Tag Archives: problem solving

Children’s Voice

Listening to children’s voices.

At the end of April, after every bubble had spent three weeks in each playroom every child was invited to share their thoughts. We used photographs of the playrooms to help us to talk about our likes and dislikes.

The children said they enjoyed moving around all the rooms and shared their ideas to make each room better. Some children felt that the garden in Playzone 2 was too small. 

“I don’t like the garden”

“I didn’t like this because it wasn’t too big.”

  

We were able to begin using the side garden from Playzone 1 and expand the outdoor area for Playzone 2.

Some children missed the tyre swing from the old building so we added one to Playzone 1.

“I miss the tyre swing.”

“We should put some swings in the back yard.”

 

 

 

In Playzone 3 we added dolls to the home corner.

Can we have babies in this room?”

“I would like to play with babies here.”

 

 

To help us look at some of the areas more closely we used Tuff Cams to share our thoughts.

  

“This art area is not so good. We need more things for sticky pictures.” 

“People need to put things away in the right place, we need signs to tell them”.

The children suggested new resources and helped to organise and label them.

This has led to lots of new opportunities for leading their own learning.

    

As we continue to settle into our new building we can’t wait to hear more of the children’s ideas and suggestions to develop our learning environment.

 

Risky Play

What is Risky Play and Why is it Important?

 

Children need to be kept safe from potential harm and hazards at all times, but they also need to explore and take risks. Risky play is exciting, challenging, fun, it pushes limits and there is every chance of physical injury. We don’t want children’s lives to be in danger, or any serious injury to be likely. That’s why with any new piece of equipment we carry out a risk assessment. This allows us to assess whether the risk of a resource or activity outweighs the benefit. Is something guaranteed to be seriously dangerous? Well, then it’s probably not ok. But if there is a low chance of bumps, grazes, or cuts? Maybe that’s alright. 

The Experience of risky play is an important part of children’s learning. It develops the child’s self-confidence, resilience, promotes problem solving and trust in their own judgements as adults.  Children have the right to make decisions and take risks through their play. In having these opportunities, children will be able to maximise their enjoyment of the environment whilst removing obvious risk. The ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ states in article 31: ‘All Children have the right to relax and play and to join in a wide range of activities.’ 

In our Centre we encourage children to manage their own risk in everyday play situations both indoors and out.

 

  • Climbing a high tree


 

  • Rope swinging

   

  • Whittling wood

   

  • Balancing

 

   

  • Using tools at the woodwork bench, saws, hammer and drills
  • Playing in the stream to build a dam
  • Building fires
  • Running fast, chasing each other.

It’s easy to say things like: “Be Careful,” and if you listen to yourself on how many times a day you say it with your child you will be amazed. What we are actually doing is telling children to stop and it’s for our benefit because we don’t want our children to get hurt. If instead we ask: –

  •     Do you feel safe?
  •     Can you see anything that could hurt you or be in the way?
  •     What can I do to help you to be safe?
  •     Where can you put your hand next?

This helps the child to focus on the environment around them. With time and Space, the child will revisit this experience, remember what they did before and build on that knowledge.

 

Superb Science

Over the past few weeks we have been carrying out a number of different experiments using water and food colouring. Using our observation skills we are beginning to recognise simple cause and effect. We have been developing our ability to ask relevant questions and making predictions about what will happen next.

We used different concentrations of food colouring to see  what flower would change colour first.

 

 

“How fast will it go?” 

 

“Is mine going to change colour?”

 

 

We also made our own lava lamps!

 

 

“Look at my bubbles, my bubbles are moving.”

 

 

 

 

We made a rainbow water walk.

 

“The colour is getting sucked up like a straw.”

 

 

 

 

“They have mixed together.”

 

 

Obstacle Courses

The children in the Orchard Bubble have been having a great time in the nursery with our obstacle course equipment. We have been learning to work together as a team and use everyone’s ideas to create the courses. We have also been learning about how to risk assess for ourselves.

The children decided to add to the obstacle course and make one where they have to use their gross motor skills to hop and jump.

We need to jump over the ropes.
We could hop at the end.

Then the children wanted to use the big blocks inside to create a big obstacle course together.

Together we are strong.
Look how high I can jump!
We could use this as a slide.

When we create and use obstacle courses we are not just developing our gross motor skills but also learning to share, take turns and cooperate with each other.

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 – Rocks Rock!

Do you have stones or rocks in your garden?

Can you go on your daily walk and find some?

If the answer is yes, then here are some ideas from Miss McArthur you can try out!

Rock Painting

Choose your favourite colours and paint away… this will help:

  • Develop creativity – it doesn’t matter if the picture doesn’t look like anything to you, to your child it’s a masterpiece.
  • Express their feelings and thoughts without words – sometimes paintings tell a story.
  • Develop problem solving and motor skills – as they figure out how to manipulate the rock and painting tools.

Rock paintings will help brighten up your garden or make an indoor play area. Why not try:

  • Painting small world animals or fairies.
  • Creating a fairy or elf door,
  • Painting minibeasts.
  • Create your own number or letter hunt around the house or in your garden.

Use rocks and stones as loose parts

What shapes can you turn them into?

How many have you collected?

Can you make a stepped number line from them? Can you build a tower out of them?

Miss McArthur can build a tower of 5.

Is your tower bigger or smaller?

 

Remember to Tweet to let us see what you used your rocks for! @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

Remote Learning – Independent Play

While we always recognise the importance of parent-child interactions and playing together there are also many benefits to independent play.  This can provide opportunity for children to problem-solve, experiment, use their initiative and develop their perseverance and independence. As parents right now you may be juggling working from home, helping other children with school work and other challenging situations. This blog has some suggestions of experiences where once set up, children will have the opportunity to play independently or with siblings.

Provocations are “invitations to play”.  Setting up children’s toys a little differently might invite new found enthusiasm for old toys and encourage children to use them in new and inventive ways.

Playdough

Playdough takes around 10 minutes to make and can keep for weeks in an air-tight container.  Playing with dough or clay develops children’s fine motor skills, sensory awareness, language skills, numeracy skills and imagination.

Quick Uncooked Playdough Recipe:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/playdough-recipe

Cooked Playdough Recipe (this is a slightly more complicated but keeps for longer):

https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/playdough-recipe/

There are many different things you could put out to use with playdough – rollers, cutters, safety knives, safety scissors, potato mashers, cake tins, bowls, jars, cupcake cases, candles, straws, stampers, pipe cleaners, matchsticks, lollipop sticks, leaves, flowers, sticks, stones…

Den Building

Den building helps to develop children problem-solving skills, motor skills, imagination and communication skills. It is a wonderful learning experience and so much fun to play in once constructed! To build a den you could use sheets, blankets, tables, chairs, sofas, pillows, clothes pegs, cardboard boxes. Once the den is built children could take in soft toys, dolls, books, puzzles, drawing materials, torches, a picnic…

Small World Play

Small world play develops imagination, creativity, language skills and problem-solving skills. Combine a selection of resources to create an exciting new world to explore. You could use cars, trains, toy people, animals, dinosaurs, fabric, scarves, cardboard boxes, masking tape, cardboard tubes…


 

 

 

 

 

Dressing Up Box

Role-play helps children to make sense of real-life situations, express their ideas and imagination and develop their language skills. The imagination of children can turn anything into a wonderful new costume.  To create a dressing up box you could use hats, scarves, bangles, bags, shoes, mirrors…

Creation Station 

This will develop children’s creativity, fine motor skills and literacy skills. You could use different colours and sizes of paper, old wallpaper, dry erase board, chalk board, old magazines to cut out, notebooks, post-it notes, felt tip pens, colouring pencils, crayons, junk modelling materials, glue, masking tape….

Mrs Ross created all of these provocations from things she found at home, each took no longer than 5 minutes to set up. Of course, this will take a bit more time if you are able to do together with your child but this will allow them to share their ideas with you and follow their interests. Remember they may have a different vision from you so follow their lead! We hope these give you some ideas for fun you can have both together and for your child to explore independently. Please share your ideas with your child’s friends by Tweeting @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning – Mazes and Maps

Using mazes and maps in play are fantastic ways for your child to learn and develop new numeracy and mathematics skills as they problem solve.

There are lots of inspiring and creative ways you and your child can make your maze from using tape, a straw and a pom pom to building one from lego.

Encouraging your child to lead you through a maze helps build their confidence in giving instructions using simple directions such as forward, backward, left and right.

Another way is for your child to describe which direction they are going to take as they navigate themselves or an object through a maze.

Using a blindfold adds an extra challenge as your child develops their listening skills and ability to follow your instructions.

 

You can also make your maze more competitive by timing who can navigate around it the quickest.  This helps your child learn more about time and gives them an opportunity to explore ways of recording how long it took. 

Creating and following a map can support your child in understanding and using symbols for directions, as they process how to route their way from A to B in play.  Why not take inspiration from a much loved children’s story or make your own map to go on a treasure hunt!!

Remember to share your child’s learning by tweeting  @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

Construction

We design and create all sorts of models in the construction area. Recently we have been making enclosures for animals and ourselves!

As we play we use measuring skills.

We work with others and develop our problem solving skills.

We develop our mark making skills as we plan what we are going to construct. 

 

Den Day

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We raised £61.37 for Save the Children when we took part in Den day. Parents joined us and we built dens, created models of shelters, designed logos and cooked bread on an open fire, all to raise awareness of the plight of many children living without the right to shelter.

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Some feedback from parents.

“Den building day was a fantastic opportunity for parental involvement. It was very well organised and it was lovely to see the children enjoying the outdoors and actively participating.”

“A great afternoon spent outside with the children. I enjoyed spending time at the fire and helping to build dens.”

“Great opportunity to have parent participation. Good unstructured play where they really are getting an opportunity to use imagination and freedom of play.”

“Den day was a fantastic way to raise awareness of a very worthy charity and teach the children important skills in a fun way. So pleased to have been able to join in. Very well organised.”

 

The Great Coconut Challenge

 

The children are learning about where food comes from and trying unusual foods. We decided to buy a coconut to try in nursery but we did not know how to open it.

“Coconuts come from palm trees. Monkeys eat them, they smash them on the rocks.” Lucas and Isaac McG.

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“Smash it with a hammer.” Sai.

“This won’t break with a hammer. It is too hard. I think I like coconut but only a little bit.” Bodhi.

“Crack it with a rock.” Lucas and Holly.

“Cut it with a knife.” Isaac McK.

“Something metal to bash it.” Joel.

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“It is hard to break open.” Ben.

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“Look, I just cracked it off the ground.” Holly.

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“That was a good idea, smashing off the wall.” Leo.

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“I like it when the milk comes out. It looks like water. ” Bodhi.

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“Milk comes form cows and it’s different milk.” Louie.