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Hi. Does anyone know of any unusual malleable materials I could use with my class of nursery/reception children. We have experienced the usual clay, playdough, ...ect. I'm thinking about something different and exciting .I'm sure their are some wonderful ones out there! Please help!PS. We love to work outdoors! :o

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Our children used to like using plaster of paris to make models. You could also try:

clay

gloop (soap flakes and water)

very wet sand

ooblick (cornflour and water, you could add colours/smells to it)

shaving foam

compost

flour and water

shredded paper

sawdust

wood shavings

dry sand

tea, rice and pasta

dry leaves

straw

 

Clare

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You can buy a product called modelling sand (quite expensive, I think), which you can mould into different shapes.

Someone talked about a modelling soap from Tescos a while back too.

Jelly is fun to play with but VERY messy (definitely one for outside)

Soapy sand

Cooked spaghetti

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You could also try using that Magic Sand stuff. It's the stuff that you can model with underwater and then goes back in the bottle dry. I don't know how much it is, nor have I used it myself, but one of my students used it with a small group of children and they seemed to really enjoy it.

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indoors we use things like bread dough, pastry, clay, salt dough, play dough, plastacine, wax...... in the water tray slime (soap flakes and water) gloop (cornflour and water or custard powder and water) angel delight, boiled pasta, porridge, mashed potato, jelly.... on the messy table shaving foam (try mixing it with paint) cornflour and paint boiled up to form a paste hair gel and paint outdoors things like mud, mixed with lots of natural material, sand and slime mix, cement, and just about anything that will send the students looking for cover (evil laugh) :o

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Clean mud!! Not tried it myself yet, but I think it's shredded/ripped paper, grated soap (the person who told me said Dove was best), and then mix with water.

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OHHHHHH! Just remembered, when I was on teaching practice, I did half a day in a nursery. There was a builders tray on the floor full of baked beans. Strangely, no children went anywhere near it :o

 

Harricroft

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In my last setting we had a dummy OFSTED and we were told that the children could not explain their learning objectives when playing with playdough- in a well resourced Continuous Provision Malleable areawith my CP labels in it. They were making all sorts of things and the group the inspector observed were adding bits of things like buttons and pasta to their creations, and an adult was with them talking as they were working/playing.

Reception were also criticised for the same thing- they were using white sparkly dough doing all the ususal things. The upshot was that the HT said that they could only have dough out once each week as it was not really a productive learning area, other than if they were following instructions and making the dough it themselves. The children should have been able to explain what they were learning otherewise it was a waste of time, and somthing they could have been doing at home. Comments!

BTW I love all the ideas above and even 'tho i have retired this very 'sad' :o lady made some chocolate playdough at home- I did give it to a friend who works in a Nursery after I'd played with it. Next year my Grandson will be old enough for it.

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We had white sparkly playdough out when we were OFSTEDed in January and recieved no comment either good or bad. The purpose of the dough that particular week was to strengthen fingers to improve fine motor control (at least that would have been my explaination if asked)

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Our children don't really seem interested in simply rolling playdough and the usual cutting etc. So we added plastic scissors, to help develop scissor control and now the children are always involved with the playdough. Some of the older children pretend they are cutting hair which is much better than them actually cutting hair, whether their own or others!

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Using our Persil Stars (wonderful things - had lots of fab freebies) we got several tubs of some amazing modelling sand, coated in wax I think. We have 3 & 4 year olds in our nursery who loved this as it could be moulded into shapes that would stay. It can also be sculpted into hills, roads etc to drive vehicles through and also can have water on it to make hard surface for the bottom of the sea etc, unlike normal sand which turns to soup when the water is inevitably stirred!

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In my last setting we had a dummy OFSTED and we were told that the children could not explain their learning objectives when playing with playdough- in a well resourced Continuous Provision Malleable areawith my CP labels in it. They were making all sorts of things and the group the inspector observed were adding bits of things like buttons and pasta to their creations, and an adult was with them talking as they were working/playing.

Reception were also criticised for the same thing- they were using white sparkly dough doing all the ususal things. The upshot was that the HT said that they could only have dough out once each week as it was not really a productive learning area, other than if they were  following instructions and making the dough it themselves. The children should have been able to explain what they were learning otherewise it was a waste of time, and somthing they could have been doing at home. Comments!

BTW I love all the ideas above and even 'tho i have retired this very 'sad' :o  lady made some chocolate playdough at home- I did give it to a friend who works in a Nursery after I'd played with it. Next year my Grandson will be old enough for it.

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Good grief! I bet none of the children can explain the learning objective when engaged in CI activities, but that doesn't mean that they can't explain what they are doing or that they are not learning!

What's wrong with children having fun????

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I have recently adopted process artworks at nursery.

 

One of the first ones was big sheets of cooking foil.The children scrunched, squashed, squeezed, twisted and turned the foil into unusual shapes and stuck them onto card or paper. Others after scrunching etc tried to flatten the foil back out and stuck almost flat foil onto their paper or card. We did a husge display on process art for parents informing them that through this technique there is no right way, no wrong way, just their way.

 

By the way latest processes have been bubble wrap wrapped around tables and easels (big and small bubbles) some painted individual bubbles, others more interested in the sound or colour mixing. Paper placed on top and really exciting prints made.

 

This week we did snappy painting (very messy but good for developing pincer grip)

Stretch elastic bands over an old photo frame (glass removed) paint the bands, place over paper and stretch and let go!!!!!!!!!

 

Use those red postman bands, make thick elastic pieces etc.

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Brilliant!! But - be aware of latex allergies (sorry, those of you who know me, realise this is a pet thing!!)

 

Sue

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Havent currently got any children with problems but you can buy the plastic gloves (like they have at petrol pumps) only they burst even easier :o

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We making mud pies next term :o

add pva glue to potting compost if you want it to last longer

 

we will also be mixing concrete at some point

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Please be aware you can get serious chemical burns from the lime in concrete I don't believe you are able to use it in schools.

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Please be aware you can get serious chemical burns from the lime in concrete I don't believe you are able to use it in schools.

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The activity was actually recommended on a course run by our LEA on making use of the Ourdoor area. We wear gloves and masks as well as normal protective clothing

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In my last setting we had a dummy OFSTED and we were told that the children could not explain their learning objectives when playing with playdough- in a well resourced Continuous Provision Malleable areawith my CP labels in it. They were making all sorts of things and the group the inspector observed were adding bits of things like buttons and pasta to their creations, and an adult was with them talking as they were working/playing.

Reception were also criticised for the same thing- they were using white sparkly dough doing all the ususal things. The upshot was that the HT said that they could only have dough out once each week as it was not really a productive learning area, other than if they were  following instructions and making the dough it themselves. The children should have been able to explain what they were learning otherewise it was a waste of time, and somthing they could have been doing at home. Comments!

BTW I love all the ideas above and even 'tho i have retired this very 'sad' :o  lady made some chocolate playdough at home- I did give it to a friend who works in a Nursery after I'd played with it. Next year my Grandson will be old enough for it.

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Not sure who did your "dummy" Inspection but they may find the article in this weeks Nursery World very useful for their own professional development. The article explains a project which has been carried out in croyden EY setting over the last 6 years called the Effective Early Learning project. Stemming from this is a training course called Developing a quality learning environment. which focuses on ( among other things) "Involvement and Engagement". The term "Involvement" in this context is defined by work from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who has been studying human enjoyment. She posed the question: What makes some experiences enjoyable and others less so?

She looked at "External motivators" and - future reward compared to "Intrinsic need" , when people ( and especially children) devote large amounts of time doing things that are INEXPLICABLE, the doing is enjoyed for its own sake. The process rather than the end product, that is creative and fulfilling. A child will show a narrowing of attention on a clearly defined goal ( of their own), you set your own challenges, only the child knows what must be done, and gets immediate feedback as to how well he/she is doing. this depth of concentration provides a sense of control over their own actions. In these moments, the awareness of time disappears and it is moments like these, when a person is highly motivated, interested and fascinated, that they are truly involved. ( I can remember so many times I have felt like this when absorbed in an experience of my own choosing and set my own motivational goals - I also wondered how many times I enable these opportunities for children in my preschool).

Csikszentmihalyi suggests that an involved person gains a deep, motivated, intense and LASTING learning experience.

The article goes on to cover the adult role through positive engagement, but to me the main message was that children ( unlike) adults need to set their own intrinsic motivators and adult external motivators such as defining pre-set specific learning intentions before an activity/experience commences can actually decrease the level of childrens involvement, thus learning.

Food for thought, something most of us know already, ( but not all dummy Inspectors) this is an inspiring article.

 

Peggy

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The activity was actually recommended on a course run by our LEA on making use of the Ourdoor area. We wear gloves and masks as well as normal protective clothing

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I have seen chemical burns caused by concrete first hand and they are extreemly painful these were recieved through clothing. I would check again with your LEA it is possible the person who made the suggestion is not aware it is a harmful substance. I also heard of an art teacher who used plaster to make a mold of a body part and used the wrong sort and caused chemical burns to the pupil who later sued.

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I have seen chemical burns caused by concrete first hand and they are extreemly painful these were recieved through clothing. I would check again with your LEA it is possible the person who made the suggestion is not aware it is a harmful substance.  I also heard of an art teacher who used plaster to make a mold of a body part and used the wrong sort and caused chemical burns to the pupil who later sued.

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I will certainly enquire with my LEA and Health and Safety with regards to using concrete in school. Luckily in all the years I have used both concrete and plaster of paris no one has been injured.

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