Spring Week 1 – seeds and tadpoles

Our first focus after Easter is Spring.  Kealan is 4 years and 5 months and Elyse is 3 years and 1 month.  To help with my planning going forward i will be using this sheet which corresponds to the early years learning objectives.  I intend to cover a topic for two weeks so one sheet will list my plans for the whole topic and enable me to select the most suitable tasks for each day.

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Firstly we were lucky enough to get some tadpoles from a neighbours pond which are now flourishing in a fish tank on our science table.  Im so excited!  I put together a pond tray using our frog life cycle figures, rocks, water beads, glass beads, felt lily pads, drift wood and fake flowers.  As there was an opportunity to get wet both kiddies enjoyed this tray.

We had great fun planting grass, sunflower and cress seeds.

To help demonstrate how plants absorb water we placed white chrysanthemums into milk bottles filled with different coloured water.  We had one stem left so we decided to place it in some coca cola to see what might happen to it.  Within two hours the green water had already reached the petals.

We placed runner beans into plastic bags with cotton wool damped to varying degrees.  Surprisingly both kealan and elyse enjoyed a trip to B&Q to pick some plants and are looking after their sprouting sunflowers very well.

We used shaving foam and paint to create these lovely marbled flowers.  There was much mess.

I set up this tray but Kealan wasnt feeling well and decided not to play.  Elyse went to take a look at it while i settled kealan in front of the TV and came back quite excited.  I told her we would do it in a minute and she said “is it seeing which things are the heaviest?”.  The balance scale was brand new and we hadn’t played with it but she immediately new the what she would be doing and the learning objective, thats my girl!

I placed some empty sprinkle containers, plastic containers, cardboard tubes, tin foil and seeds on a tray.  I then showed Kealan and Elyse the drum we had made during Africa week and suggested we used the seeds to make some more of our own instruments.  They filled the plastic containers with varying amounts of seeds and we discussed the change in the sound.  When they were happy we sealed them up and they decorated them with spring themed stickers.  Next a pushed spirals of tin foil into cardboard tubes and they added seeds.  I sealed both ends and they decorated with markers to make rain sticks.  They particularly liked the shakers and brought them out with them that day.

Over the last few weeks both Kealan and Elyse have had a real fascination with cherry blossom trees.  We have competitions on nearly every car journey to see who can spot one first.  So we created this beautiful picture using cotton buds dipped in pink paint.  I was impressed how well Elyse kept to the branches and understood what to do with very little direction from me.

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Some other activities we got up to – biscuit bashing with crumb mark making and dotting the letters in there name (not a very successful activity).

We went to a toddler art session at a local art gallery.  I drew around their different body shapes, which they then coloured using a variety of different crayons, coloured with their eyes closed and then painted pictures.  They both really enjoyed this and had to be dragged away at the end.

We attended a spring fair during which the kids got their faces painted, blew bubbles, planted seeds, enjoyed inflatables, funfair and pony rides.

The circus came to town so we had to go.  Circus’s aren’t what they used to be but Kealan and Elyse enjoyed it.

Now, after putting it all together i feel like we had a busy week but i am still a little concerned that we arent making much progress with letters or numbers.  However, this is a great topic and i seem to be cultivating an interest in learning, with experiments being a particular favourite.  Unfortunately, they are now scheming against me and have decided that locking themselves in the bathroom, filling the sink and emptying all the soap, lotions, sun cream and toothpaste into the water is actually an experiment and therefore acceptable behaviour.  Luckily for them the fact that neither of them can pronounce the word experiment properly makes its impossible to be cross.

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