Tag Archives: expressive arts

Recycled Art, Modelling and Up-cycling

We are always in need of resources for our junk modelling area and would be grateful for any donations of:

  • small boxes and tubs (plastic or cardboard)
  • cardboard kitchen rolls
  • plastic lids, bottle tops, margarine lids, etc
  • ribbons, string, wool, buttons, sequins, material scraps
  • anything else of an interesting shape or feel from your recycling box

Many thanks for your donations.

Junk modelling or recycled art is being creative with materials that would otherwise be discarded. Junk modelling construction gives children the freedom to build what they want with the addition of resources like tape and glue. 

Modelling with recycled resources encourages higher order thinking. Children can work on their own or co-operate with others, learning to explore and share ideas. When they create something new it can build self confidence and boost self-esteem. Junk modelling is all about the learning process rather than the end product.

Here are some examples of what we have made so far this term:

Shoebox masks
Fire Engine
A chair
Laptop computer
Apple box keyboard


Donated cable drums have also been up-cycled to make tables for our indoor role play areas and outdoor areas. We measured offcuts of cloth, cut them to size and stapled them to the cable drum surface.

Story Stones

Story stones are great resources for developing children’s communication skills, promoting their language skills and encouraging their imagination and creativity.

Here are some ideas you can use story stones for at home..

  • Add the story stones to a sensory bin.
  • Place them face-down on a table. Children can begin a story and then flip over a story stone to incorporate that idea or prompt. Remember it does not need to be in sequential order!
  • Read a book together with your child. After the book, tell the story again using the story stones. 
  • Play Kim’s game and see if the children can identify what character or scene is missing.
  • Practice sequencing stories by lining the story stones up in the order of a story.

When using the story stones use language such as:

  • Once upon a time..
  • The next thing to happen…
  • Suddenly…

These phrases help develop your child’s ability to predict and retell stories they are both familiar and unfamiliar with.

All you need to make your own story stones are:

  • Stones of any shape, size and colour
  • Paints or paint pens

If you try this at home, why not share your photographs with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC


Playdough and loose parts play

The orchard bubble have been busy! 

The orchard bubble has shown a great interest in making playdough over the last few weeks. The children have taken responsibility for their own learning by coming up with different ideas of how they want to create their playdough from colours and texture.  “I want blue.”




“I want pink.”




The children had shown an interest in loose parts and wanted to include this in their playdough experience. By incorporating loose parts with playdough the children are developing their fine motor skills. They use a variety of movements such as pressing, rolling and stretching. This will help to strengthen the muscles in their hand which in turn will help them with their writing skills.


“I want to use leaves.”       


 “Oooohhh feathers.”



The children showed ownership over their creations and seemed to enjoy the fact that they could start again when one model was finished. They did show interest in taking them home so our next steps will be trying to create models with loose parts and clay. 


“Can we take them home?”

Musicality benefits

From a very young age children benefit in all areas of their development when taking part in musicality sessions.


  1. Helps children understand the meaning and the sound of words.
  2. Helps develop their listening skills (loud, quiet)
  3. Rhyming
  4. Syllables (clapping out)
  5. Helps them predict
  6. Imagination
  7. Conversation
  8. Follow instruction



  1. Counting beats
  2. Number song
  3. Recognition of numbers
  4. Recognition of Shapes And their names
  5. Rhythm pattern


Gross and fine motor motor skills

  1. Jumping, hopping, skipping and dancing.
  2. Helps them develop and control their body movements.
  3. Better control at manipulating objects (instruments)
  4. Helps strengthen their muscles.
  5. Moving the instruments in all different directions(up downside to side, front back)

Social and emotional skills

  1. Interaction with other children.
  2. Introduction to different kinds of music and cultural differences awareness.
  3. Increasing confidence in performing
  4. Sharing resources.





In Ballet the children are learning how to control their bodies through balance, good posture, listening skills, following instructions and rhythm, also finding their own space, cooperating with others and taking part in a performance.

We started of with the basic movements of dance and Ballet such as Feet Positions ——- first position (happy feet ) , parallel ——- (feet together ) and Second (feet apart).


Arm Positions ——- Bras Bas (first position of the arms ) Gateway (out in front ) Second(arms out wide ).

Moves within Ballet such as —- point lift, point close, springs in first, plies “which we called make a diamond,”


And at the end of every performance we learned who to do a bow and a courtesy.

We put it altogether and made a dance and chose music.


Ballet is an art form created by the movement of the human body. It is theatrical – performed on a stage to an audience utilising costumes, scenic design and lighting. It can tell a story or express a thought, concept or emotion. Ballet dance can be magical and exciting.





Exploring Mark Making

Over the past few weeks at nursery, the children have been exploring different ways of mark making both indoors and outside.

Here are just a few photographs of what we have been doing…

Pens and pencils
…working together on a large piece of paper.

Whiteboards are a favourite…



Writing  in  salt…

Gloop is always popular!

Mixing our own colours of paint…

We love painting on a large scale (although it can get messy!)

Making paint from things we find outdoors…

Mashed brambles
Mud painting
Mud painting

Crayon rubbings and chalk outside too.

How do you like to make marks, draw and write? Why not share with us on Twitter  @GlenwoodFC  or in your Google Classroom.

Remote Learning – Musicality

Children naturally enjoy music, and want to move, dance, vocalise and create sounds in whichever way they can to reflect their mood.

There are different aspects of musicality that you can explore with your child:


When children take part in music and movement activities, they can release lots of energy as they have fun being creative and dancing around.  It also helps children to develop their gross and fine motor skills, express their emotions, learn how to share space, and improve their balance and co-ordination as they explore moving their body.

Great songs to try are Shake your sillies out and I can move my body like anything or you could play a game like musical statues.

Play Sounds

When children make sounds through play, they are developing early instrumental skills.  They are first learning what the object is and then what they can do with it.  As children experiment, they are building an understanding of how best to make the sound i.e shake maracas, use a beater to play a triangle, scrape or beat a woodblock, tap or bang drums with their hands.

Encouraging your child to explore what they can do with instruments is so beneficial for their development.  It builds fine and gross motor skills, supports sensory development, enhances hand-eye co-ordination and helps your child to develop patience and perseverance.

You may have some instruments at home already or you could make your own such as lollipop stick harmonicas or straw pan flutes.  We also included ideas in the home learning booklet in your family fun bag.


Listening is not just about hearing, it is also about being able to tune-in to sounds in the environment and sounds that are spoken.  It can be described as an active process where we make sense and respond to what we hear.  As children develop their listening skills, they are learning to take in information, respond to instructions and share ideas and thoughts.

You could try playing some listening games with your child, such as Simon Says, or online from the BBC website https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/eyfs-listening-skills/zbc4y9q


Having the opportunity to be creative with music enables children to think about how sounds are made and how they can put these sounds together to compose their own rhythms.  Children need to be able to try out their own ideas and express themselves to nurture this creative process.

Here are some ideas to encourage your child:

Chrome Music Lab – Song Maker

Body rhythm using syllables: Start by thinking of 2 items that you want to use, for example apple and banana

Choose which body parts you want to use to beat out the syllables, you might clap hands twice for a-pple or stamp three times for ba-na-na

Put this rhythm together and then repeat: CLAP, CLAP, STAMP, STAMP, STAMP, CLAP, CLAP, STAMP, STAMP, STAMP

Say the syllables as you do the body rhythm: a-pple, ba-na-na, a-pple, ba-na-na


Singing with your child helps promote their language and literacy development.  Songs can be very motivating for children, using simple, repetitive language to encourage engagement as they learn new things such as phonological awareness and vocabulary. Children’s songs also include concepts such as counting, body parts recognition, animals and following directions, and these really help your child to understand experiences, words, emotions, and much more.

Spend some time singing with your child everyday.  Here are some song suggestions and ways that you can integrate activities to enhance the experience for your child:

Favourites: Incy Wincy Spider; Wheels on the Bus; Row, Row, Row your Boat

Body parts: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes; If You’re Happy and You Know It; Tommy Thumb

Animals: Old McDonald; I Went to Visit a Zoo One Day; There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly

Counting: 5 Little Monkeys; Once I Caught a Fish Alive; 5 Little Speckled Frogs

Other Ideas

  • Try pausing before the last word in a line and see if your child finishes it.  This is building skills such as attention, memory, language and rhyming.
  • Add extra verses or change some of the details in the song.  This encourages your child to be creative and flexible, whilst supporting vocabulary development.
  • Make a mistake whilst singing and see if your child notices and can fix it.  This helps improve attention and listening skills.
  • Adapt a song to include holiday and seasonal topics, for example  Santa on the Sleigh Goes Ho, Ho, Ho.
  • Make up your own songs to develop your child’s understanding and motor movements.

Remember to share your ideas in your Google Classroom or on Twitter @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Small Worlds

Where children can allow their imagination to run wild and create an imaginary world out of any everyday objects lying inside the house – like buttons, corks, scarfs, lentils, pasta, cotton wool, boxes and plastic containers from the recycling. What about collecting things from outdoors too – from the garden or when out on a walk like twigs and stones to help you to create wonderful small worlds for your favourite toys to explore!

Small world play is when children use figures and resources in miniature to build stories and play imaginatively. Your small world play could represent a real-life place, like a farm, or it might be a completely imaginary world. The key is that they’re often an outlet for imaginative or pretend play, where children can do everything from acting out routines or recalling past events, to creating their own unique stories.

Mrs Cramb decided to create a small world by recycling a pizza box as a base: painting it and adding some small stones, branches, twigs, leaves and lentils. She then added some dinosaurs to create a Jurassic world!

Her small world was a great place for her wild animals too.

Creating small worlds helps development of imagination, language & curiosity – what do the animals eat? what environment do they live in? what do they look like?

What skills are being learned through small world play?

  • It helps children to explore and understand the world around them.
  • It’s a safe place to explore ideas and develop their imagination.
  • More pretend play in childhood has even been linked to successful adult creatives.
  • Children can build self-confidence by exploring their own ideas.
  • It promotes narrative in play, helping children to become storytellers.
  • It’s often cooperative and teaches children social skills.
  • It’s great for fine motor control.
  • Children can explore their understanding of space and size.
  • They build an awareness of other people’s emotions by exploring a world in someone else’s shoes.
  • They can also explore their own emotions through the container of a character they’ve made up.
  • They can explore cause and effect.
  • It provides opportunities for problem-solving.
  • It  aids language development, by getting children talking descriptively, and exploring a wider vocabulary.

There are so many benefits to creating and exploring small worlds – so why not join in and allow your child to take the lead, while you support them in creating a wonderful world to explore.

Remember to share your creations with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Helicopter Stories at Home

Helicopter Stories is a simple approach based on the work of Vivian Gussin Paley. It involves acting as a scribe by writing down a child’s story word for word as they are saying it. After it has been written the time is then taken to act it out. In the nursery we tend to do this with a bigger group. However, they can be done at home with only one child. When we are in nursery it is usually an A5 size of paper that is used. However, as you are at home you can choose whatever size of paper you want. It might be nice to use a notebook and keep them all together if you choose to do it more than once.

Here are some helpful tips for doing Helicopter Stories at home.

Listening to your child’s story.

There are no rules to how long their story must be. Their stories can range from just one word to a few short sentences, sometimes they can even write a list. For a child to become a confident storyteller they must be allowed to tell their stories the way they want, without anyone interfering or interrupting them. This will help them to trust that what is being written and acted out are their own words.

Try not to interrupt

Naturally when we are reading stories to children or if a child is telling us a story, we would ask questions. Such as how big was the elephant? When the child is talking try not to ask them questions or influence their story in any way. Just listen to them so that you can hear everything that is being said and are able to write every word down. Perhaps after the child has told their story and acted it out, you could then ask them to scribe for you while you tell them a story. It doesn’t matter if they can’t write the words properly, as when you act it out you will both remember what was said.

Make a stage

Normally a stage for Helicopter Stories will be marked out using masking tape . Remember there are no rules at home so you can use the hallway, stairs, living room… Ask your child to decide where they want their stage to be and they can make their own rules up. Your acting area can be whatever and wherever you want it to be.

And Finally, Act It Out

I’m a tree…

When you begin to act out the stories let your child be in charge. It is their story so they will show you exactly how they want it to be acted out. Let your child decide what character they want to be and tell you what character you are going to be.

Be prepared to be anything… now I’m a bench!

This is a great activity to get the whole family involved. If there are only two of you, each of you can be more than one character. Just as the child can’t do anything wrong in this activity neither can you. Just play, try not to take over, and release your inner child!

Find out more about Helicopter Stories on their website here.

Most importantly have fun! You might like to share your stories with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Transient Art

Mrs Wilson has been busy finding loose parts at home to create some transient art.   Transient art is a term used to describe art that is non-permanent and continually evolving, where a variety of materials are used to create pictures, patterns or models.

The non-permanent nature of this art means that children can move, change and experiment with the materials used until they are happy with what they have achieved.  As well as developing their fine motor skills children also grow in confidence at making decisions as they design and redesign their ideas.

Working on transient art projects is a fun way to develop creativity and encourages children to explore materials and develop an understanding of their senses.

The loose parts used provide an ideal opportunity to talk about texture, colour and size.  Using loose parts also develops skills in numeracy and mathematics such as sorting, matching, counting, pattern making, exploring shapes and learning about symmetry.



Ideas for loose parts to use at home (although the list is endless).

Beads    Buttons   Sequins   Bottle lids   Corks   Lollipop sticks   Coins   Feathers   Spoons   Colouring pens   Cotton reels   Clothes pegs   Paper clips   Curtain rings

Natural materials are ideal to use if creating an outdoors transient art project.

Stones    Sticks   Twigs   Pine cones   Shells   Leaves   Flower petals

Transient art projects to try at home

  • Draw a straight, zigzag, or spiral line for your child to make a pattern on.
  • Use a picture frame to design a picture in.
  • Create a picture on or in front of a mirror.
  • Fill a shallow tray with water and use that to make a design in.
  • Challenge your child to create a symmetrical picture.
  • Use the loose parts to ‘write’ your name.

Before you tidy away your loose parts you could take a picture of your transient art and send a tweet to @Glenwood FC  #Glenwoodlearningathome


Remote Learning – Block Play

When playing with blocks children are using a number of different skills. These include measuring, counting, teamwork, talking to each other, problem solving and many more.

In Glenwood we have recently started using the 7 stages of block play. We use the stages to determine what stage of development the children are at when using blocks. Our blocks are different shapes and sizes.

The Seven Stages of Block Play

Stage 1: The blocks are carried around but not used for building.


Stage 2: Blocks are placed on the floor horizontally or vertically (stacking).



Stage 3: Blocks are used to bridge the space between other blocks.




Stage 4: Blocks are used to enclose a space.

Stage 5: Complex structure: blocks are placed in patterns or symmetrically when building. Block accessories may be incorporated. Buildings are not generally named.


Stage 6: Block buildings are given names that relate to the function of the building.

Stage 7: Block buildings often reproduce actual structures known by the children. There is a strong impulse for dramatic play around the structure.

Blockplay is unique!

Blockplay is sustainable!

Blockplay is accessible!

Blockplay doesn’t require spoken language!

Do you have any blocks at home?

Remember you can share your building with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning- Make you own window paint

A little bit messy but great fun…

You will need: plain flour, washing up liquid, water, food colouring, bowls, spoons, paint brushes





Measure out 1 cup each of flour, water and washing up liquid and mix until smooth – try not to make too many bubbles.





Split the paint between small bowls and add food colouring.

Your paint is ready to use!

Have you spotted any rainbows in your street?

Here is Mrs Husbands!


The Willow Room have been learning about creatures who live under the sea and today Miss Davidson brought in a live lobster for us to see.

After we had investigated her and asked lots of questions to find out more, some of the children painted pictures of what they could see.

Rosalie’s mum came to nursery this afternoon and told us lots of interesting facts about lobsters. Did you know they can be right or left clawed just like we can be right or left handed?

Some of us were brave enough to touch the lobster
Some of us were brave enough to touch the lobster
We counted the lobsters legs
We counted the lobsters legs


We even looked underneath the lobster
We even looked underneath the lobster


A painting of the lobster
A painting of the lobster


A lobster's teeth are in its stomach
A lobster’s teeth are in its stomach
Our lobster had 12 brains
Our lobster had 12 brains