Tag Archives: Mark making

Maps, maps, maps!

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Maps, maps, maps!

Over the last few weeks the children have been interested in making maps. Look at Yasmen’s great map to school!

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We started with learning about the countries that our families come from. We learnt that members of our family were born in England, Scotland, the Caribbean, Lithuania, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the Congo and Ghana and we wanted to learn some dances from other cultures.

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Then the children made their own maps. There were maps to the jungle, maps to get home, maps to see the princesses and even maps of our own pretend planets!

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After that we moved on to story maps and the children drew some great maps to go with their stories. We even made some books on the computer.

Our story telling continued as Andy the story teller came to tell stories with us…

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What a busy week! The children have loved learning about maps and lots of children carried on making maps while they played. Why not encourage children to make more maps as they play at home. They are great for teaching children about the world around them and learning about where things are.

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Movie Morning

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Movie Morning

One day Asaad asked if he could make a video. We set up a video diary and the children learnt how to record themselves as they sang songs and told stories.

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Everyone loved the idea and decided we should make a ‘real movie’ together. The children had lots of different ideas for their movie.

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In the end we decided on the story of The Three Little Pigs. Everybody had their own job. We made masks and costumes for the different characters, build sets inside and outside, told the story using storyboards to help us, acted out the story, used puppets to tell the story, made sound effects, directed our friends and recorded our movie. What a busy week!

Then we thought about who might like to see our movie. We decided our grown-ups would so we made tickets, posters and invitations.

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Then Paige said we should make jam tarts and Oliver, Lula, Toochi and Roman thought popcorn and hot chocolate!

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We baked our jam tarts and got everything ready for our movie mornings and  lots of our grown-ups stayed!

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We had a lovely time and the children were all very proud of their movie. Thank you to everyone who stayed.

 

The children have already been talking about a Christmas movie for the sequel so watch this space!

The Three Little Good Wolves and The Big Giant Pig That’s Naughty

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The Three Little Good Wolves and The Big Giant Pig That’s Naughty

This week we read the story of The Three Little Pigs and told our own version of the story.  We thought about the parts of the story and what we could change. We decided we would change some of the words, where our story happened, the characters or the ending. Here are some of our great stories…

The Three Little Good Wolves and the Big Giant Pig that’s Naughty 

By Lillie-Rae, Age 4

Once upon a time the mamma wolf said “build your own houses!” The wolves said “Yes mamma” and then one made a house out of straw and other one made house of sticks and a other one made a house of bricks. And then the big, giant pig came and the big, giant pig said “LET ME IN!” and the wolves said, “I won’t let you in by the hairs on my uncle’s chin.” Then the big giant pig tried to kick the door down but it was stinging his trotter, so he gave it a big, giant kick and it fell down. So the wolf went to the house of sticks. The big naughty pig came. Then he took a stick and it all fell down. Then the two wolves ran to brother’s house made of bricks. Then the pig came and tried to knock it down with his hammer but he couldn’t ’cause it was a baby hammer. Then he got some ladders, climbed up the chimney and the wolves made a fire and the pig fell in the fire and they tipped him into the toilet and flushed him all the way down. The End.

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Little Pigs

By Millie, Age 3

Once upon a time there was a little piggy, he was walking through the forest with the icky sticky mud and he was jumping in the muddy puddles. Then the wolf came, he said “Knock, knock, can I come in?” “No by the hairs on my chinny, chinny chin!” “Then I’ll puff, then I will puff then I will blow your house down.” That was the end of the second little piggy.

Then the other little piggy was walking on the street and he heard a knock like this (Millie knocked) and this time it was a vampire. He eat the pig and they turned into piggy vampires!

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Three Little Pigs 

By Paige, Age 4

Once upon a time Mummy Pig said “Build your own house” then the Big, Bad Wolf was watching them and then the wolf came to the pig’s house and said, “Let me in!” Pig said “Not with my little chin, chin.” Wolf said, “I’ll puff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” And then he ate all the pigs up. The End.

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Bye Little Piggy!

By Heidi, Age 4

In a muddy puddle there’s a piggy jumping in muddy puddles. Then the big bad wolf comed to jump in the big muddy puddle. Then he trying to eat all the piggies. He goes in the shower so he not muddy then he eats piggies for his dinner. He chops them up and has them with chippies. Then he’s got a big belly.

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What have we been learning?

We have been learning all about stories. We have been learning about characters, events and settings. We are starting to understanding that stories have a beginning, middle and end. We are being imaginative and changing parts of the story. We are starting to describe using adjectives and making sure our stories make sense.

How can you continue learning at home? 

Make sure children have lots of opportunities to tell their own stories at home. This could be when they are playing with their toys or dressing up. When you share books together encourage children to make up their own words for the story.

Run, Run as Fast as You Can, You Can’t Catch Me I’m the Gingerbread Man!

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Run, Run as Fast as You Can, You Can’t Catch Me I’m the Gingerbread Man!

In nursery we have been enjoying reading traditional tales. First we read the story of The Gingerbread Man and had lots of gingerbread fun…

We used boxes and paper mache to make a gingerbread house then used it to retell the story

We made marks and patterns in ginger

We rescued the gingerbread men in the water tray

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We drew gingerbread men on the whitebaord

We rolled the dice and counted buttons onto the gingerbread men

Outside we made gingerbread houses

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We made gingerbread play dough

We had lots of fun following recipes and baking gingerbread men!

 

How can you continue learning at home? 

You could bake your own gingerbread men

You could make your own gingerbread play dough – just add a little ginger and orange.brown colouring to normal play dough

You could draw your own gingerbread men

You could draw around gingerbread men cookie cutters

Use ginger or salt in a tray to make marks and patterns

 

Telling Stories

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Telling Stories

In nursery we love to make up our own stories. Sometimes we use objects to help us think of a story, sometimes we change a story we already know or sometimes we use pictures to help us. Last week we looked at funny photos of animals and made up stories about what we could see happening.

 

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Lots of the children then wanted to write and draw their stories in their books too…

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Here are some of our stories… 

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Once upon a time there was a zebra called Stripey and he had to go to his work. His work was a job in town. He was too tired, he asked his friend Giraffe to give him a piggy back. Giraffe took him to his job and he got there very fast with his big legs and he wasn’t late. Oh no! Giraffe couldn’t fit in the door. Stripey said “I know!” and Giraffe put his neck down so Stripey could fit through the door. He went to his job. The End.

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Once upon a time there was a frog called Tiny Tim. He wants to go to the seaside so he jumps on Gary the Snail. “Ribbit”. He says “Go Gary Go!” But Gary the snail is a snail and he goes very slowlyyyy. “Oh no!” said Tiny Tim. He jumped off Gary the Snail. “Ribbit”. Then he jumped onto a horse coz horses are fast. The horse went fast fast fast to the seaside and Tiny Tim built a sandcastle. Gary the Snail was very slow he got to the seaside and it was dark and it was bedtime. They went to sleep. The End.

How can you continue learning at home? 

Why not make up your own story? You could change one of your favourite stories, you could put yourself into a story that you like, You could look at pictures and tell stories about what is happening, you could dress up and act out stories or you could use your toys to tell your own stories.

Story Telling is a great way to help children’s speaking and listening skills. It helps them to be imaginative and listen to other’s ideas. It helps them to understand stories ready for when they start to read stories themselves.

 

The Curious Tale of the Disappearing Snail

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The Curious Tale of the Disappearing Snail

 

This is the tale, of a giant land snail,

Who left nursery one day, leaving only a trail,

And how the grown-ups did worry, and the children did wail,

When they could not find Gary, the giant land snail,

They looked here and there, they searched up and down,

They spotted the slime, but no snail could be found,

Then the children they followed, the silvery track,

And they wished and they wished for their snail to come back,

 

They hunted the school and out in the yard,

‘Til one of the teachers, showed them a card,

It was Gary! He’d been on adventures galore,

When he’d slid his way out, of the classroom door,

He’d been on the tram, he’d gone to the zoo,

Out in the rain and the water park too!

He’d gone to Skegness and laid in the sun,

Oh Gary the Snail, you have had so much fun!

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But the children they worried, he was all alone,

So they thought of a plan, to get their snail home,

Letters were written and even a map,

While some of the children, set up a trap,

They filled it with food, the trap it was set,

A plan to catch Gary and get back our pet,

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When all of a sudden, a knock at the door,

And there was our snail, back home once more,

Oh Gary we missed you, don’t go away,

Next time come home, for a holiday!

 

What have we been learning?

Phew! We’re glad Gary is home. While we hunted for our snail what were we learning?

We talked to lots of new people. Sometimes the children can be shy in front of new people but they spoke to the teachers in school and asked them about Gary.

We did lots of writing. We wrote letters, post cards and posters. We drew pictures of Gary and put up signs.

We learnt to look carefully for clues. We thought of ideas for what might have happened and how we could get Gary back.

We learnt about snails. We learnt how to look after them and what they liked. We looked in books and on the internet to find more information.

We did lots of story telling, thinking of the adventures that Gary might have been on

We did lots of problem-solving. The children designed slides and traps to try and catch Gary.

Dear Zoo

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Dear Zoo

Last week began with lots of letter writing. The children were writing letters home and to their friends. We got out the post bag so we could deliver our letters.

In the construction area lots of children were building cages and zoos for the animals.

We remembered our story from guided reading all about sending letters to the zoo. It was called ‘Dear Zoo’. We read it at story time and then we got a delivery from the zoo!

We weighed the animals to see if they could be sent in the post. As everybody knows only animals that weigh less than a hamster can be sent in the post.

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Some of the animals were feeling a little bit poorly but luckily the vets were there to make sure they were ok.

Some of the children decided they needed to use tools to make their zoos even better.

Then they asked to build a real zoo with real tools!

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We thought about what we would need and wrote a letter to Ella’s daddy who looks after our school.

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Then we drew designs for how we wanted our zoo to look.

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We used the big drill, the saw and the screwdrivers to build our zoo. We had to work together and be very careful. We had lots of fun, especially using the big drill!

When the zoo was finished we sorted the animals to see who could live inside it.

What were we learning about? 

This week the children decided everything we learnt about. All the activities were planned because of what the children said or did. This way the children were very interested in their learning.

The children did lots of mark making. They wrote letters to the zoo and to other people. They drew designs for their zoo and talked about their pictures.

We learnt about letter writing. We made sure we said who our letters were to and who they were from.

We learnt the names of different animals including more unusual animals like flamingos.

The children had discussions about where different animals live e.g. would we find a spider in the zoo? They learnt to ask questions and look in books to find the answers.

We learnt about vets. The children took on a role in their play, asking and answering questions. They began adding more mark making to their play by writing what was wrong with the animals.

We learnt about tools. We learnt how to be safe and manage risks.

In maths we learnt the words ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ and could sort the animals. We learnt that not everything that was big was heavy and not everything small was light.

How can you continue learning at home? 

Following children’s interests at home is a great way to help their learning.  Children that don’t normally pick up a pencil will often write more if it is part of their play.

If your child likes to build encourage them to draw what they are building and talk about their pictures.

If they like to play football and other games give them a pen and paper or chalk to write on the ground and encourage them to keep a score.

Letting the children use tools in a controlled and supervised environment allows them to learn about safety. For example, letting children use scissors and talking to them about how to use them safely means they are less likely to be dangerous with them than if they never use them.

 

 

 

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!

It’s Christmas!

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It’s Christmas!

We have been feeling very Christmassy for the last few weeks in nursery. Have a look at some of the activities we have been doing…

In the water tray we made snowflake soup. We added glitter, stars, beads, pipe cleaners and sparkles. We put cups and tweezers in there so we could count out our ingredients and help to make our hands and fingers stronger.

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We had lots of fun in the block area. We covered some of our blocks in white paper and used them to build igloos.

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Then we added pens so we could make marks on our blocks. We drew on our blocks and made fire engines, Elsa’s castle, farms and cars.

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On our maths table we had Christmas trees to decorate. We used the tweezers to pick up the different decorations. Then we counted how many we needed for each part of the tree. If we didn’t recognise our numbers we counted the spots of used our number track to help us.

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We made more Christmas trees on the play dough table. We used green glittery clime to make trees then counted decorations onto them. We added beads, stars and pipe cleaners.

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We kept our Christmas bags that we had been using for transporting last week and added labels to the front. We had to fill the bags with gifts for the different characters from the Jolly Postman. We needed to count out how many we needed and make sure we gave them to the right person!

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We have also had lots of polar bear activities out! We were very interested in polar bears and read the story ‘Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Heat?’ Then we added polar bears to our small world and maths area to count and play with.

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Our mark making this week has been in the Christmas glitter and sparkles. We have been trying to write our numbers using the paint brushes.

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We had a Santa’s Sleigh in the role-play area and had lots of fun delivering all the presents!

Finally on our phonics table we have been playing a rhyming game. We have lots of different objects and pictures and have to guess the rhyming phrase like cat in a hat, star in a jar or hay in a sleigh. We are very good at this game!

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Finally we made our Christmas decorations to take home. The children decided they would like to make Ninja Turtle baubles this year! We added ribbon and googley eyes to green baubles then took them home to hang on our Christmas trees!

 

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We hope you have lots of fun at home over Christmas. There are lots of Christmas activities you could try…

Make fake snow by mixing either corn flour or baking powder with shaving foam.

Pour some glitter or sparkles onto a tray or plate and make marks in it like letters and numbers

Cover your blocks at home in a bit of old paper or newspaper to encourage your children to write and draw on them (this is a great activity for boys who don’t usually choose to write and draw)

Decorate old baubles with scraps of paper or material

Look online for more fun Christmas activities.

 

Who took the Treasure?

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We have been having lots of fun learning all about pirates over the last few weeks. Last week we made pirate ships outside and acted out some fun pirate stories.

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First we collected some resources for our ship. We found tubes, poles, fabric, pegs, net, crates and even treasure chests!

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The children then made up a pirate story:

“Arr we’re the Pirates.”

“We’re good pirates and bad pirates.”

“Ahoy.”

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The Pirates decided if they were good or bad Pirates.

“Are you a good pirate or a bad pirate?”

“I’m a bad pirate I tell you walk the plank!”

“But I can’t swim!”

“The sharks will eat you!”

“Ahh!”

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Suddenly a shark came along…

“I’m a shark!”

“We get you shark, trap you in the net!”

“In our trap!”

“Oh I’m trapped, I’m going to escape!”

 

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The pirates then went on a hunt for some treasure and found an empty treasure chest.

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Luckily the the pirates found some gold for their treasure chest and put it in their ship.

“Treasure”

“Lots of treasure”

“Let’s hide it”

 

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Just as the pirates made plans to hide their treasure, along came a bad pirate!

“I’m a bad pirate arrrr”

“Oh no, she’s a bad pirate”

“I’m gonna get the treasure”

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With a little help the bad pirate took the treasure!

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The good pirates tried to get the treasure back but the bad pirate hid it in the trap!

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The pirates then needed to draw a map so they knew where to find the treasure. They collected some paper and started their maps.

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One of the pirates then decided to put their message in a bottle to send to other Pirates. She collected a bottle from the workshop inside and added her message.

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I wonder who will find the treasure next?

 

 

What were we learning?

In their play children developed their imaginative language, speaking and listening skills, imaginative play and sharing their ideas with others.

They built on each other’s ideas to keep their play going.

Children then added mark making to their play drawing and writing messages and maps.

 

How can you continue this learning at home?

Provide children with pencils and paper to encourage writing and drawing in their play.

Encourage children to use things around them to extend their play and ideas.

Give children open-ended resources like cardboard boxes to develop their imaginative skills.