Tuesdays Toddler Provocations

The toddlers have opportunities to explore a range of diverse art forms through provocations. Today we gathered some interesting natural resources to use in our clay. The toddlers rolled out their clay, pressing down hard. ‘It feels cold’ ‘Its very smooth after its rolled’ The children decided they were going to press the leaves into the clay to see what mark they left, they then proceeded to do the same with the flowers and the pine cones. They decided that the leaf left the best imprint, the toddlers talked about how the texture of the clay had changed to bumpy after using the pine cone to mark make.

They noticed that all the leaves were different sizes shapes and colours. ‘The green one is the biggest’ ‘I like the wee red leaf the best’ The older toddlers put the leaves in sequence from the smallest to the biggest. They squashed and rolled the clay improving hand eye coordination building gross and fine motor skills learning new vocabulary. The children were pleased with the end result.

Some of the children also decided to use the pipettes for colour mixing on paper towel, promoting colour recognition and developing fine motor skills including building hand eye coordination and of course always encouraging creativity and imagination.

We talked about the colours and how they changed when they mixed. The children liked the bright colours ‘The yellow and red has gone orange’ ‘the pink looks red on the paper’

Getting creative in the Garden!!

Today the children were having great fun in the garden. They really enjoyed some gross motor art. They were using rollers to paint on a large shower curtain! They were rolling, reaching and stretching, developing both their gross motor skills and hand eye coordination whilst having great fun and chatting to each other.

”Look at my rainbow!”, “I’ve made a big road!”

The children also had fun den building with our new camouflage materials and pegs. This helps the children develop important skills like problem solving, teamwork and role play! Once the children had built their den they were happy playing inside pretending to sell ice cream out the door! Great fun was had by all!

Water fun in the sun

Today in the garden the children had great fun expressing themselves playing with flowing water.

Using their problem solving skills to half fill, fill to the top and overflow with different containers.

They used their imagination to build a slide for the water and fill a “goldfish bowl ”  for the fish.

The children displayed great concentration using the hose to fill the containers without spilling any.

They showed great teamwork helping each other fill containers and jugs using the funnels.

Some very special fun was had holding your finger at the end of the hose to squirt the water everywhere.

I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the children were excellent  at turn taking, well done boys and girls.

Great Cartmill Toddler Bake Off

The children in our toddler room love to bake. They took great interest in a lovely little book in the Home Corner about baking and asked to if they could make some of their favourites.

First, they made some Scones. They all washed their hands before they touched any of the ingredients.

450g of self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g of caster sugar
100g of soft butter
2 eggs
a little milk.


Pre heat the oven to 220/200 Fan/Gas 7. The children know that only a grown up should touch the oven as it would become very hot.

Put the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl.

Measure the butter

Now rub the mixture between your fingers till it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Crack both eggs into a measuring jug and add enough milk to make the mix up to 300ml. Stir, then add the milk and egg mixture to the flour. You may not need all the milk and eggs, the mix should become soft and sticky.

Turn the mixture out onto a table dusted with flour and knead. Press out and, using a cutter, cut into circles, putting them on a lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven till golden brown.

Enjoy your scones with yummy jam warm from the oven.

Next we made some yummy Irish Soda Bread. There are only 5 items needed to make this.

170g of wholemeal flour
170g of plain flour
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
290ml buttermilk

Pre heat the oven to 200/180 Fan/Gas 6.

Measure the two different types of flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and put into a large bowl.

Add in the carton of buttermilk

Carefully stir the mixture and turn out onto a floured table to knead gently.

J said it was very squishy and sticky

Make into a round dome shape, place on a baking tray ready to go into the oven

All ready for the oven

Cook in the oven till golden brown.

The children learned turn taking and good listening skills. They further developed their fine motor skills and their hand eye co-ordination with measuring, pouring and stirring. Talking with the children and encouraging them to talk to each other about their baking develops social skills giving them the opportunity to learn new words which helps with language development.

Natures Paint Brush.

Welcome back to the Studio and hello to all our new children. We have spent the last week exploring all the Studio room has to offer. The children have been taking part in a wide variety of expressive art activities and  exploring their creative sides.
Today  we have been discussing other ways we could create non conventional art. We have previously discussed the work of Henri Matisse who used scissors to create his art work. Today we used nature paint brushes to create ours.

We spoke about the different natural objects we collected and had fun exploring what prints, patterns and designs we could create by using them.

We printed, stamped and spread the paint using the different natural objects to ignite our creative spark.

We discussed what colours to use and decided to use natural colours that we would find outside in natures colour wheel. Browns, yellows, greens etc. We talked about what these colours represent in the world.

It was lovely to see the end result of the process and the wonderful creating thinking our children shared. Our children were very engaged in this learning experience, sharing their expressive thoughts while developing  their creative design skills and linking real word objects to arts.

Can you find things in the local area to create art as well?

Lovely Lunches!

This week has been very exciting at Cart Mill, we are all getting delicious hot lunches served in nursery. We have tried lots of different food including tomato pasta, lentil soup, fish fingers and pizza! Our family room is now set up like a real dining room where we can all sit together round the table and eat our lunch.

We have been learning to use our cutlery properly as well as pour our drinks and help serve our vegetables.

It has been so nice to see the children try all the new tastes, we are already looking forward to next week’s menu!

Colourful Fingers

The children in the Toddler Room are always very expressive and creative so when we found some very colourful finger paints in one of the cupboards in the playroom they were keen to try them out.

At first they were very careful, using only one finger, testing out each colour.

They experimented with different colours, making swirls on their paper.

Very quickly they started to use their whole hands, feeling the paint between their fingers.

Its cold and squishy
Blue paint.

Small swirls with one finger became huge swirls and mark making with a whole hand.

Oh look at my colourful hands too
Pink hands

All the children had loads of fun painting with their fingers and hands and were very excited to see their finished artwork hanging up drying ready to take home.

Painting with Magnets

Today in the studio we decided to paint using magnets.  We moved metal objects around the paper and over the paint to make patterns. The children chose the colours of paint they would like to use and practised their pouring skills to fill the paint trays.

The children were creative and used the magnets to draw paper clips and screws across the paint and make some lovely designs. This then expanded to making paint patterns on the spoons which were very effective. The children combined different colours to make different shades “This looks like a river” and “I have a pond for ducks”. The children also enjoyed discussing there techniques which improves their language and social skills.

We are looking forward to exploring lots of different methods of using paint in the new term.

Let’s get Creative!

At Cart Mill we love to explore our creativity in many ways.

We explored with paints on the ground and logs creating different patterns and pictures.

Then we mixed the paint to create our own colours and painted our hands!

Rainbow puddles! Using chalk and water we made lovely rainbows 🌈

When we finished painting we got the hose and scrubbing brushes to clean up the logs and the rain helped wash the rest away.

During this the children learned different ways to be creative, explored making their own colours and becoming more confident in their mark making skills.

How do you be creative?