- 5 Aug 2015 8:05 AM
The activities involve:
- Cleaning local areas: as a learning aim of our Water School we help children to understand that the animals and plants that live on our planet need to be looked after - just like they! By learning about the climate change which is happening because of the pollution that everyone produces in their lives, we encourage children to try and stop it!
- Looking after plants: we teach children to save plants by recycling paper, by using their recycled paper. For example we make paper with a clean side into notepads with a simple staple, great for doodles and notes.
- Maintaining the parks: we help children to take care not to do damage the things when we are out and about we value and we think carefully about any changes we make when we visit the local parks, even when we forage! If we can't find a bin, we take the rubbish home.
- Protecting animals: we teach children how the habitats of many of the world’s animals are deteriorating. By making small habitats for bugs, we help them to understand why they do not want to grow up in a world that is so different from their parents’. We teach them to respect animals by hatching flies and frogs.
- Visiting the forest every week: we show children that trash is infiltrating even the most remote corners, forests of the world, and if we don’t stop it, our future getaways will disappear. Therefore, we learn to appreciate the environment as a part of our Forest School programme. As natural habitats such as beaches are being ‘squeezed’ between rising sea levels and sea defences such as concrete walls, we teach children about the local water worlds to be able to create sustainable alternatives in the future!
- Doing charity work: being in a small nursery might make it sound impossible that children can make things better, but by teaching to make some tiny changes at home, at school and when they’re out and about, appreciating it on personal environmental charts, we can make a real difference. For example we collect donations with our environmental drawings.
Children’s Sensory play for pennies
In our nursery we have a basic approach to resourcing play: we acknowledge that little children don’t need extravagant play times set up for them as absolutely everything is something to explore and wonder at when experiencing it in a new concept for the first time.
From toes covered in sock puppets to plastic bags filled with shiny pieces of wrapping paper, children find out about their brand new world around them using all of their senses - sometimes all at the same time - via hands on exploring and tactile investigating.
Playing together with them to increase the opportunities for sharing and communicating as they explore will make every simple material very special. Children’s attention spans are different at different stages, so at times few minutes spent exploring ideas can be plenty, and if given the opportunity to revisit them often, the repetition will leads to familiarity and building on learning skills later.
Sensory blanket-mats: an old blanket can be turned into the most exciting sensory mat by loosely hand sewing colourful pieces of ribbon, and old socks on it. For an extra sensory experience the socks can be filled with buttons or pennies and securely sewed up before attaching to the blanket.
Long pieces of cut up old clothes secured underneath a discoloured bed sheet painted blue can create an underwater world. Just sit around with a group, lift it up and discover.
Scarf-rope snake: by tying old scarves together and sewing bags of herbs onto it, we can make a long sensory snake that can be used on a variety of ways. Younger children can explore its different colours, smells and textures, whilst the older age groups can hold onto it together in circle times or group games, for example guess the part of the snake blindfolded, or the name the dried herbs attached. It will also help the children to gain a sense of community, it will encourage sharing, turn taking and negotiating.
Sock footpuppets: by colouring, painting, sewing pieces on old socks we can design funny, entertaining and educational puppets with a difference. The characters will be unique and can provide a sensory experience for even the youngest of babies.