Category Archives: Sensory

What’s Inside the Eggs?

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What’s Inside the Eggs?

 

We have had lots of fun exploring eggs in nursery. We went to see the chicks in Miss Parker’s classroom and have had lots of fun playing with plastic eggs …

Then we explored real eggs. At first we were very gentle and tried not to crack them but then we decided it was much more fun to see what was inside!

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How can you continue learning at home?

You can have lots of sensory fun with things you have around your home. It can get a little messy so you might want to try outside or in a big container like a washing up bowl. You could try…

Making bubbles with washing up liquid, shower gel, bubble bath or shampoo, add whisks to help build muscles and mix up the bubbles.

Cornflour or custard powder and water makes ‘gloop’. It is a solid when you touch it quickly but if you move slowly turns to liquid.

Jelly is lots of fun to explore and a great sensory experience!

Shaving foam feels great when spread on a tray, use fingers to practice drawing and writing. Add sand to create fun sand foam and add bricks and diggers.

Before you throw away old cereals they are fun to explore in a tray with diggers and trucks or animals. Try cornflakes, oatmeal or cheerios.

Rice, dry pasta, popping corn, dried beans, lentils, salt and sand are great for filling trays.

Pretty much any small items are great for filling trays and containers for lots of fun sensory play!

Class Fund and Messy Fun

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Class Fund and Messy Fun

In nursery we love to have lots of messy fun. We like making play dough, slime and gloop. We like to taste different foods and to cook and bake. We love to investigate and explore, to plant and to experiment.

We couldn’t have all this fun without your help from class fund. Your 50p a week goes towards all these fun activities! Have a look at some of the things we get up to below…

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Slime Bubbles

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Slime Bubbles

When one of the children brought in some slime they had made at home we decided to make some more slime for nursery. We mixed two cups of glue with one cup of liquid washing detergent.

Then Maddison noticed that there was a bubble in the slime. That gave us an idea we got straws and blew the slime to make the biggest bubble we could!

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We experimented with the slime to see how we could blow the biggest bubble. We tried stretching the slime, putting the straw in the middle, putting the straw underneath and working together.

We learnt to persevere, work together, try different ways to do things, share our ideas and listen to our friend’s ideas, talk about what we could see happening and what worked.

Building relationships and managing feelings (SAFE project and movie)

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Building relationships and managing feelings (SAFE project and movie)

Last year Miss Hulme and Mrs Brown went on a course learning all about how young children settle into school and how to help children who might struggle with leaving their parents for the first time. We learnt lots of activities to help the children settle quickly into nursery, build relationships with new people and to help the children to stay calm and have control over how they are feeling.

Here is a movie of some of the activities we do to help the children settle into nursery, we hope you enjoy it!

Click here to watch

If you have any worries or concerns about how your child manages their feelings or if they have difficulties with separation please speak to a member of nursery staff.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

In nursery we are getting into the Christmas spirit. Have a look at some of the fun we have been having…

Sending Letters to Santa 

Making a Santa Sleigh 

Candy Cane Sensory Play 

(Shaving foam, food colouring, peppermint scent and a little glitter) 

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Decorating Trees 

Christmas Tree Playdough 

Bauble Roll 

 

A big THANK YOU to all the parents who have brought us in Christmas trees and decorations, we really appreciate them!

Mirror Painting

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Mirror Painting

We have been getting ready for our new friends arriving in nursery and the older children going to their new classes. To get ready we learnt all about what makes us us. We thought about the ways we were similar and the ways we were different and what makes us special. We looked very closely at ourselves and our friends and painted our portraits on mirrors. What do you think of our paintings?

 

We had to think about our skin colour, using paint chips to choose the shade we needed. We thought about our hair colour and eye colour and chose the colours we needed. Then we looked at our friends’ work and critiqued it to think about how we could make it even better. We reminded our friends about adding ears and necks or changing the colours they had chosen. Painting on mirrors is also a lovely sensory experience for younger children who like the feel of the paint on the smooth surface. You can try this at home on any smooth or plastic surface like an old container that you do not want anymore.

 

 

Our Favourite Recipes

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Our Favourite Recipes

Recently some of our parents have been asking how we make our sensory activities in our classroom.

Here are a few of our favourite sticky, slimy and sensory activities for you to try at home!

1. Quick and Fun

Sometimes we will fill a tray, tub or bowl with one ingredient for the children to explore. We might hide objects in there for the children to find or count or give them sticks or tools to make marks; writing their letters and numbers.

Shaving Foam

Sand (wet or dry)

Salt

Paint

Glitter

Water is an easy sensory activity – add bubbles, colours and glitter then drop in pants and socks to hang on the washing line, jugs and containers to fill and empty, things to sort and match or objects that float and sink.

 

2. Cloud Dough

Cloud dough is easy to make by mixing plain flour and baby oil, you can also make it with other kinds of oil but it doesn’t smell quite as nice! We like to add glitter and plastic toys and the children tell stories in the dough. It sticks together a little bit like wet sand so it’s good for moulding with spoons, bowls and buckets.

Recipe:

3 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of oil.

Raid your cupboard for extra spices to add!

3. Slime

Slime is the children’s favourite at the moment! You will have seen all kinds of slime in our classroom; snow slime, green slime, sand slime, chocolate slime! We follow the same recipe of glue and a little laundry liquid then add glitter, food colouring, sand, hot chocolate powder, paint etc. to make the slime different each time. The liquid we used was Almat from Aldi (not every type will work for this recipe).

Recipe:

3 cups of glue to 1 cup of laundry liquid

Mix together then stretch and pull until it gets to the consistency you want, too stringy add more glue, too sticky add more laundry liquid.

 

 

4. Gloop

We have lots of fun with gloop. It is a mixture of cornflour and water that feels solid if you hit it but turns liquid if you touch it gently. We like hiding things in gloop, writing in gloop, adding colours and making patterns.

Recipe:

3 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water

Add more water as it starts to dry out

 

5. Sand Cement/Kinetic Sand

Sand Cement is very easy to make by mixing sand and shaving foam. It turns the sand a little bit sticky which makes it really good for building. We added blocks to the sand cement and the children used it to build. It washes off really easily but you may need to keep adding a little more foam as it starts to dry out.

Recipe:

3 cups of sand to a can of shaving foam

 

We also make a kind of kinetic sand which is a little firmer and easier to mould.

Recipe:

2 cups of sand, 1 cup of cornflour, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid. (this recipe isn’t quite perfected yet and the sand dries out very quickly, if you have a longer lasting recipe we’d love to hear it!)

6. Play Dough

We almost always have play dough out in the classroom. We have all kinds of play dough, changing the colour, scent or tools for different activities. We use letters, numbers, cutters, rolling pins and kitchen tools in the dough. We also add plastic characters, cars and small parts like googley eyes depending on what the children are interested in.

Recipe:

2 cups of plain flour, 1/3 of a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 cup of boiling water.

You can mix the ingredients together or cook in a pan to bring your dough together.

Make sure you knead it well when it had cooled.

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7. Salt Dough/White Clay

If we want to make something longer lasting like jewellery of decorations we can use salt dough or white clay.

Salt Dough Recipe:

2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and up to 1 cup of water.

Mix the flour and salt then add enough of your cup of water to make a dough.

When you have made your creation it can be dried out naturally for a few days or cooked on a low oven for an hour or two. You can add colour to the mix or paint when dried.

White Clay:

1 cup of cornflour and half a cup of white glue.

Mix together to form a dough. It will be mould-able and you can make delicate decorations but it can start to dry so you will need to work quite quickly!

8. Food!

Food makes a fun sensory activity. Sometime we explore food to learn the names of our fruits and vegetables. We cut them open and use tweezers to take out the pips. We look at raw and cooked food like pasta and spaghetti to see how the texture changes.

We hope you have fun trying these recipes out a home, we’d love to hear what you get up to!

Art goes SPLAT!

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Art goes SPLAT!

We had a fun afternoon in our art studio today making…Splat Art!

First we squeezed blobs of different coloured paint onto our card. We talked about the colours we could see before hiding them under circles of cotton wool.

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Next came the fun bit. We hit the circle with a plastic hammer and watched the paint go splat!

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We experimented with tools and hitting to try and make the biggest splat!

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Then we took away the circles and looked at our pictures.

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Finally we mixed the paint together with our fingers to see what colours we could make.

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We had lots of fun making our splatter art. Why not continue having fun with paint at home?

Try painting with tools from around the home – spoons, mashers and spatulas make great painting tools. Playing with finger paints is a really good way to explore what happens when you mix colours.

Inside Out, a week of compliments…

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Inside Out, a week of compliments…

When the children came back from their holidays they had lots of lovely things to say to their friends. Everybody was telling each other how much they liked their new winter clothes. We learnt a new word compliment.

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This week we decided to learn all about compliments and feelings. We had nearly all seen the new Disney film, Inside Out, which is all about our feelings so we had lots of Inside Out fun too!

We made up a new game called The Compliment Game. First we put on the music and danced around (because music makes us feel happy!). When the music stopped we shook our friends’ hands and gave them a compliment. We tried to find as many friends as we could before the music came back on. We said kind things like:

I like your long hair

Cool shoes!

I like your jumper

You are funny

You’re good at drawing

The compliment game left us all feeling very happy.

We talked about the other feelings we might have and made Inside Out sensory bottles…

 

We thought about the colours of the different feelings and chose bottles that were the right shape. We matched the colours and added extra bits like jingle bells for joy and a spiky stone for anger. We filled the bottles with a mixture of glue, water, glitter glue and glitter. Then we added food colouring and watched what happened.

 

 

We played with the bottles talking about how we felt and watching the glue and glitter move slowly in the bottle. Then we added our bottles to our sensory area.

We learnt to colour match. We worked with control as we poured and measured into the bottles. We use our bottles to help us talk about our feelings.

 

We also made Inside Out potions in the mud kitchen…

 

We filled the tubs with all different things for each feeling. We had blue bubbles for sadness, green slime for disgust, red gloop for anger and yellow glitter and sparkles for joy. We talked about our potions adding a splash of red anger and a sprinkle of yellow joy.

We learnt to talk about our feelings, mix colours and talk about changes.

 

How can you continue at learning at home?

Carry on the compliments, can children say one kind thing a day? Can they say something kind to everybody in their family?

Make your own sensory bottles with glitter glue, water and a bit of food colouring. Add a little object like a Lego character. These bottles are great for helping children have some calm down time, watching the toy move slowly through the glitter. Make sure you seal the lid on with tape or glue!

Make your own potions using things around your home like washing up liquid, shower gel and shampoo. You could even add cornflour to water to make your own gloop!

Pumpkin Palaver

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Pumpkin Palaver

After Halloween the children decided they wanted plenty of pumpkins in our classroom.

There were pumpkins in the water tray. So we made pumpkin potions, using the tweezers to take out the pumpkin seeds and adding colours and scents to the potions. The children counted out the ingredients they needed for their potions.

We were learning to count out amounts, use language like full and empty. Talk about changes and what happens when we add ingredients. We found out what happened when we mixed colours together. We built our fine motor skills pinching the seeds and using the tweezers, this will help get our fingers ready for writing. Sensory activities are  great way to encourage children to talk about the things they see happening.

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Our colour of the week was orange. We had orange sand and our colour table was orange to match our pumpkins.

We learn one colour each week. We try to name, find and match the colours of different things we find. We learn that there can be different shades of the same colour.

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On the writing table we had a big tuff spot that we covered in paper. We had lots of unusual pumpkins of different sizes as well as squash and we drew what we could see.

We learnt to look carefully at details such as shape and colour. We talked about the shapes and textures we could see. Some children even made up stories about their pumpkins turning them into scary pumpkins to scare the monsters away!

 

 

 

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On the fine motor table we used the hammers to hammer golf tees into the pumpkins. We had to carefully hold the pumpkin in one hand and hammer the golf tee with the other. This taught us about coordination and control. We learnt to use the tools safely and it helped to build our strength. It was even trickier to try and get them out again!

 

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How can you continue learning at home?

There may not be many pumpkins around now Halloween’s over but there are lots of activities you could do with other fruits and vegetables.

You could make your own potions using cut up fruit in a bowl of water. You can add food colouring, bowls, spoons and anything you have in your cupboards! Talk to the children about the changes they see and encourage them to count their ingredients, use scales to weigh things out or talk to them about things being full and empty.

You could encourage the children to find colours at home. You could go on a colour hunt and find one thing of every colour or you could find something to add to our colour of the week display!

The children had to really concentrate when they were drawing their pumpkins. You could do some drawings of your own, with fruits and vegetables around the house. Encourage children to talk about the different sizes, colours, shapes and textures. Remind children to try and colour things using the colours they can see.