Category Archives: Expressive Arts

Developing our fine motor skills

Today the children have been developing their fine motor skills in a variety of ways.

Fine motor skills is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, hands and fingers.

We played a game called ‘Pickle Pop’ where the children had to use their hand muscles by moving the pickle with their finger to pop the bubbles.

“ I have to move it over there to catch the bubble”

We put shaving foam on the light board and used our hands and  fingers to draw shapes and make patterns. This provides children with the opportunity to strengthen their hand muscles and hand eye coordination.

“ The thread goes  up and down ”

“ I made a line through it”


We spent some time at the mark making table where the children drew pictures, copied and continued shape and number patterns.

Paper plate creations!

Today in the Studio we explored our creativity skills.
We decided to use our imagination to transform paper plates into some wonderful colourful creations!

Our journey began when we thought of what we wanted to make- e.g  our favourite animal,  a tv character, a flower.


We had a great selection of different resources to choose from to make our creations such as types of paper, pens , pencils and lots of different colours.

We exercised our fine motor skills whilst strengthening our muscles as we cut paper carefully with scissors, used glue pots and glue sticks and stuck them down to our plates.

The children all had some fantastic individual ideas they brought to the Studio. We loved discussing what each other made their plate into and were able to describe and talk about what we did.

”I’m putting lots of spots on my ladybird”

“ I need a snorty nose on mine”

”Minions are my favourite , they are funny”

The children used good hand eye co ordination when using their cutting and sticking skills.

They  children worked  well together. They  understood and displayed good turn taking skills  and were able to demonstrate awareness of others needs.

“This is a bit tricky can you hold this for me ?”

”could someone pass me scissors?

Why not get creating at home – do you have any paper plates ? What ideas or wonderful creations can you make ? We’ d love you to share your creations with us.



Bookbug comes to visit Cart Mill!

We are so lucky that Bookbug came to visit us at Cart Mill today! We welcomed him with our “Hallo” song.

Next, it was time to choose a puppet from our Bookbug basket! It was so exciting to take our turn and use the puppet we had chosen to guess which song we would sing next.

We waited very patiently until it was our turn to guess the song.

It was so much fun to bounce our puppets on the lycra to see how high they could jump!

Finally it was time to end our Bookbug with one of our favourite stories.  Our story had lots of rhyming words for us to practice!

We love when Bookbug comes to visit!



Sew Much Fun

In the home room we have created a new sewing area which the children have shown a great interest in. Today we had a discussion on a variety of the resources available and explored these by touching, naming and there purpose. The children could confidently identify lots of things connected with sewing:

“Needles are jaggy”

“scissors can be sharp”

“Wool is nice and soft and squishy”

“thread is hard”

The children were keen to try and thread a needle so with great patience , concentration and hand and eye co-ordination each child had a go. During this time we talked about the whole in the needle is called an eye and when you thread you put a knot at end so the stitch stays in. The older children were able to complete this and were excited to try to do a stitch on the sewing table. They listened well to instructions and were able to follow this with little support. They helped each other when got a bit tangled and commented on each other’s stitches.

“Look at your big one”

“ you have done lots”

The younger children were able to thread the large shaped buttons using laces.

The children were unsure what the wheel, block and trees were for so I demonstrated weaving, encouraging them to take part. All the children enjoyed the weaving and had fun experimenting with the the different coloured wool and objects.

“ it looks like a rainbow”

” I like these trees”

Why not try exploring simple weaving techniques at home using ribbon or paper. This is a great activity for hand and eye co-ordination and a good way for building up fine motor skills.

3D Paper Sculpture Techniques

Today in the Studio Room we are learning a new skill. We are learning to make 3D paper sculptures. Today was all about creating a “fringe”

We each picked a piece of paper and a pair of scissors.
We learned that to create a fringe we needed to cut the paper half in strips, but only half way up the page, leaving a band. The higher we cut the longer the strip we created. We were very careful when using our scissors to cut.

It was a bit tricky at first to keep the band at the top and not cut the paper in half. But we soon got the hang of it and made of fringe snips in lots of different sizes of paper.

We made big ones

Middle size

and even tiny ones.
Once we mastered the technique of fringing we moved on to a new technique of rolling and folding.

We used our fringed paper to create, fringe people, robots, lions, octopus, and funny faces.

We drew on our designs then folded the paper and used glue to keep the edges together.

We were proud of our finished results. It was fun engaging with a new learning experience and seeing where our imagination would take us today.
Next week we will be learning a new 3D paper sculpture technique.


Let’s have fun with Syllables!

Today in  our new ‘noisy and quiet’ room the children have been busy exploring the noisy side using musical instruments and their voices. We all joined together and  slowly clapped out the number of syllables in each of our names and counted how many there were. We found that most  of us had two,  and some of us only had one, so we decided to clap to our second names too. We discovered that most of us had three syllables in our second name’s. The children were able to recognise and clap out the number of syllables in their own names and were able to count out their  friends names.
“my name has two”

“ I have three  syllables  in my name “

“ I have more in my second name”

We then decided we would choose our favourite musical instruments and use them to develop our skills further.

“ I am going to choose the drum”

We had lots of instrument to choose from.

“I  am going to count my name using the maracas”

The children were learning to develop their vocabulary,  pre -phonics skills, and understanding of sounds and patterns within words through play. They were able to listen and respond to instructions whilst showing respect for each other through sharing and taking turns.

“ I can count out my syllables  on the wooden sound maker”

“ I am going to use the big drum”

“I am enjoying playing on the big  drum and making sounds”.

We even found out we can count out syllables on the piano. WOW!

Why not try it at home! You could use compound words that form two words such as: sunset , hotdog,  snowman or postman. To start with children just need to be able to recognise syllables by clapping, stamping or jumping for each syllable.  We had lots of fun dividing words into syllables. Why not give it a try at home and let us know how you got on. Have fun playing with words!





Play-dough fun!

Today in the home room, the children have enjoyed making different textures of playdough and exploring their fine motor skills in different ways. Some children enjoyed using the stampers to create different shapes and imprints in the playdough, like a “Seahorse. Look, he’s got a big long tail!”

We made different colours, using our manipulative skills to mix and squish all the ingredients together to form the dough.

Some children even explored some role playing with their peers, sharing the playdough and had a little ‘cupcake’ and ‘tea party!’

“I’m making a strawberry pie”

“Cupcakes are ready!”

‘Too burny. Need to blow it!’

”Tea! Hot hot.’

Playdough is great for developing many skills, and it is super easy to make. You’ll probably have all the ingredients in your home! All you need is; Flour, salt, oil, and water. You can make it more fun by adding paints/food colouring/scents etc. You could even brave glitter!! Have fun everyone!

Shape and colour hunt!

This week, the children have had so much fun collecting and displaying different objects around our nursery for our ‘shape hunt’. They enjoyed investigating different rooms in the nursery, getting really creative finding different shapes in a variety of forms!

“I have so many rectangles. There’s no more space!”

“Look, we’ve got big ones AND littles ones!”


“Look at all my circles. It’s like all the planets in the solar system”

Some children even used their imagination to extend their learning further, and turned their shapes into something completely different!

Other children suggested we went a ‘colour hunt next’ which was really fun! We hunted in different rooms and in the garden and found some really interesting things to sort into our colours.


“I’m going to find lots of purple because it’s my favourite colour. It matches my dress!”

“I want to draw my pink things.”

The children loved exploring, collecting and sorting all different shapes and colours throughout the playroom and displaying their findings to their friends. They really engaged their imaginations and creative skills, well done boys and girls!





Making Suncatchers!

The children have been really enjoying learning about the weather whilst in the garden. With the season changing we have seen lots of different weather recently! We decided to make suncatchers and hoped this would bring the sunshine back! Instead of just using coloured paper, we wanted to add some natural materials.  We went on a walk to collect pretty blossom that had fallen off the trees and any other materials we could find!

“I’ve found some pink blossom and white!”

We used sticky clear paper to stick all our flowers and coloured tissue paper to. We then folded it over and it stuck the edges together!

“I want yellow paper like the sun!”

“Ah, it’s so sticky my fingers are all stuck!”

We cut them into a nice shapes and then used all our strength to punch a hole in the suncatchers using the hole punch.

“Look, I got it, I’m so strong!”

Finally we threaded some ribbon through the hole and hung them up in the garden!  The children had great fun making these whilst developing their gross and fine motor skills.

“They look so pretty!”

Now we are just waiting for the sun to come back to see what lovely colours and shapes our suncatchers make dancing in the sun!








Fun time, Junk time 😊

Today in the Studio the children were inspired to be creative by some giant boxes kindly donated by one of our parents.

They decided to build a house complete with a back and front garden and even a chimney. The children worked well together planning how their house should look.

There was a lot of chat about what everyone had in their house and what they could use in the centre to replicate the items. Some of their ideas included;
“ look I have made the key to get into the house, I used a cotton bud and tissue paper” “I think I will make a table to have my dinner at” “ I think there should be two doors at the front “ “ The garden should have rainbow grass” “I’m going to make the grass with different colours of tissue paper” “ I want to make  a dinosaur room for my stegosaurus”  I think it’s snowing at our house” I have made a barricade to keep everyone in the back garden”
What wonderful, imaginative suggestions!

The children used team work and exercised their gross motor skills to move the big boxes to where they wanted them and working together, they were able to use their problem solving skills to keep the roof up.” Let’s put these supports into stop it falling down”  

The children loved using their imagination to make their house and spent many hours playing in it.  Great team work everybody, well done!