, children just seem to love this. Sweetcorn needs to be planted in a block rather than a row so you do need space for this.
    • Flowers: If you want flowers until the autumn, then now is the time to plant them too. Depending on what you want, sweet peas are lovely and scented, and very easy to grow. I love nasturtiums, their flowers are lovely, they can be eaten too, and they self seed which means you will have them popping up all over the place in a couple of years (great if you really don’t like gardening much). They are also great for observational paintings. Any bedding plants will soon cheer up a new bed, go for ones you like the look of. If you want something interesting for the children, chocolate cosmos really does smell of chocolate (but the slugs love it so do protect them); and the sensitive plant is appealing as the leaves curl up when touched.
    • Herbs: I think herbs are great and they are not difficult to grow on the whole. I’d go for ones that smell, like mint, sage, thyme (lemon thyme is nice), basil, coriander, chives, chamomile or oregano. I’m a bit partial to bronze fennel which looks and smells wonderful and you can nibble the seeds raw. These can all be sown from seed, and grow well in pots. Some are annual like basil and will need replacing every year, others are perennial like chives and will just give you bigger and bigger clumps every year. They are ideal if you have a garden bed but don’t really want to spend a lot of time managing it. Mint has very invasive roots so unless you want a bed full of mint, I'd grow it in a pot.

    Ok, so you’ve got Easter holiday out of the way and your topic is growing. Your season is now very short if you want to produce anything before July. However if you’ve not been too well organised, don’t despair, you can still grow quick growing varieties of carrots, salad crops, spring onions, radishes that will mature in anything from 6-12 weeks. You can also put in maincrop potatoes but your best crop will now be in September.

    May

    This is when you will be planting on and transplanting outside. You can ruin an entire crop now if you ignore those late frosts. If you live in the south the chances are your last frost would have been in April, but midlands northwards, and there’s still a chance of frost in May. Protect your tender seedlings, tomatoes, basil, cucumber, beans with fleece or cloches (those large plastic bottles are ideal for this). This is the time to think about looking after what you have got.

    Slugs and snails.

    You will see these around from March onwards if its been mild but your newly transplanted seedlings are fresh material and can be decimated in one night. They will adore your chocolate cosmos and I have seen many a basil crop ruined by slugs in a day or two. There are a number of things you can do, the more the better really, as I feel that attack from several angles is better. If you want to be organic, then don’t put down pellets. Snails have a homing range of quite a long way so don’t be tempted to chuck them into the neighbours garden (!), they will come back. Try these approaches.

    • Sadly, by far the best way of removing snails and slugs is to go out at night with a torch and collect them up. If your environment is quiet, you can actually hear them. What you do with them then is a matter of conscience; ducks are very partial if you have a pond or lake nearby. Personally I can’t do that so mine go in the compost bin, where they help to recycle the compost and the heat kills of any eggs so they don’t reproduce. But if you are a school, this probably isn’t an option for you.
    • Slugs don’t like anything gritty to move across so harsh grit, egg shells, coarse sand, and even hair around your special plants can help to stop them. Cocoa shell mulch can also be effective but is expensive and should never be used near dogs.
    • You can buy slug deterrent mats and copper coils and slug deterrent granules which can be put round pots. They work to a degree but need replacing after wind and/or rain and can therefore be expensive.
    • You can use upturned grapefruit skins to collect them, or get traps - usually you fill these with beer (!). Personally I don’t like this method, but it’s a matter of personal preference.
    • One of the most versatile plants in the organic garden is comfrey. The more the better if you have the place for it (it takes up a lot of room). For some unknown reason, the large leaves placed as an edge around your seedling rows seems to stop snails. They eat the comfrey instead then hide underneath it in the day time, making it easier to collect them up. I got this method from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth and I have had some success with it.

    June/July

    You should be eating some of your produce by now, small tomatoes carrots, spring onions, salad leaves. It’s the time when you see your success stories and also your disasters and work out what to do next time. If you have planted seeds for flowers, you will be enjoying them now, and with our milder autumns many will go on flowering into October and November, giving you a good start to the new academic year.

    • Watering: We all know the children will fight over whose turn it is to water and when. As a rule of thumb, never water in the heat of the day, do it at one end or the other. Personally I prefer the end of the day when the temperatures are cooling rather than warming so make it the last job the children do before they go home. In a very dry season, the water takes more effect and will stick around until morning thus providing more benefit to plants. Train them to water the soil or base of the plant, as any sun still falling on leaves that are then sprayed will scorch. If you can shelter plants when it gets very hot then do so. A mulch will also prevent moisture loss, use bark, cocoa shell, shredded newspaper, or any of a variety of gravels. If you have a water butt, then use it. It is better to water heavily on fewer occasions than a bit every day. Shallow watering encourages roots to stay at ground level where a good watering encourages the roots to grow deep.
    • Feeding: You can buy all sorts of commercial feeds but you can also make your own, which I do every year, once again using the ever versatile comfrey. Be warned if you have a weak stomach, it does stink, but it also provides a very nutritious feed for tomatoes cucumber, courgette for next to nothing. Simply get a bucket or container with a lid, stuff it full of comfrey leaves, add water to cover and seal the lid. Check it every week or so and give it a stir. This is where you need the nose pegs. After 6-8 weeks strain it, most of the comfrey will have rotted by now, and you will be left with a dark brown (less smelly) feed which you can dilute further. The less smelly way to do this is to make a comfrey tower, a drainpipe fixed to a wall somewhere with a piece of mesh fixed over the bottom, and a bottle underneath to collect the liquid. just stuff the comfrey in regularly and a very concentrated liquid collects in the bottle. I prefer the smelly method as you can almost forget it once you start. The tower method needs topping up almost daily.
    • Bugs and things. If you want a really good guide to bugs, what they do and how to get rid of them, anything by Stefan Buczacki will provide a simple but effective guide. On a simple level, aphids can be reduced by growing lots of lavender, and also breeding ladybirds. Word of warning though. We had commercial ladybirds from a well known company last year and we didn’t find out until later that they came from Belgium, the eggs hatched and ate each other in transit. Please Id like to urge you to buy native larvae (not eggs) from a UK source if you are UK based. The eggs only live for 5 days and that isn’t long if they are coming from Belgium, and then happen to arrive on a weekend. A UK source (I've always found www.greengardener.co.uk very good) will guarantee your delivery for the next day. If you have specific problems with bugs or disease and you can't identify it or don’t know what to do, please pop along to the gardener’s corner of the FSF and ask. I’m sure one of our more green fingered members will have an answer for you!

    August.

    Unless you are in an all year round setting, you’ll need to leave your garden to the elements for 6 weeks. This is a bit hit and miss as we never know what the British weather will bring. Unturned plastic bottles (the ones you used as cloches earlier in the year) with the bottoms cut off and a small hole put in the top will collect rainwater if it does rain and help to eke out water whilst you are away. If your plants are in full sun, you can shelter them, or you can mix into the soil those water retaining gel crystals. Otherwise you have to hope the weather is kind enough not to supply you with 6 weeks of constant sun or rain. This is the best reason for cropping earlier in the year or having the more drought resistant crops like the sweet corn in now.

    September (again)

    If this is now your second or subsequent season, you will still have some potatoes, onions, maybe tomatoes left for September. Those spring planted flowers will still be in full flow, as will herbs. Make the most of those now. Cut back or get rid of anything that has dies over the summer, and enjoy what hasn’t. You will probably need to do some serious weeding too.

    Well, I have exhausted the basics, and I hope you have found something useful to your setting. Do let us know about your successes so that we can celebrate them with you, and tell us about the disasters too, they are all part of the gardening life! What really matters is that you inspire your children for a love of plants, and a wish to look after them, and a desire to grow their own.


    Visit the 'Gardeners Corner' forum by clicking here

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    • 5,363 views
  3. Patterns

    author: Sue Ridgway summary: Another in the new series of topics based articles, giving downloadable focus plans, activity ideas and other resources around the theme of Patterns. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    ‘Patterns’ is an easily accessible topic with a wealth of stories, songs and rhymes to back it up. The children quickly become absorbed and are soon happily ‘pattern-spotting’ throughout their day. It’s a topic I particularly enjoy exploring with the different groups of children, who can be relied upon to put their own spin on things, everytime!

    Once you start thinking around this topic it is sometimes a surprise to see the huge variety of experiences and learning outcomes which are possible, so have fun!

    Below you will find topic activities and ideas organised into the six areas of learning. There are also two detailed focus plans for each area of learning - these are given as downloadable documents in two popular formats: MS Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader (pdf). A mindmap is given as an easy reference sheet, and this is accompanied by a recommended booklist.

     

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Fruit kebabs
    • Patterns on clothing
    • Collections of patterned items
    • Making a large scale pattern
    • Group Batik wall hanging
    • Matching/sequencing table-top games
    • “I went to the market”
    • Daily patterns
    • Have a ‘Pattern’ day – dress up and theme food
    • Life cycle patterns
    • Finger prints
    • Uniforms
    • Small world lay outs created in a repeated pattern

    Activities

    Fruit Kebabs/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Group Wall Hanging /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • What types of patterns are there?
    • Repetitive stories
    • Salt/sand trays
    • “My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh” (a really good introduction to the topic)
    • Fabric boxes to explore and discuss
    • Patterns on soles of footwear – what and why?
    • Spot the pattern – in a poster, picture or around the room/environment
    • Story boards to sequence stories
    • Finger rhymes
    • Book list for stories, rhymes etc. – attached
    • Describe patterns

    Activities

    My Mum and Dad made me laugh /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Shoe Patterns /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    list of activities in MS Word and pdf format

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Fabric and wallpaper samples and books to explore and compare
    • Kaleidoscopes
    • Food patterns
    • Mendhi
    • Outdoor rubbings
    • Pattern walks
    • Patterns from around the world
    • Explore honeycombs
    • Tidal patterns
    • Phases of the moon
    • Seasonal sequence
    • Grow butterflies
    • Keep frogspawn
    • Raindrops in puddles
    • Look at world flags

    Activities

    Mendhi Hands /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Spotty Couscous /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Sort patterns in wall paper, fabric samples
    • Linking elephants or camels
    • Compare bears
    • Raindrops in puddles – concentric circles
    • Threading activities
    • Explore symmetry
    • Favourite patterns – make graphs
    • Sorting patterned items
    • Tessellating games
    • Dominoes
    • Icing and decorating cakes/biscuits to a counted plan

    Activites

    Domino Biscuits /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Linking Elephants /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’
    • Weaving activities
    • Peg boards
    • ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’
    • Obstacle course
    • Body patterns – individual or group, static or mobile
    • Let’s go Zudie-o game
    • Musical ‘Spots’ (a variation on Musical Chairs)
    • Hopscotch
    • Sand/salt trays
    • Making patterns using tools in dough/clay
    • Making snowflakes
    • In and out the dusty bluebells

    Activites

    Musical Spots /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Weaving /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Musical patterns
    • Make own wrapping paper
    • Butterfly painting
    • Potato/block printing
    • Simple sequence dances
    • Table finger painting
    • Collage Elmer
    • Salt/sand trays
    • Clapping/stamping patterns
    • Role play clothes shop
    • Finger printing dots
    • Make tiger/zebra masks
    • Face paints

    Activites

    Dance /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Finger Painting /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    right content:

    'Patterns' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Patterns' forum here

    Other Resources

    • A booklist is available here
    • 'mindmap' document in MS Word format - click here
    • 0 comments
    • 12,514 views
  4. Weather

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: Weather ideas and suggestions, with downloadable focus plan forms etc. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    'Weather' is a topic with infinite variety, as well as potential for encouraging children to think about others, with links possible to extremes such as drought or flood. It also has the virtue of being instantly accessible to the children, the climate in our country offering such constantly variable weather conditions!

     

    Below you will find topic activities and ideas organised into the six areas of learning. There are also two detailed focus plans for each area of learning - these are given as downloadable documents in two popular formats: MS Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader (pdf). A mindmap is given as an easy reference sheet, and this is accompanied by a recommended booklist.

     

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Malleable materials
    • Circle Times
    • Weather boxes
    • Clothing and precautions necessary
    • Looking at extreme weather
    • Making bird cakes
    • Pollution and it’s effects
    • Helping each other
    • Winter/summer discussions
    • Hand and footprints

    Activities

    Making a Shelter/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Weather boxes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Books about weather – fiction and non-fiction
    • Discussions about weather – what we like/don’t like, how we feel
    • Winter/summer discussions
    • Make weather charts
    • Record weather on a daily basis
    • Seasonal changes
    • Circle times
    • Looking at books and pictures of different climates
    • Predicting the weather from signs
    • Why it rains, snows etc.
    • Flood, drought, etc
    • What we need to wear and why.
    • Make a weather diary

    Activities

    Making a Weather Board /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Rhyming Session /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    list of activities in MS Word and pdf format

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Design and make area
    • Make rain gauges, wind socks, kites, umbrellas etc
    • The water cycle
    • Different types of cloudsMake rainbows
    • Investigate the effect of water on different materials
    • Tape and play back our own weather forecasts
    • How extreme weather affects people
    • Looking at puddles and shadows
    • Ice play
    • Hibernation
    • Seasonal changes

    Activities

    Make a Rainbow /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Weather Forecast /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    Click here for gallery photo of rainbow display

    (Back to contents list)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • How many wet/dry days?
    • Measure rain collected in rain gauges
    • Comparing wellington boots
    • Play dough
    • Observe and record temperatures
    • Tangrams
    • Patterns of wellington prints
    • Matching gloves
    • Sequencing weather pictures
    • Concentric circles – raindrops in puddles
    • Comparing snow/ice volume to it’s thawed state

    Activites

    Ice Play /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Recording the Weather /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Clothing for weather conditions
    • Keeping warm/cool
    • Movement sessions to suggest weather conditions
    • Playing in puddles/snow
    • How animals cope with extremes
    • Make shadow puppets
    • Making kites
    • Parachute or lycra play
    • Ring and running/chasing games
    • Making dens or shelters
    • Make windsocks, rain gauges
    • Design and make area
    • Effects of the sun

    Activites

    Movement Session /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Colour mixing
    • Colour spinners
    • Colours to suggest weather/temperature
    • Songs
    • Dance sessions
    • Making music to suggest weather
    • Weather mobiles
    • Role play weather centre
    • Acting out weather stories
    • Weather stories, rhymes and songs
    • Blown pictures for windy days
    • Summer camping role play
    • Make windmills/snowflakes
    • Making rainbows

    Activites

    Blown pictures /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Parachute play /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    right content:

    'Weather' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Weather' forum here

    Other Resources

    • A booklist is available here
    • 'mindmap' document in MS Word format - click here
    • 0 comments
    • 23,351 views
  5. Seasons

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: Downloadable focus activity plans and other resources and ideas based on the theme of Seasons. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    Seasons is a useful topic to follow as it can be directly linked to children’s own experiences and can help them to make sense of their world and immediate environment, as well as introducing concepts such as change and time. There are lots of opportunities for outings and popular activities such as baking and planting (you might like to look at Mundia’s excellent article- link please on seasonal growing)

    Overview

    As usual, you will find a mind map of ideas followed by a series of detailed plans for the six areas of learning. The approach is slightly different this time, though, as I have tried to include ideas that can be fairly easily adapted to meet the needs of each season, as opposed to four sets of different ideas.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Personal care appropriate for season
    • Sun safety
    • Planting and caring for seeds/bulbs and subsequent plants
    • Discuss different activities in different seasons – how do they make them feel?
    • Grow/keep butterflies or frogspawn
    • Develop an environmentally friendly area outdoors
    • Keeping warm/cool/dry
    • Visit a farm or garden centre at different times of year
    • Seasonal nature walks
    • Look at pictures of the same area in different seasons, discussing changes

    Activities

    Planning for an Activity/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Seasonal Walks/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Focus on books with a seasonal theme (see booklist)
    • Make your own seasonal books
    • Make and write greetings cards for seasonal festivals
    • Make resource lists and plans for role play areas for the children to help to create
    • Make a group version of a favourite seasonal story (e.g., ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ using own favourite foods)
    • Seasonal weather word lists, displayed on an appropriate background – cloud/sun etc.
    • Seasonal songs/rhymes
    • Exploring rhymes
    • Have a ‘seasonal party’or event – children make invitations, menus etc
    • Make up seasonal stories of your own Discuss what you see on your walks

    Activities

    I-Spy /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Preparing a Summer Fair /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Compare pictures of the seasons
    • Sort seasonal pictures into the season to which they belong, then sort the seasons into the correct sequence
    • Using scissors and other simple tools to make books, collages, cards as appropriate
    • Seasonal festivals
    • Seasonal walks or visits to farms or garden centres
    • Compare growth of plants started at different times of year or group pets- make timelines
    • Grow butterflies or frogspawn – always return them to their natural surroundings!
    • Observe puddles/shadows/rainbows; find out about them
    • Look at different sorts of weather
    • Make a party ‘item’ – e.g. cress ‘spring bonnet’ or food for the party or event
    • Garden hunts – what can they find in different seasons

    Activities

    Cornflour Dough /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Looking at Photographs /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Using group version of a favourite story (as above), practise counting/shape hunts etc
    • Make a seasonal number or shape frieze
    • Turn-taking games using dice (you could make your own seasonal ones)
    • Collect and measure rainfall – record and perhaps compare throughout the seasons. Try with snow or ice in winter
    • Decorating seasonal shapes using patterns
    • Sorting by size, colour or shape
    • Fruit and vegetable pattern printing
    • Cooking activities

    Activites

    Autumn Basket Game /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Gingerbread Men /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Seasonally appropriate clothing and precautions
    • Mime or dance activities
    • Movement activities such as jumping like frogs
    • During movement/dance sessions think about changes that happen to their bodies
    • Discuss the importance of appropriate foods or drinks
    • Healthy foods, in season
    • Parachute or lycra play
    • Clay or playdough
    • Outdoors large games
    • Sports days Dressing races

    Activites

    Discussing Seasonal Walks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Dressing Races /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Make model environments to illustrate seasons e.g. ponds
    • Collage of seasonal scenes
    • Seasonal observational drawing
    • Act out favourite seasonal stories
    • Use instruments or hands/voices to create weather sounds, developing into a ‘soundscape’ story of a storm or similar
    • Dance sessions to music reflecting seasons or weather
    • Making cards or decorations for festivals or your ‘seasonal’ party or other event
    • Make a seasonal ‘party hat’
    • Free painting
    • Clay or playdough
    • Creating a seasonally appropriate role play area e.g. travel agent, Christmas grotto
    • ‘Magic carpet’ rides

    Activites

    Magic Carpet Rides /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Making Model Environments /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    right content:

    'Seasons' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Seasons' forum here

    Other Resources

    • A booklist is available here
    • 'mindmap' document in MS Word format - click here
    • Visit the gallery for ideas for seasonal displays - and upload some of your own!
    • 0 comments
    • 13,875 views
  6. Ourselves

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: The popular topic. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    'Ourselves' is a topic children invariably find absorbing! It offers opportunities to explore diverse aspects of life experiences and can comfortably include a mini-topic on the Senses if you don't want to focus on these too closely. Aspects of and activities from the 'Growing' topic can be incorporated easily into this topic. Children seem to enjoy sharing their own experiences, feelings and opinions so this can be a good way of introducing a new group to each other.

    Overview

    This Topic includes a book list, mind map and suggested activities to cover the six areas of learning. The mindmap bullet points are included as a separate document for ease of reference, but also listed in the 'Ideas and Suggestions' sections below. Most of the early years publications available have covered this topic, often more than once, so don't forget to check your own resources! There are usually book recommendations and other resource suggestions in the topic forum as well, so make sure you have a browse through the discussions to see if there is anything else of interest.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Families
    • Feelings – what makes me happy/sad
    • Baby pictures, to adult ‘who is it?’
    • People are different
    • Friends
    • Pets
    • Special occasions
    • Circle games – e.g. descriptive ‘who is it?’ games
    • Sharing favourite toys
    • Family tree – simple versions
    • Clothes for different purposes/occasions
    • Recycling to care for the environment
    • ‘I can do’ books to promote self-esteem
    • Organise an event such as Sports Day together (see Seasons topic)
    • Team games

    Activities

    Family Trees/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Good Mood Walks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Funnybones books
    • All About Me books, made by children
    • Books about the body
    • Life experience books
    • Letter writing (address etc)
    • ‘Who is it?’ – identifying by voice only
    • Favourite story days
    • Make ‘Body’ books
    • Karaoke machine
    • Show and tell
    • Make signs, tickets, etc to support role play activities
    • Find out about meanings of different names
    • Make invitations etc for a sports day, record results
    • What sounds start our names?

    Activities

    Our Names /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Show and Tell /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Shadows
    • Maps of home, route to setting
    • Explore our senses
    • Feelie bags/boxes
    • Smelly bottles
    • Special events/festivals
    • X-ray pictures
    • Body computer games
    • Grow items to eat
    • Similarities and differences in the group
    • Using timers of different types (sports day links)

    Activities

    Moving Models /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Shadow Play /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Height charts
    • Favourite things – survey group and make graph of results
    • Shopping games
    • Telephone numbers
    • Baking activities
    • Birthday charts
    • Make numberplates for bikes/cars etc
    • Order children by height
    • Make numbers and event sheets for sports day
    • Sort children by various criteria

    Activites

    Body Shapes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    My Group /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Body maps – labelling the parts
    • Healthy eating
    • Exercise and how it affects the body
    • Keeping safe
    • Keeping healthy
    • Sun safety
    • Hygiene
    • Fiddly fastenings
    • Obstacle courses
    • Hopscotch
    • Practise simple tasks such as throwing, catching etc for a sports day
    • How we grow and change
    • Making snack together

    Activites

    Fiddly Fastenings /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Obstacle Course /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Self portraits (using mirrors)
    • Hand/foot printing
    • Drawing around their bodies to decorate
    • Role play of life situations
    • Group murals
    • Messy play – dough, cornflour, clay etc
    • Dance sessions, sometimes using props
    • Music sessions to reflect feelings
    • Role play e.g Optician, Dentist, Doctor, Hospital, Baby clinic
    • Making participants medals for sports day
    • Mixing colours to represent different skin tones
    • Clay hand prints
    • Body sounds and rhythms

    Activites

    Body Sounds /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Hand Prints /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    right content:

    'Ourselves' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Ourselves' forum here

    Other Resources

    • A booklist is available here
    • 'mindmap' document in MS Word format - click here
    • 0 comments
    • 37,912 views
  7. The Sea

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: With 12 focus activities, a booklist and a mindmap for quick reference, this is another in our Topics Resources articles. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    The Sea is a topic that has something for everyone, whether they are landlubbers or water babies. You can get really imaginative with sand and water play and use the role play areas to inspire the children even if you are not near the sea at all. There are some wonderful books that can support the topic and give opportunities for discussion or be the starting point for small projects.

    Overview

    This topic includes a book list, mind map and suggested activities to cover the six areas of learning. These are available in pdf format for those who don't have access to MS Word. The mindmap bullet points are included as a separate document for ease of reference, but also listed in the 'Ideas and Suggestions' sections below. Most of the early years publications available have covered this topic, often more than once, so don't forget to check your own resources! There are usually book recommendations and other resource suggestions in the topic forum as well, so make sure you have a browse through the discussions to see if there is anything else of interest.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Water safety
    • Sun safety
    • Water likes/water fears
    • What would it be like to live in a lighthouse/on a boat?
    • 'I went to the beach and I took...'
    • Discuss children's seaside trips
    • Pictures of countries with no water
    • Role play areas
    • Circle times

    Activities

    Build a Big Boat /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Wish For a Fish /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • An 'S' word collection
    • Wave patterns
    • Sending seaside postcards
    • Photos/paintings of the sea to initiate discussions
    • Story books about the sea
    • Non-fiction books about shells and sea creatures
    • Songs and Rhymes
    • Circle times
    • What we wear at the seaside and why
    • Different types of 'beaches' (sand/shingle/pebble) in trays to put toes in
    • Beaching combing /treasure hunt

    Activities

    Shiny Shells /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Bon Voyage /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Water tray - e.g. rock pool/coloured ice cubes/harbour
    • Sand tray - e.g. beach combing/treasure/sand castles
    • What happens when you add water to dry sand?
    • Make ice lollies
    • Make fish cakes
    • Make the Lighthouse Keeper's packed lunch complete with rope to send it
    • Investigate Lighthouses
    • Visit the fish counter at the local supermarket
    • How far are we from the sea
    • Compare countries with lots of water to those with very little
    • Icy water - the sea in cold places

    Activities

    Buried Treasure /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Blowing Bubbles /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy(PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Sort different types of boats (row/sail/power/paddle)
    • Shapes at the seaside
    • Patterns - waves/shells/footprints in the sand
    • Counting opportunities - tentacles on an octopus/points on a starfish
    • Sort sea creatures and land animals
    • Floating and sinking
    • Capacity
    • Number sails on boats
    • Using money in a seaside shop role play area

    Activites

    Favourite Sea Creatures /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Fish For Tea /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Respond with movement to calm/stormy music
    • Parachute games to show wave motion
    • Sense of touch - sand/water/shells/shingle/seaweed/pebbles
    • Malleable materials
    • Outdoor water play
    • Design and make area - boats that float
    • Effects of the sun
    • Clothing for the beach and in the sea
    • Be a deep sea diver
    • Be a ship's mate -actions for 'scrub the decks'/ship ahoy/hoist the sails/walk the plank

    Activites

    Parachute Waves /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Islands /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Role play areas - deep sea/pirate ship/beach/seaside shop/island/arctic
    • Sand pictures
    • Dressing up
    • Stories
    • Songs and Rhymes
    • Wave patterns in variety of media
    • Sea music
    • Colour mixing
    • Hand printing sea creatures - overlap both hands to create octopus or crab
    • Make rainbow fish
    • Make bubble pictures
    • Malleable materials and mark making
    • Small world role play - e.g. pirate ship

    Activites

    Clay Fish /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Watery Wonderwall /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    right content:

    Other Resources

    • 0 comments
    • 18,994 views
  8. Transport

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: Another topic support article with 12 focus activity sheets, a booklist and a mindmap. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    'Transport' is a topic that is easily accessed by children. We all have to travel from A to B, even if we walk everywhere. It is a great subject for inviting children's own experiences, as well as involving parents and carers and the local community. Invite a taxi or bus driver in to talk about what they do, or a parent who travels a lot for their work to talk about airports and planes. 'Transport' is also a way in to looking at how we impact on the environment and what we can do to make the earth, and ourselves, healthier.

    In this section you will find a mind map and a list of the areas of learning with some quick suggestions and ideas. There are also activities for each area, linked to the EYFS, and a book list to accompany the topic.

    Overview

    This Topic includes a book list, mind map and suggested activities to cover the six areas of learning. The mindmap bullet points are included as a separate document for ease of reference, but also listed in the 'Ideas and Suggestions' sections below. Most of the early years publications available have covered this topic, often more than once, so don't forget to check your own resources! There are usually book recommendations and other resource suggestions in the topic forum as well, so make sure you have a browse through the discussions to see if there is anything else of interest.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Road safety
    • Small world road and track activities
    • Discuss personal journeys the children have been on
    • Use chairs to be an impromptu bus/plane/car/train
    • Healthy and eco ways of travelling – walking, biking, public transport
    • Act out unusual ways to travel, e.g. Magic carpet/hot air balloon
    • Circle time
    • Role play
    • Picture and poster resources
    • Large cardboard boxes/packing crates can be transformed into any vehicle
    • Rescue vehicles – ambulance/fire engine/helicopter/life boat

    Activities

    Building Ramps /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Getting to Australia /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Photographs of different types of transport
    • Role play – travel agents/airport check in/train station/campsite/garage
    • Small world road and track layouts
    • Collection of holiday postcards
    • Story making – a magic carpet ride/a hot air balloon ride/ a ride on a broomstick
    • Circle time
    • Memory and list games – ‘I packed my bag and in it I put…’
    • Audio resources of traffic sounds
    • Books, fiction and non fiction
    • Songs and rhymes
    • Play writing opportunities – lists/letters/postcards
    • Make tickets for train/plane/bus journeys

    Activities

    I packed my bag /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Travelling snacks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Map making – which way do you come to nursery/school?
    • Collection of maps to investigate
    • Compare past and present transport
    • Collection of tickets from different modes of transport
    • Directions games and stop-go games
    • Outdoor play – homemade water ways with sections of plastic guttering
    • Outdoor play – old car tyres to roll around
    • Wet sand tray – tracks
    • Water tray – boats
    • How do animals travel?
    • Road safety
    • Visit from local taxi/bus driver
    • Take a bike apart using spanners, screwdrivers etc.

    Activities

    Map making /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Boat trip /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Data handling – how do we come to nursery?
    • Data handling – monitor traffic – record as bar charts/pictograms
    • Positional words and games
    • Maths trails – follow the tracks
    • Sorting vehicles
    • Books
    • Songs and rhymes
    • Making 3D models of vehicles
    • Role play areas
    • Count down for a rocket launch
    • Using money in role play – e.g. buying tickets
    • Make paper aeroplanes

    Activites

    Ferry across the river /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    All aboard /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Transport mimes – getting on a train/into a boat/in a car
    • Movements based on vehicles
    • Follow my leader
    • Stop/go games using traffic light colours
    • Positional games
    • Fast/slow games based on modes of transport
    • Construction kits
    • Make tracks with footprints
    • Set up an obstacle course to travel along
    • Action songs

    Activites

    The bell on the bus /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Traffic jam /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Tyre prints/rubbings
    • Painting with wheels
    • 3D models of vehicles
    • Floating music and hot air balloons
    • Songs and rhymes
    • Book collections about single types of transport e.g. stories about cars
    • Selection of large cardboard boxes for imaginative play
    • Imitate vehicle sounds with musical instruments
    • Collection of audio resources – vehicle sounds
    • Making postcards
    • Dressing up in uniforms
    • Make paper aeroplanes
    • Body sounds and rhythms

    Activites

    Making tracks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Blast off /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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  9. Night and Day

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: More ideas and downloadable focus activities together with a booklist and mindmap - this time on the subject of night and day! These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    This topic brings together the mysterious (night) and the routine (day). It can be used to introduce clocks and time, outer space and opposites. There is also plenty of scope for lots of story work and book making, as there are so many children’s texts that relate to the idea of night and day. The turning of the day to night is a part of the rhythm of everyone’s lives, and this enables young children to really take ownership of this topic.

    Overview

    In this section you will find a mind map and a list of the areas of learning with some quick suggestions and ideas. These also include some activity plans for each area, linked to the EYFS. There is an extensive book list to accompany the topic, including non fiction books and rhymes.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Bathing Babies in the water tray, night time routines
    • Small world nocturnal animals in the sand tray, or large tray with natural objects to create nests and ‘beds’
    • Role play area – bedtime things, dressing gowns, slippers, mugs for warm milk, story books, dim lighting, blankets, toothbrushes/daytime things – kitchen equipment, outdoor shoes, coats, bags, toys, bright lighting
    • Discuss daily routines – cleaning, washing, looking after yourself
    • Dress dolls for a day out
    • Read a bedtime story to Teddy
    • Circle time – opportunities to discuss dreams, fear of the dark
    • Listening games

    Activities

    Catch a dream /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Taking care of Teddy /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Collect night time words and day time words – display as opposites, or word mobiles
    • Book making - a day time and night time book/own versions of well known story books or rhymes
    • Collect star words and sun words
    • Day and night sounds – listening games
    • Non-fiction books
    • Circle time
    • Words that rhyme
    • Story making and telling – dreams
    • Play writing opportunities – write letters to the man in the moon
    • Construction – rocket building
    • Glitter pens to draw stars and moon

    Activities

    Word collection /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Twinkle, twinkle /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Doll’s House – setting up rooms for night and day
    • Role play area – a clock menders/ a night time cave for animals
    • Telescopes and stars
    • Clocks – take apart an old one
    • Tray with small world nocturnal animals
    • Water tray – bathing babies – bubble bath, soap, essential oil, towels/black food colouring and glitter in water
    • Invite a parent/carer with a small baby to bath them with a group of children
    • Working the night shift – invite a parent who works nights to come and talk about their job
    • Look at animal’s sleeping places
    • Story making – going to bed and getting up
    • Non fiction books
    • Moths (night) and Butterflies (day)

    Activities

    Who's in the cave? /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    What's in a clock? /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Sequencing - routines of the day, the changes of the moon, puzzles
    • Sorting – objects to do with day and night sorted into large hoops
    • Opposites – different opposites sorted into pairs (e.g. sun and moon)
    • Use timers/stop watches – e.g. at tidy up time, outside
    • Time – toy clocks, alarm clocks, clock stamps, circle shapes
    • Size and shape – stars of different sizes, moon and sun shapes
    • Tessellation – star shapes, diamond shapes
    • Number – countdown for a rocket launch, ten in the Bed

    Activites

    In a minute! /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Sorting night from day /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Outside - What’s the time Mr Wolf?
    • 1 minute jumping/running/balancing etc. – using a one minute timer
    • Star jumps
    • Pretend to be a clock – arms are hands of a clock, or a swinging pendulum
    • Awake/asleep games – replace ‘stop’/’go’ with ‘awake’/’asleep’
    • Construction materials – make clock models with wheels and cogs
    • Be a nocturnal animal – bat/moth/badger/hedgehog/owl etc.
    • Mime day and night routines and guess what they are
    • Dreamy dances

    Activites

    The early shift /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Day and night dance /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Sun and moon mobiles
    • Glitter stars
    • Chalking on blackboard
    • Printing with mechanical objects, e.g. wheels/cogs like the inside of a clock
    • Wax resist pictures using candles
    • Make night and day sounds using musical instruments
    • Make clock chimes using appropriate instruments
    • Make paper plate clocks
    • Star stamps/stickers on black paper
    • Listen to lullaby music to represent night time/busy music to represent day time
    • Making candles
    • Book making

    Activities

    Wish upon a star /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Daytime sounds /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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  10. People Who Help Us

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: Another topic support article on a favourite theme, with 12 focus activity sheets, a booklist and a mindmap. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    This is a wide ranging topic with plenty of opportunity to make connections between people and places. It includes every aspect of the local community, from friends to childminders and from shopkeepers to fire fighters. Inviting adults who fulfil helpful roles to visit can bring the topic to life for children. It is also ideal for discussing how we can help others.

    Overview

    In this section you will find a mind map and a list of the areas of learning with some quick suggestions and ideas. These also include some activity plans for each area, linked to the EYFS (click on the icon corresponding to the format you'd like - either MS Word or acrobat(pdf) ). There is a book list to accompany the topic, including non fiction books and rhymes.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Role play areas – doctor’s/dentist’s/opticians/vets/post office etc.
    • Visits from people who help us, e.g. childminder/health visitor
    • Small world play
    • Circle times
    • Make badges to wear for being helpful – ask children to pick who wears them
    • Talk about who helps us everyday
    • Talk about friendship
    • Make a friendship chainStories and songs

    Activities

    At Home /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Friendship chain /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Role play areas
    • Dressing up in uniforms
    • Make a book about people who help us/about friendship
    • Mobile phone and walkie-talkie play
    • Letter writing/post office play
    • Learn your own address
    • Small world play
    • Visit the library
    • Books, rhymes and songs

    Activities

    Set up a Library /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    What’s in the parcel? /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Watch the rubbish being collected
    • Recycle things in the nursery area
    • ollection of small world emergency vehicles
    • Other small world play
    • Doctor’s and nurse’s kits
    • Being helpful – doing the cleaning
    • Giving directions games
    • Non-fiction books
    • Uniforms to dress up in
    • Make a family tree

    Activities

    Reuse and Recycle /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    The Doctor Came /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Setting up different types of shop – bakers/newsagents/grocers/haberdashers
    • Money – shop role play
    • Weight – use scales to weight things in a shop context
    • Size and shape – compare and recognise in a shop context
    • Sorting activities
    • Make cakes and sell them – give the money to a local charity that helps people
    • Deliver newspapers and letters to numbered locations around the nursery
    • Mini surveys on children’s favourite items such as cakes/breakfast cereal
    • Visit the supermarket

    Activites

    Ladders and Ropes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    The Baker /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Collection of large boxes for using as emergency vehicles
    • Junk modelling
    • Deliver post in large wheeled toys
    • Lift large objects e.g. sack of parcels/bag of newspapers/crate of milk cartons
    • Lollipop lady follow my leader
    • Fine motor control with buttons and zips on dressing up clothes
    • Climbing ladders on climbing frames (like fire fighters)
    • Large wheeled vehicles outside as emergency vehicles

    Activites

    Stop! Ambulance! /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Fold it! /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Acting out caring scenarios, e.g. with baby dolls
    • Role play areas
    • Dressing up in uniform and taking on a role
    • Finger painting (or printing, like the police)
    • Baking for a baker’s shop
    • Play dough
    • Large block play vehicles
    • Songs and stories
    • Making thank you gifts or cards for people who help us

    Activities

    Finger Print Pictures /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Thank you pots /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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  11. Around the World

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: More ideas and downloadable focus activities together with a booklist and mindmap. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    Introduction

    There is so much to explore in this topic! It embraces language, costume, religions, travel, festivals, food, care for our world – the list is endless. This is a wonderful topic for celebrating the diversity of the children in an early years setting. If you have children who have relatives from other countries or who have English as a second language, invite their families to participate in some of the activities. It is also a theme for recognising the similarities we share with those who live around the world. It is important not to use stereotypical images when talking about another country, but for example, to show that there are skyscrapers in Africa and in America.

    Overview

    The topic web provides a mind map of useful suggestions and ideas listed under the areas of learning. There are also twelve focus plans for a selection of topic-related activities in either MS Word or acrobat(pdf) format (click on the icon corresponding to the format you'd like) and a book list to enrich the topic.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Role play areas – Bedouin tent, Inuit igloo etc
    • Stories and songs from other countries
    • Story telling using props
    • Invite visitors to talk about other cultures and religions
    • Look at different national or religious costumes/head coverings
    • Talk about festivals and celebrations from other countries
    • Circle times
    • Puzzles and games depicting pictures from around the world
    • Learn to say ‘hello’ in different languages
    • Make contact with an early years setting in another country and write/draw pictures to them
    • Collect water in containers in the garden and talk about the importance of water in different countries and how we need to use water carefully
    • Stories and songs

    Activities

    Tibetan Prayer Flags /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    My Favourite Place /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Role play areas – Bedouin Tent, Inuit igloo, market stall from another country, sari shop
    • Collect artefacts from around the world – Russian dolls, African drums or masks, bells, sari material etc.
    • Tell stories of journeys using these props
    • Book making
    • Story telling with props and puppets
    • Memory games – ‘I went to market and I bought…’
    • Holiday photos from abroad
    • Get relatives who are abroad to send postcards – display them on a world map
    • Chinese writing
    • Make up a global alphabet using words associated with other countries
    • Small world toys – e.g. airport
    • Boats to travel in water tray/desert in sand tray
    • Books, rhymes and songs from other countries

    Activities

    Chinese Scrolls /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Around the World Story Bag /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • World maps, globes and atlases
    • Role play areas – Bedouin Tent/Inuit igloo/Sari shop
    • Taste food from other countries- Indian sweets/German Stollen cake/French croissants/Chinese rice etc.
    • Label a world map with children’s names of places they have been/ their relatives live
    • Play ‘Fruit Salad’ with fruits from around the world
    • Non-fiction books
    • Link up with a setting from another country and write/send pictures to them
    • Posters and pictures showing scenes from other countries
    • Collection of hats from other countries – sombrero, Australian bush hat, Russian fur hat, British sun hat etc.
    • Hold a Japanese tea ceremony
    • Sand and water play
    • Discuss the importance of water to everyone

    Activities

    Precious Water /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Getting About /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Russian Dolls and other things that fit inside each other
    • Foreign coins
    • Role play areas – shops from other countries e.g. African market stall/Indian sari shop
    • Patterns and shapes – Mehndi and rangoli patterns from India/ Tangrams from China
    • Look at the patterns on different national flags
    • Sorting artefacts to their appropriate country
    • Counting songs and books from other countries
    • Learn to count to 5 or 10 in another language

    Activites

    Tangrams /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Sorting Coins /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Simple Origami
    • Use chopsticks
    • Dressing up in different costumes form other countries
    • Have a go at tai chi or yoga
    • Play children’s games from other countries
    • Action songs from around the world
    • Carry things in baskets on your head/water in a bucket/bundles of washing on your back
    • Dance to music from around the world

    Activites

    Chopsticks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Global Music/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Role play areas
    • Play with Indian sari material
    • Music from around the world
    • Songs from around the world
    • Instruments from other countries
    • Make Japanese folded paper fans
    • Face painting – look at how people in other countries decorate their bodies
    • Weaving
    • Chinese writing
    • African print making
    • Make clay pots

    Activities

    African Weaving /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Make a Japanese Fan /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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  12. Minibeasts

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: Minibeasts - the perfect theme for spring and summer! These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    Introduction

    This is the perfect project for Spring and Summer, with lots of scope for play and investigation in outside spaces. Looking at minibeasts provides opportunities to learn about how we care for other creatures and for our environment, as well as plenty of counting and sequencing activities. There is a wealth of fiction and non-fiction books that relate to minibeasts to support the topic. So get on those sunhats and that sun cream and explore!

    Overview

    On this page you will find a brief list of ideas for activities to do with the topic, organised into the appropriate areas of learning. Two activity plans are laid out in detail for each area, and there is a book list to accompany the topic.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Role Play- make a bug den
    • Circle times – caring for creatures and their habitats
    • Make a special moment out of releasing bugs back into the garden
    • Watching the life cycle of butterflies/frogs in the nursery setting
    • Talk about the life cycle of a human
    • Stories and poems
    • Small world play
    • Puppets

    Activities

    Minibeast Houses /forums/uploads/word.gif/forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Lifecycles /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Make up nonsense rhymes about minibeasts
    • Role play – make a bug den using boxes, coloured paper, newspaper, fabric, pot plants
    • Dressing up as minibeasts
    • Small world play – tray with earth, gravel, small pond, pot plants and plastic minibeasts
    • Minibeast puppets to retell and create stories
    • Follow minibeast patterns – spirals/stripes/wiggly lines
    • Book making and story sequencing
    • Talking and listening games
    • Minibeast story bags – e.g. a plastic minibeast, a leaf, a twig, a cup and a shoe – tell a story as the children pull out the props
    • Circle times
    • Songs and Rhymes
    • Fiction and non fiction books

    Activities

    Minibeast Drama /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Snail Words /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Grow your own butterflies/frogs
    • Go an a spider’s web walk looking for webs
    • Go on a minibeast hunt (outside, and inside with plastic minibeasts)
    • Magnifying glasses, bug boxes
    • Life cycles
    • What do minibeasts eat?
    • Cooking – honey sandwiches, honey cakes
    • Small world minibeasts in sand and water trays
    • Plant a butterfly garden
    • Be a minibeast detective in the vegetable patch looking for signs of minibeasts

    Activities

    Web Walk /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Snail Snacks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy(PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Minibeast surveys using tally/mark making charts
    • Minibeast counting games – spots, legs, wings
    • Sorting – minibeasts with legs/spots/wings etc
    • Repeating patterns - threading bead caterpillars
    • Measuring quantities in cooking (honey sandwiches/honey cakes)
    • Water tray – five little speckled frogs
    • Sequencing – life cycles
    • Symmetry – butterflies
    • Patterns and shapes
    • Stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar/The Bad Tempered Ladybird for sequencing and time
    • Minibeast counting rhymes

    Activites

    Creepy Crawly Patterns /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Counting Lily Pads /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Dance to the Ugly Bug Ball song
    • Dance to The Flight of the Bumble Bee music
    • Move like a minibeast
    • Use props to support minibeast movement e.g. scarves for butterflies/ hoops as waterlillies for frog
    • Over and under instruction games – moving like a worm/caterpillar
    • Threading beads to make worms/caterpillars
    • Cutting minibeast patterns – e.g. spots, spirals, wiggly lines, stripes
    • Making minibeasts from malleable materials

    Activites

    Minibeast Moves /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Crawling Caterpillars /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Make spider’s webs
    • Junk model minibeasts
    • Observational drawings of minibeasts
    • Water colour paintings of minibeasts
    • Make your own minibeast garden – collect natural materials and use box or small tray for each child
    • Make minibeasts out of clay
    • Butterfly symmetry
    • Have an Ugly Bug Ball – make appropriate head wear for different minibeasts and dance to the Ugly Bug Ball music
    • Listen to a nature sounds CD of bug sounds
    • Create bug sounds with musical instruments

    Activites

    Snail Collage /forums/uploads/word.gif/forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Bug Boxes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)


    There is also a sub-forum area where you can find and add to discussions on the topic of minibeasts. Find it here.

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  13. Snow and Ice

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: A topic support article on a seasonal theme, with 12 focus activity sheets, a booklist and a mindmap. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    A topic about Snow and Ice provides a great starting point for observing similarities and differences and talking about changes in the world around us. It is also a good way to introduce other climates and cultures, with a focus on the North and South Poles. Children can learn about the lives of the Inuit people and find out about the animals living in the snow and ice. It is worth taking care to avoid stereotypes, so look at the Inuit people who live in towns as well as those who build homes out of ice.

    Overview

    This topic support article includes a book list, mind map and suggested activities to cover the six areas of learning. The mindmap bullet points are included as a separate document for ease of reference, but also listed in the 'Ideas and Suggestions' sections below. Each topic focus provides a book list and a brainstorm of ideas for activities linked to the Areas of Learning and Development, as well as some activity plans. There are usually book recommendations and other resource suggestions in the topic forum as well, so make sure you have a browse through the discussions to see if there is anything else of interest.

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Mathematical Development (MD)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • Look at ways to keep warm in winter – clothes/eating/moving around/warm drinks.
    • Have a selection of warm clothes and ask the children which bit of their body they keep warm (gloves-hands, scarf-neck etc).
    • How do Inuit people keep warm?
    • Talk about the ways that animals keep warm.
    • Discuss the dangers of snow and ice – look at pictures of avalanches/taking care on slippery ice/why we don’t walk on frozen ponds
    • Look at pictures of snowflakes close up and talk about how they are all different
    • Make hot chocolate and share together after a winter walk/outside play

    Activities

    Everyone is Different /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Feed the Birds/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

    Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Small world play with arctic animals
    • Role Play area – Ice Cave – using white sheets/boxes/make icicles and snowflakes with children/soft toy and small world arctic animals/glitter/arctic animal masks
    • Read fiction and non fiction books and poems
    • Collect snow and ice words
    • Cold, colder, coldest – dress dolls in different amounts of clothing and talk about which would get the coldest
    • Draw spiky and zig-zag lines
    • Make a collection of shiny things and words
    • Use white paint on black card to paint letters and shapes

    Activities

    Frosty Poems /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Snow Story Telling /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Melting and Freezing – make some ice cubes and salt half of them. Which melt first?
    • If it snows, bring some indoors and guess what will happen to it?
    • Freeze water in balloons or rubber gloves
    • Freeze small objects in a bowl of water – lego/small world animal etc
    • Do an experiment to see whether everything freezes – try plasticine, ketchup, jam
    • Use ice and small world arctic animals to make an arctic scene in the water tray
    • Make ice lollies
    • Use a globe to talk about the North and South Poles
    • Look at books about the Inuit people
    • Why are polar bears white?
    • Make seed cakes for the birds
    • Go on a frosty walk

    Activities

    Freezing and Melting /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Make an Igloo /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

    Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Compare the lengths of children’s scarves
    • Sorting winter wear – when children are ready to go outside, sort each other into groups of those with hats/scarves/gloves or a mix of each
    • Match pairs of gloves
    • Make repeating patterns for scarves
    • Sequence the seasons using pictures/puzzles
    • Count snowflakes/snowmen/frosty spider’s webs outside
    • Look at the shapes that make up a snowflake
    • Tessellation
    • Set up a gloves/hats and scarves shop

    Activites

    Winter Woollies Shop /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Scarf Solutions /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Collect large cardboard boxes to make igloos
    • Do some running and jumping exercises outside on a cold day
    • Listen to ‘We’re Walking in the Air’ from The Snowman and move like a snowflake
    • Listen to some lively staccato music and make spiky, frosty movements
    • Play games where you have to ‘freeze’
    • Move like a polar bear/penguin/seal
    • Make paper snowflakes to practice cutting skills

    Activites

    Warming Up /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Snowflake, Icicle /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    Creative Development (CD)

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Paint with ‘cold’ colours (white, blue, silver, purple)
    • hen compare them with ‘warm’ colours (red, orange, brown, gold)
    • Make snowflake mobiles
    • Make a snow and ice collage with picture from magazines, or found materials such a foil, sweet wrappers etc
    • Make footprints in the snow with white/silver paint on white/blue card
    • Draw with white chalk on black paper
    • Make arctic animal masks
    • Make icicles and snowflakes for the arctic ice cave role play area
    • Listen to gentle floating music/spiky music
    • Use instruments to make spiky, frosty sounds

    Activites

    Polar Puppets /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Frosty Twigs /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

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    'Snow and Ice' Forum

    Accompanying this article we have a dedicated Forum area - please feel free to join in and contribute to discussions and suggestions on the topic. Find the 'Snow and Ice' forum here

    Other Resources

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  14. The Farm

    author: Juliet Mickelburgh summary: The penultimate in our series of topic support articles, containing 12 focus activity plans, a booklist and a mindmap. These are ideas only: ANY CURRICULUM LINKS DO NOT RELATE TO THE CURRENT (2012) EYFS REQUIREMENTS content:

    This is a topic with rich resources for talking about caring for the environment, animals, and for ourselves. It provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning, as well as lots of story books to link to different themes. Looking at farms that grow crops and vegetables extends the scope of this topic and allows for lots of fun with planting, growing and cooking!

     

    Overview

    This topic support article includes a book list, mind map and suggested activities to cover the seven areas of learning. The mindmap bullet points are included as a separate document for ease of reference, but also listed in the 'Ideas and Suggestions' sections below. Each topic focus provides a book list and a brainstorm of ideas for activities linked to the Areas of Learning and Development, as well as some activity plans. There are usually book recommendations and other resource suggestions in the topic forum as well, so make sure you have a browse through the discussions to see if there is anything else of interest.

     

    Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

    Communication & Language and Literacy (CL and L)

    Understanding the world (UW)

    Mathematics (M)

    Physical Development (PD)

    Expressive Arts & Design (EAD)

     

     

    Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions

    • What do animals eat?
    • Have a mini harvest celebration
    • Grow some vegetables or herbs
    • Collect seeds on a walk
    • Take care of the environment – when you go on a country walk shut gates, don’t drop litter etc.
    • Make porridge
    • Small World Farm
    • Difference between town and countryside
    • Changing seasons – what happens on a farm at different times of the year?
    • Sharing – The Little Red Hen
    • Safety on the farm – machinery, washing hands etc.

    Activities

    Keeping Safe/forums/uploads/word.gif/forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Caring For Animals/forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list )

     

    Communication& Language and Literacy (CL and L)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Farm animal puppets
    • Stories with props

      Songs and Rhymes

    • Alliteration with initial sound e.g. clumsy cow, happy horse
    • Act out stories (e.g. The Enormous Turnip/ The Three Little Pigs)
    • Animal sounds listening games
    • Role play area – Farm shop/ Animal Barn
    • Farm story bag/feely bag
    • Matching cards – adult and baby animals
    • Names for adult and baby animals
    • Talk about different jobs around the farm – mucking out/shearing sheep/milking time etc.
    • Make an interactive display about a particular farm animal – include facts, books, small world animals, puppets etc.

    Activities

    Farm Story Bag /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Animal Alliteration /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

     

    Understanding the world (UW)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Visit a Farm
    • Role play area – Farm Shop/Animal Barn
    • Grow your own wheat
    • Duck pond in the water tray
    • Small world farm – on play mat/in tray with sand, earth or straw
    • Make porridge
    • Make bread
    • Make animal biscuits

      Make boiled eggs/egg sandwiches/pancakes

    • Look at sheep’s wool and compare with balls of wool for knitting
    • Spin some wool
    • Look for things that are made of wool
    • Sort different seeds
    • Investigate ears of corn
    • Look at similarities and differences between crop farms and animal farms
    • Farming around the world
    • Investigate animal coverings – fur/feathers/skin/wool

    Activities

    The Journey of a Jumper /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Take Rosie for a Walk /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

     

    Display example

    (Back to contents list)

     

    Mathematics (M)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Use egg boxes and make and count play dough eggs
    • Count sets of animals
    • Sort animals – either different types of animal, or adult and baby animals, or farm animals from zoo animals
    • Sort by features, such as number of legs
    • Sort harvest produce into fruit and vegetables
    • Role play area – money and counting in the Farm Shop
    • Make squares of coloured paper to represent fields (brown, yellow, green) and make repeating patterns
    • Sequence animals e.g. 1 pig, 2 sheep, 1 pig, 2 sheep.
    • Five little ducks in the water tray
    • Survey of the children’s favourite animals
    • Count money in and out of piggy banks
    • Small world farm – counting animals

    Activities

    Farmyard Homes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Vegetable Box Delivery /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

     

    Physical Development (PD)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Pretend to be different types of farm machinery
    • Ride on tractors and trucks
    • Action rhymes
    • Make plasticine animals
    • Make animal homes out of construction toys
    • Move like animals – skip like lambs, paddle like ducks, gallop like horses etc.
    • Act out the Enormous Turnip Story – pretend to really pull the turnip, or have a mini ‘tug of war’ outside
    • Hide root vegetables in a tray filled with earth/in sand pit outside – provide spades and buckets for digging them out
    • Look at pictures of hen houses that have ramps – make ramps outside and go up and down them
    • Animal parachute games

    Activities

    Ploughing the Fields /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Farmyard Obstacles /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

     

    Expressive Arts & Design (EAD)

     

    Ideas and Suggestions:

    • Role play areas
    • Songs and Rhymes
    • Weaving with wool
    • Making a farm collage
    • Farm animal masks
    • Make a scarecrow
    • Decorate old CDs and hang outside over your seeds to keep the birds off
    • Make homes for small world farm animals – hen house/pig sty/barn
    • Patchwork patterns – like the fields
    • Papier mache piggy banks
    • Mixing colours – pink for pigs/brown for horses

    Activities

    Make a Scarecrow /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    Noisy Animals /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

    (Back to contents list)

    right content:

     

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