Saturday, 9 February 2013

Valentines Day Ideas

Inspired by these fab felt counting valentines at Itty Bitty Love I decided to make some out of corrugated card I picked up from my favourite discount store Wilkos! Ethan Bear finds numbers a bit tricky so I hope using some physical objects to aid counting will help him understand the meaning and relevance of numbers more.  Sticking the gems and foam shapes on and the tactile feel of the card all contribute to this being a very sensory experience of learning numbers.  I will update further how all the children get on with this new resource when introduced to it.

This links in with the EYFS in the following ways:

Mathematics - Numbers: Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set.
Shows curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions.

I also made some strawberry jelly play dough, a very slight variation on the valentines play dough at The Imagination Tree.  It was really simple to make and turned out much nicer than the shop bought stuff.  Ethan loved using the rolling pin and heart cutters to play with the dough.  He made a giant cake by filling all the cutters with dough and stacking them on top of each other and moulded the dough round the rolling pin to make a turtle with rolling pin head.  He chattered away whilst playing getting the big cutters to talk to the little ones and putting on different voices.  Ethan got so much from this resource playing with it for hours before going to play with his duplo and then returning asking for it to be brought out again.  

Today I made some chocolate play dough  (another great recipe from Imagination Tree) to add to our collection.  I gave it to Ethan with some birthday candles and he had a ball.  He recently turned three so loved me singing happy birthday and then pretended to blow the candles out.  He made a spider cake (pictured below), horse cake, chocolate chicken, eggs and sausages.  These play dough experiments have really taken Ethan's imaginative play into a whole new dimension and the versatility of the dough means it can become anything at any time.  Big success :)

All the children have loved the play dough today.  They have offered me a cake and a cup of tea and set to work rolling it out and poking candles in before taking the candles out and putting them back in the holes.

This activity links to the EYFS in the following ways:

Expressive Arts & Design - Being Imaginative - Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences, Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there, Uses available resources to create props to support role-play, Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme.

Expressive Arts & Design - Exploring & Using Media & Materials Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.

Communication & Language - Listening & Attention: Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.   

Communication & Language - Speaking:  Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating, Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.

Today we made Valentine's Jam Heart Tarts.  I was feeling lazy so bought some ready rolled pastry for the children to make them with but I'm sure they would be even nicer if you made that from scratch too and the children would love mixing the dough.  The children loved cutting the heart shapes out and then putting them in the baking tin.  They counted how many hearts there were when the tins were full and then spooned the jam out and cut out the hearts for the top.  We had some pastry left over so the children played with it (just as I remember playing with left over pastry dough as a child and loving it).


What are you up to for Valentines day?


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