Tag Archives: learning for sustainability

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

Up-cycling! 

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.

Eco – Wormery

The Orchard bubble had a great experience creating a wormery. They were involved in every step of the process. We started off by watching a video instructing us on how to start creating a wormery. It provided us with information on the benefits of having a wormery. The first thing we started doing was drilling lots of holes in our box which took quite a number of days. The children thought this was: ‘Hard work.’

After we had finished drilling the holes in the box it was then time to add our compost into the box to start creating a nice home for our worms. The children were developing their gross motor skills by helping to pour the heavy bag of compost into the box. The children thought that: “The worms are really going to love their new home.”

Miss Maclean had ordered special composting worms from the internet and they had arrived. The children couldn’t believe that you could order worms from the internet. We sat down at group time and looked at the worms and Miss Maclean explained why we needed to use composting worms. The children had even remembered that: “The wormery helps us recycle” and “they will help make compost.”

  

Now that the worms are in their new home the children love to care and look after them everyday. “We spray the worms to give them a drink.” “We need to give them our food waste.” The Orchard bubble are attached to their worms and want them moved into the next room we move to.

“Miss Maclean can we look at the worms again.”

Runner Beans

The children have been very interested to learn about planting and growing runner bean seeds for our new family centre.  By placing a runner bean seed in a zip lock bag with some wet cotton wool and sticking this on to the window, the children were able to observe the seeds germinate as the roots and shoots started to grow. 

“I can see the roots going down and the shoots going up.”

“They are going to be so tall.”

“The roots are getting really long now.”

After about 10 days the children filled some small plant pots with soil and carefully planted a seedling in each one and then watered them all.


“I will give them some water.  They need water so they can grow.”

The children took responsibility for checking that the soil in the pots was not too dry and made sure each plant had enough water to help it grow.

“The beans need a little drink of water.  I touched the soil with my finger and it felt dry.”

To prepare for planting the runner beans outdoors a handheld drill was used to drill drainage holes in planters, the planters were filled with soil and canes were added to provide support.

“I’m turning the handle round and round.  I can see little bits of plastic at the bottom.”

 

 

To help carefully remove the plant from the pot without damaging it, the children learned about gently rolling and squeezing the pot with their fingers and hands.  They were very interested to see how the roots had grown inside the pot.

“Look at all the roots.  There are so many.”

When the children had finished planting all the runner bean plants they chose a sunny spot to put them in the garden and gave them a big drink of water. 

“The beans are really tall.  They have lots of leaves.”

Further information about growing runner beans can be found on the following website:  https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-grow-runner-beans/

Chocolate Playdough for Fairtrade Fortnight

We made some chocolate playdough in nursery today. It smelt delicious – but we knew we couldn’t eat it! Here is how we made it…

Our ingredients

First we measured our ingredients and put them in the bowl: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt, half a cup of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons oil, 4 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2 cups water.

Then we stirred it until it was smooth – “It looks like chocolate icing!”

We cooked ours in the microwave – stir every minute until it is cooked.

Fairtrade Fortnight began on 22nd February and our cocoa powder had a Fairtrade logo on it. Fairtrade means the farmers get paid a ‘fair price’ for the crop. Can you find any logos on anything in your house?

A bunch of bananas is called a hand.

Find out more about Fairtrade bananas with Pablo Super Banana in this video: https://vimeo.com/153120034

 

Why not try this quiz with your family on the Fairtrade website? How much do you know about Chocolate?

Remote Learning: Eco Schools

Responsible Robbie

As a nursery community, we are on a continuous journey to empower our children to improve their environmental awareness.  

There are lots of wonderful ideas that you can do as a family to learn more about the natural world and care for the environment, which supports STEM and literacy learning, as well as your child’s health and wellbeing.

RECYCLE

Introduce your children to the concept of sorting household rubbish for recycling into categories such as plastic, paper, metal and glass.  This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about different types of materials used for packaging, how they are made and how they can be reused.  

National Geographic have a great online game to do a recycle round-up and clean up the park: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/games/action-and-adventure/recycle-roundup-new/

RE-USE

Instead of throwing things away, encourage your child to think of great ways to reuse items.  Egg cartons work really well for growing herbs, glass jars are perfect for storing loose parts for play, and tin cans make really good pen and pencil holders.

COMPOST

Composting helps to teach our children about reducing the waste that heads to landfills by converting it into nutrient-rich soil.

There are lots of free and easy ways for your family to start composting.  

Use a recycled plastic drinks bottle – https://www.changeworks.org.uk/sites/default/files/Make_compost_in_a_bottle.pdf 

Recycle some wooden pallets – https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/startcomposting/

You could also simply create a compost trench in your garden or use an old bin or container – https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/Kindergarden/kidscompost/CompostingForKids.pdf

So what should you put in?

Greens – these are things that rot quickly, and provide important nitrogen and moisture

  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Old flowers and nettles

Browns – these are things that rot more slowly.  They provide carbon and fibre and also allow air pockets to form

  • Cardboard
  • Egg boxes
  • Paper
  • Leaves
  • Twigs and branches
  • Sawdust
  • Egg shells

LITTER PICK

Visit a local park and spend some time cleaning up the litter.  You will not only be protecting the wildlife and caring for the world around you but you will also be helping your community.  It will hopefully inspire others to join in too.  Count how many bits of rubbish you find – you will be amazed!  Don’t forget to wear protective gloves and take a rubbish bag.     

GARDEN SAFARI

You don’t have to go far to encounter some amazing living things.  Going on a back garden safari in your own garden or to a local park or woods will be a real voyage of discovery.  It is such a fun way to explore and learn about local plants, animals and minibeasts.  You can simply sit and watch, take photos or a video, do a scavenger checklist or record what you found by drawing a picture.

There is lots of information on the WWF to help you get started – https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/love-nature/garden-safari

GROWING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Getting your child involved in growing fruit and vegetables is a great way for them to learn where their food comes from and make healthy eating choices.  Children can see first hand the growing cycle and develop an awareness of the seasonal nature of food.

Try growing indoors whilst the weather is still cold.  Tomatoes, carrots, peppers and beans work well on a nice sunny windowsill using a recycled container that allows drainage.

https://kidsgardening.org/gardening-basics-indoor-gardening/

Spring is coming soon and the perfect time to start growing outdoors if you have the opportunity.  You can plant in tubs, make a raised bed or create a garden growing patch.  

Fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow and mature quickly are strawberries, lettuce, peas, radishes, and courgettes.       

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/easy-crops-kids-grow

We would love if you could share your learning from home with us so we can use it as part of our action plan, either via Google Classroom or Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningfromhome  

Remote Leaning: Looking after the birds

Responsible Robbie

Responsible Robbie likes to help look after the environment and wildlife.

Have you tried the recipe for bird cake in your home learning booklet?
Why not try to make your own bird feeder from recycled materials you have in the house. Here are some ideas…
Remember to throw any wire away after the birds have eaten the cereal.
The CBeebies website has some more ideas on how to make bird feeders for your garden. Why not take a look… Make a bird feeder – CBeebies – BBC
Why not join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which is happening from the 29th to 31st January and you can sign up for free. There are lots of other things to do on their website too, including stories to read and games to play.
I wonder which birds you will have visiting your garden?
Why not let us know on Google Classroom or Twitter?
 @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Catapults and Mazes

Mrs Silvester has been having fun with her recycling again! Here are some ideas of things you could try at home too…

Catapults

In Mrs Silvester’s house we set out to build our own catapults with things we had around the house to see if we could create our own trajectory devices. Then we built a basketball type game with the catapults.

Here are some of the things you could use:

  • Piece of scrap wood/ cardboard/ice lollipop stick/craft stick
  • Wood glue/rubber bands/sticky tack
  • Clothes peg/plastic spoons
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Cardboard box
  • Yogurt pots/containers
  • Projectile Ideas (safe for toddlers and preschoolers): peas, pom poms, dandelions (just the flower part)

These were some of the questions the children in my house had, which we were hoping the experiment would answer:

  • Which would go further, heavier things or lighter things?
  • Does a longer catapult fling the object further?
  • Which catapult would work better, the spoon or the lollipop stick?
Here is our basketball game.

Find more information

https://www.scouts.org.uk/activities/lolly-stick-catapults/

Maze Game

This game was fun to make and is great for building motor skills, concentration, counting and number recognition. Turn a cardboard box or plate into an entertaining ball maze game.  This is a great hand-eye coordination game to make and play with reusable materials.

Suggestions of what you could use to make your own Recycled Maze Game:

  • Scissors
  • Cardboard Box or Plate
  • Pencil
  • Paper Strips or Cardboard Tubes (Toilet Paper Rolls, Paper towel rolls, wrapping paper tubes, etc.)
  • Sticky Tape or Glue
  • A bean, marble, scrunched up paper ball or something small that rolls.

Create the Maze

1) Design your maze by placing the tubes or paper strips on the box. Arrange them making sure you leave enough space for free ball travel around the maze.

2) Then attach the tubes or paper strips to your box or plate

3) ENJOY ! ! !

You could try these other ideas for making mazes too.

Here’s a fun song to help remind us of ways to cut down on single use plastic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0798jzc/junk-rescue-songs-2-single-use-no-thank-you

Don’t forget to share your creations on Google Classrooms or Twitter @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Eco Schools at Home

This year at Glenwood we have been investigating and exploring the environmental impact of litter.  The children enjoyed many different activities including the story of Zack’s Journey (You can read it by clicking this link), mapping out how the litter travels from our local area to the wider environment and measuring the amount of single use plastic in lunch boxes.

These are all things that you can continue to learn about at home. Eco-Schools Scotland shares some ideas on their website including:

One Planet Picnic – Have a picnic that’s good for you and good for the planet. Include healthy sustainable food with as little waste as possible.

Pop Up Pocket Garden – Design and grow a small garden at home in pots or outside. Celebrate Keep Scotland Beautiful’s birthday or the Year of Coasts and Waters with colourful and edible plants.

Fight Dog Fouling With Citizen Science – Have you noticed more dog fouling in your neighbourhood? We have! While out on your daily walk, can you help us with our survey work?
Count the number of bagged or unbagged dog poos you see (and why not take a photo?), post results on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #PooPost or #TurdTag and remember to always pick up after your own dog

Some ideas we do at nursery:

  • Help sort the recycling 
  • Make a picture using recycled materials.
  • Encourage others to turn off taps
  • Do something that doesn’t require electricity (Try a screen free day)
  • Decorate used items such as tins/cartons/bottles to create a plant pot
  • Plant Seeds / Look after plants in your garden
  • Create a rain gauge 
  • ‘Junk mail crafts’ – Use scrap pieces of paper, used envelopes or cards
  • Make a bird feeder or do some birdwatching
  • Make a boat/car/robot from recycling (How creative can you be?)     

Remember to share your photos with us on Twitter by tagging @GlenwoodFC or by adding #glenwoodlearningathome 

One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden

We are delighted to announce that Glenwood Family Centre’s design for the One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden has been selected as a winning entry in the ECO Scotland competition! Our next step is to develop our garden for display in the Garden for Life area of Gardening Scotland, the national gardening and outdoor living show and Scotland’s gardening festival, which takes place from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd June at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.

Our design is for a Living Foodbank which will produce fruit and vegetables for families in need. “If you don’t have any food you can come and take some food from the garden.”