Monday, 21 July 2014

Traffic Light Biscuits

My home at the moment is filled with the noises of toy car wheel screeching across the floor boards and the sounds of boys brooming past on their knees. So naturally most of the planned activities I invite the children to take part in surround transport. Last week we had great fun making our own traffic lights from home made biscuits.

The recipe is nice and simple which is great when your just starting off baking with children or if like me it's been a while.

300g Flour
200g Butter 
100g Sugar 
Drop of Vanilla essence

Simply mix all the ingredients together and roll out before cutting into rectangles and popping in the oven on 160 degrees  for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

The boys loved getting their hands messy kneading the dough and giving the rolling pin a go. The whole time we went through discussing what we needed to do including the colours, textures and shapes were using. 

Once baked the boys decorated the biscuits with royal icing and Smarties to match the order of the traffic lights, Tinnie on the other hand covered his biscuits in as much icing and Smarties as he could. 

For more activities supporting those interested in transport try these:

Product Review: Squidgy Sparkle Numbers

This September my little man will be starting school and on the build up I wanted to incorporate numbers and letters in our play a little more. Little man will be 5 in September and has already started to ask me about letter sounds and begun to make up his own number problems to solve so I know he is ready to start learning more about them. It's important this is done through activities that interest him to allow him to concentrate for longer and absorb more of the information he is learning about. 

We recently received a pack of Squidgy Sparkle Numbers from TTS Group, I have had my eye on these since my nursery days and never got round to purchasing some so I was very excited to use them with Little Man. 

I have big plans for these numbers so you are likely to find them in a few of my posts in the future. When they first arrived all the children loved the two tone effect and sat happily squishing them in between their fingers. My first thought was to use them in a similar way to TTS and I added them to our tray of couscous. 

The bold colours made the activity very inviting, H and J instantly got to work lining the numbers up and working together to make a number line. Once completed they shared the numbers out by colour and tried again. 

While the numbers are not in use they are hung in front of my patio doors where the sun will shine through most of the day. They often catch the children eye when they are sitting at the dinner table and J will use them to demonstrate that he can recognise the numbers up to 9. 

The numbers are made out of good quality plastic so they can be used in a variety of ways by the children without close supervision. Filled with gel and glitter they easily catch children's eye and stand out especially in the water tray or for doing a number hunt in the snow. 

Squidgy Sparkle Numbers are suitable for age 3+, Pack includes numbers 0-9, Size 15cm £18.95ex VAT

Activities to come including quidgy sparkle numbers (links to be added):
Snow number hunt
Number games on the light table
Number fishing
and many more 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Talking About Road Safety With Collage Traffic Lights

This month the children have started to pay more interest in transport so I have been working this into my planning. With the older children this is a great opportunity to start talking to them about road safety while out and about or through play.

While the babies slept I invited the toddlers to join me in a craft activity. I set up bowls of red, green and orange tissue paper and other collage materials with glue and thick strips of black craft paper. Each piece of paper had three pre-drawn circles.

The activity started off with us discussing the colours we would be using and our favourite colours. 

I explained to the children that we had some traffic lights to decorate and we discussed why we needed traffic lights on the roads and how we used them when walking to school. H was able to name all of the colours and we used a book to help us remember the order the colours should be in. H then recalled his father stops at the traffic light to let people go.

Red on top
Green Below
Red says stop
Green says go
Amber says wait even if your late

Links to Development Matters:
• Enjoys responsibility of carrying out small tasks.
• Shows confidence in asking adults for help

• Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.
• Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.
• Uses a range of tenses (e.g. play, playing, will play, played).

• Comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world.

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