# Animal rescue

Oh dear! Our animals have been tied up!

The children were intrigued as to what they were going to do to help the animals. They decided they would be able to set them free.

The children set to work to rescue their animals, this helped to develop their fine motor skills.

The children had to use their problem solving skills to figure out how to get the elastic bands off

It took a lot of perseverance but the children were so happy when they were able to free their animals

Some children asked if they could tie the animals back up and gave it a go, they asked the staff to try and free them afterwards.

Can you find anything you could rescue at home?

# How far did it go?

The children have been playing with cars today and were discussing how far they could make them go.

The children explored using non standard units as a way to measure the distance the cars could travel.  They used paper and wrote the numbers 1-5 on each one.

Then they helped each other to line the paper up

Each child had a car which they pushed along the number line they had created.  They counted each piece of paper to find out how far their car had went.

This was very exciting for the children and they were delighted when their car travelled further than the last time, they became even more excited when their car travel right past the last piece of paper.

This was a great experience for discussing distance with the children.  Keep an eye out on google classroom for an activity about exploring distance.

# Feeling Festive…

Welcome to December!  The children have been telling us all about their Christmas trees at home, this has sparked quite an interest in recreating their own whilst at Cartmill.

Some children have enjoyed using their ICT skills to decorate a virtual tree.

This helped to develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills whilst it provided opportunities for use of mathematical language.

The children also made use of loose parts to decorate their own paper trees.  The conversations the children had during this activty were very excitable as they discussed their trees at home.

I’m sure you will agree their creative skills are outstanding!

# Armistice Day 2020

Today we spent some time to remember those who fought bravely during the First World War.

The children looked at photos of poppies and created their own using playdough and loose parts.  This involved using scientific language whilst making playdough and led to exploring shape and spacial awareness as the children used their hands to mould their own.

We observed a minutes silence as a group

Later the children asked to make poppies again but wanted to make them as pictures to take home to share with their families or put in their learning journey.

The children developed their fine motor skills through scissor use.  The activity provoked discussion among the children, they discussed shape, size (“look at this little one”), numbers (“look how many poppies I’ve got – 7”) and colours with each other and it also provided them with an opportunity to share resources with their friends.

“Lest we forget”

# We can make our own stories…

Recently the children have been enjoying using wooden small world figures to create roleplay scenarios.  This helps to fuel their creativity and extend their social skills

Roleplay is fabulous for promoting literacy skills and helps to develop language and expand thought patterns.

Over time the children have wanted to use the small world figures to tell their own stories.  They have been developing their confidence through acting and performing their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Roleplay and storytelling help children to explore and experiment through different scenarios, it can break down the walls of reality allowing them to explore something or someone different from themselves and it can also help them to make sense of or celebrate situations that happen in real life.

In the past, some of the children of Cartmill have taken part in Helicopter Stories (in a group setting a child makes up their own story, a teacher scribes it and reads it back to the group and then the child and their peers act it out).

This led to one of the children asking me to write down their story that they had made up with the small world figures – they wanted to share it with their family.

This first story spurred other children on and they have been asking to have their own stories recorded to take home aswell.

We have all enjoyed sharing stories with each other and hope any parents who have had some home have enjoyed them as well.

I can’t wait to see where our children’s imagination takes us next…

# Numbers are everywhere! Exploring length

The children have been interested in the bugs they’ve been finding in the garden recently.

To extend their learning, last week we brought a mini beast hunt indoors using autumn leaves collected by some children on a local walk. They enjoyed learning the names of the different bugs, exploring textures and role playing with them. This week we’ve added some calipers to allow the children to explore the concept of measuring and length.

In the early years when maths is explored during play it becomes more powerful, allowing children to apply their growing knowledge and build lifelong understanding.

The addition of callipers allowed the children to explore their mathematical potential freely; using the language of length and size, comparing lengths, identifying  and writing numbers.

The children also recorded their findings using their own mathematical graphics on a simple table.

I wonder what the children will measure next?

Please share any pictures of your children using these skills at home so we can print them off and share with their friends 😊

# How does it feel?

Today the children have been exploring different materials we use to make items and learning about how they feel.

They explored mark making and writing down the quantity of each item or were able to identify the number and circle it.

The children were eager to share their findings with their friends

The children of Cartmill are able to find an opportunity to explore numeracy in all activities!

# The 3 Little Pigs

Last week the children enjoyed reading the story of The 3 Little Pigs and got creative acting it out.

This week they have taken their interest into the discovery room and have been busy retelling the story by creating their own small world props.

The children have been creating different houses for the pigs throughout the discovery room and are exploring different materials as they build

With an interest in magnets paired with their interest in this traditional story, a game was created.  This game helped them to further explore magnetic properties and also subitising as they caught their pigs.

It’s safe to say that the 3 Little Pigs is a favourite in Cart Mill at the moment!  I’m excited to see where this interest leads and how the children use their current knowledge to extend their learning.

# Rainbow science with Linzi 🌈

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all well. I’m missing your wee faces and funny stories ❤️

Today I’ve been trying out some rainbow science with my kids, Seren and Keir.  I know how much the children at Cart Mill love our science investigations so, here are 2 easy ones to try at home with everyday items.

Seren got a sheet of kitchen roll and drew on it with different coloured pens – she did shapes to add a bit of numeracy into this activity – then she drew over them with black ink.

Keir used a spray bottle to squirt water on the shapes (good for fine motor skill development) however you can use anything so long as your wee one can drip water onto each shape.

Just like magic, every spray revealed a colour. The paper absorbed the water, moving the colour with it.  Keir enjoyed it so much we did it again with faces.

Next we tried to grow our own rainbow. Seren got another bit of kitchen roll and drew rainbow colours on each end.

She placed it into an arch shape using two cups and tried to guess what would happen. Keir poured water into each cup.

We watched as our rainbow grew 🌈

Keir was able to relate what happened back to our previous activity and he understood the “water maked it move”.

Why don’t you guys give this a go at home and tweet us a picture of your rainbow science 🌈

Take care and stay safe, Linzi x

# Park Life…

We took advantage of the dry weather this morning and took a wander over to our local park.

The children made use of the equipment to support them to develop their gross motor skills and co-ordination.  We practiced our patience and made sure to take turns.

The smiles on their faces say it all…a fabulous morning had by the children at Cartmill.