For example, ask the children to fill several plant pots with potting compost and plant seeds or cuttings. Water them and place transparent, colourless plastic bottles which you have cut in half over some of the pots to form mini greenhouses. Explain to the children why you are going to cover some of the pots and leave others uncovered. Otherwise treat all the pots the same: give them the same quantities of water and keep them in the same place, so that they get the same amount of light and heat. Every day observe what has happened to the plants and to the plastic bottles. As an extension activity the children could measure the temperature in the plastic bottles and in the room.
Afterwards talk with the children about which plants have grown the fastest and why that might be. Talk about how plants need warmth to grow and that they grow more rapidly in a warm atmosphere. The plastic bottles have a film of condensation on the inside which helps to keep the plants moist.
Springtime is fun – the days are warmer and the children feel happier. One idea is to set up a large spring picture on a wall or using powerpoint on a whiteboard, with a tree, pond and field. You can add frogspawn, tadpoles, frogs, blossom, spring flowers, etc as the season changes and as the children learn about them. Attach them with a tacky substance so that you can move them about and change the number of each of them on a weekly or daily basis.
Ask the children to count the number of butterflies, daffodils, tadpoles, lambs, ducks and caterpillars.
Each day or week change the numbers in the picture and ask them to count again.
On a windy day go outside with the children and watch streamers blowing. Ask the children whether they can see and feel the effects of the wind on their faces and clothes. Watch the trees and plants move in the wind.Continue reading →
Looking for fun preschool activities now that summer is here? Here are 10 fun activities that young children will love – whether you are at home or in a nursery, mother and toddler group, playgroup or other early years setting.
Creative Activities for the Early Years
Make giant ice creams. Use light brown A4 paper rolled into a cone and fastened with tape. Fill with scrap paper and glue cotton wool on top as ice cream. Add details like rolled up tubes of paper as a flake, or coloured paint drizzled over as sauce.
Talk about: Has anyone been to the seaside? What was it like?
Make sandcastle pictures by spreading glue all over sandcastle-shaped pieces of card. Decorate with paper shells and flags, and make seaweed from scrunched-up tissue paper.
Sing ‘The Sun has got his Hat on’ – excellent for dancing to and can be found on lots of children’s recordings.
Put out paper, brushes and paints and allow the children to ‘free paint’.
Talk about Pirates: keep it simple and do not make it too true to life! They sailed the seas in big ships, buried treasure and had parrots on their shoulders.
Cut out some simple paper ships and allow the children o paint them. Encourage the children to paint their own flags. They don’t all have to paint the Jolly Roger!
Have a summer picnic outdoors. If the weather is bad, just hold the picnic inside. You could even decorate the room with branches and flowers.
Why not ask the children to bring a teddy and have a teddy bears’ picnic?
Hold a treasure hunt outdoors. Give children a list of things they have to find such as – three different leaves, a red/blue/yellow flower, a small stone, a daisy, a twig – these can be swapped for cut-out coloured shapes if you’re indoors.
For more summer activities for young children get Barbara Melling’s Creative Activities for the Early Years. This book contains over 160 art and craft activities for use by reception classes, nurseries, playgroups, and mother and toddler groups –as well as by parents and carers, on a variety of popular early years themes.
Introducing regular drama activities to young children is a highly effective way of developing the self-confidence, social skills, and understanding of the world that will prepare them for primary school and beyond.