Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night

After Halloween comes Bonfire Night – another lovely ‘event’ to celebrate in an Early Years setting.

We have also enjoyed listening to ‘The Dark, Dark Tale’ by Ruth Brown.

 

Construction

We made ‘fireworks’ with the light rope & rainbow blocks on the floor…

Rainbow block & light rope 'fireworks' - from Rachel (",)

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Firework-Inspired Transient Art

The children loved the images of the fireworks & happily talked about their own Bonfire Night experiences. They really enjoyed creating their own transient art firework-inspired pictures…

Fireworks in Transient Art - from Rachel (",)

Fireworks in Transient Art - from Rachel (",)

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‘Firework’ Threading

Threading pipe-cleaners through colanders (& adding beads) was really popular when we did it back during ‘gradual admission at the beginning of September, so we have revisited it. The beads are slightly different & I provided cutlery drainers instead of colanders. We pretended we were creating fireworks…

Fine motor 'fireworks' from Rachel (",)

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 Simple Pattern-Making

Really simple pattern making activities – the children could either use mark making implements (pencils, felt-tips etc) on paper, cotton buds on chalk boards or their fingers in glitter. I also provided pattern cards for inspiration – some used them & some preferred to create their own. I don’t have any photos of the children drawing patterns on paper, because I wasn’t quick enough (!), but here are some from the chalkboards & glitter..

Mark making with water and cotton buds on chalkboards... from Rachel (",)

Mark making with water and cotton buds on chalkboards... from Rachel (",)

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Mark making in glitter - from Rachel (",)

These are the cards the children used for examples of patterns.

Mark making pattern cards - from Rachel (",)

If you wish a copy of these cards you may download them here: Mark making Pattern Cards from Rachel (“,)

Please note that they are hand ‘drawn’ & I am not an artist!!

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Firework Maths

Dark, dark numbered cups, cards, numbers & nuggets with the addition of various stars. Lots of opportunities for sorting, counting & pattern making…

Opportunities for sorting, counting & pattern making - from Rachel (",)

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Paint-Covered Ball Rolling

We love doing this. As well as the usual paint-covered marbles, I also provided ‘tumble drier’ balls. They added a dotted effect to the artwork. We also did it on a larger scale, so that the children could work together to roll the balls around rather than having a go individually…

Paint-covered marble and ball rolling - from Rachel (",)

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Epsom Salts & Food Colouring

We enjoyed watching the colours spread as they landed in the salt…

Epsom salts and food colouring... from Rachel (",)

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Bonfire Night Dough

Sparkly dough always provides great excitement! I added star shaped cocktail stirrers, glittery pipe-cleaners & star sequins & cutters for the children to create with…

Firework dough from Rachel (",)

Firework dough from Rachel (",)

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Patterns in the Water Tray

Black water, baby oil & glitter looked so beautiful. We loved the patterns (& sparkly hands!)…

Black water, glitter and baby oil in the water tray - from Rachel (",)

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Firework Patterns on the Homemade Lightbox

Surprisingly, the boys were more interested in this, this week, than the girls…

'Fireworks' on the lightbox - from Rachel (",)

Look at this inventive way one little boy decided to pick up the beaded garlands… great for his fine motor skills!

Inventive way to pick up the beads - from Rachel (",)

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Gel Bags on the OHP

They started out on the lightbox as a mark-making activity…

Gel bags on the lightbox - from Rachel (",)

… but migrated to the OHP & looked AMAZING! Unfortunately my photos don’t show how fab they looked, but the children loved making patterns on them…

Gel bags on the OHP - from Rachel (",)

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Fireworks in a Jar

We explored adding food colouring to water in thisColourpost & I remembered some of the children talking about how it looked like fireworks. So I thought we’d repeat the activity, but on a smaller scale…

'Fireworks' in jars - from Rachel (",)

'Fireworks' in jars - from Rachel (",)

We also had a go at dropping food colouring through oil, into water…

Dropping food colouring through oil, into water - from Rachel (",)

… and then we tried adding an effervescent tablet into food colouring, water & oil…

Food colouring, water, oil and an effervescent tablet - from Rachel (",)

I didn’t get very good photographs, unfortunately, but all the experiments were fascinating to watch & talk about.

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Small World

Nothing to do with Bonfire Night specifically, but the children have loved listening to a ‘Dark, Dark Tale’ & our doll’s house is perfect to link with it…

The Dark, Dark Tale inspired small world play... from Rachel (",)

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Pumpkin Geoboards

Not my idea at all; there are lots of examples of this on Pinterest, but we haven’t done it before & I thought it would be a lovely way to support fine motor development before we hammer golf tees into them. They loved pushing the push-pins into them & then stretching the loom bands & elastic bands around them to create shapes & patterns…

Pumpkins, push pins, elastic & loom bands - from Rachel (",)

Pumpkins, push pins, elastic & loom bands - from Rachel (",)

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I had a number of other ideas, but we either ran out of time or the weather ‘kaiboshed’ them, so I will ‘shelve’ them for another time…

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Thanks for reading!

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– Rachel (“,)

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18 Comments

  1. Hi
    I love all your amazing classroom areas they are so inspiring! Just wondering where you get all your amazing resources from especially the wooden numbers and wooden bug shapes? Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks Sharon!
      The bugs (unfinished ladybirds) are from eBay & the wooden numbers are from Hobbycraft (2 sets of 0-9 for £2). They are unfinished & I just paint them (although they are nice unfinished too!)

      Reply
  2. Rachel, I love your Blog, you have so many inventive ideas that make me want to rush out and introduce to my class. My only question is whether you have a class budget. And if so for how much? Whilst it’s obvious that most of your resources are reusable and inexpensive, they would soon add up if I was to buy everything. I am hoping to get my Head to allocate a budget to the Reception Class, so would really appreciate a guide from you. Thanks for all your inspirational hard work.

    Reply
    • Hi Wanda, thanks for your lovely comment!

      As for budget, well we’re really lucky to have an ‘Early Years’ budget, which is for both Nursery & Reception. Its often around the £1000-£1,500 mark each year, but we’ve had a little more this year as we’ve had an additional Reception class to buy for.
      Also, our school PTA gives every class in school £100 cash each year. We can spend this on whatever we like for the class (as long as we keep the receipts).
      ALSO, many of our parents very kindly pay 50p a week, ‘Foundation Stage Fund’ (fab for replenishable goods such as play dough ingredients & sensory items). Those who pay usually pay a half term in advance, which means you have a good amount to buy small bits of pieces with. Lots of schools in my area do this. It’s a great source of money for cash purchases & the parents recognise how much it enhances the provision.

      I have also spent a FORTUNE of my own money over the years, but those items purchased are mine & therefore go with me wherever I go.

      Hope that helps!

      – Rachel (“,)

      Reply
  3. Hi,
    Where did you get the rainbow blocks?
    Thanks,
    Dona

    Reply
  4. Love your stuff, as usual! We hammered golf tees into pumpkins, too, and then my sweet Kittens (3-4yos) used about 100 rubber bands on them! Our “pumpkin geoboard” as you say was a big hit with the parents, too–we put it in the hall on a small table so they could see it. Alongside, I put a paper on which I’d written the results of my asking the question, “What should (teacher) be for Halloween?” They had great suggestions! Thanks for your inspirations!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your lovely comment, Chris!
      My class are 3-4 yos too, so lots in common 😉

      Reply
  5. Hi
    I have been looking at your lovely Space Alien maths area. You say you got the little figures from ebay. Please could you let me know what you searched for as I am not seeming to find anything suitable. Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Karen, you’ve confused me because you’ve commented under the Bonfire Night post rather than the Space post, but I’m fairly sure I know what you mean. Try an advanced search on eBay for the seller ‘greatdeal.team’ 🙂

      Reply
  6. Hi Rachel, absolutely love the blog as always. I was just wondering how you made your black water? It may be a bit of a silly question but I thought I’d ask to ,ale sure I do it right!

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the lovely comment! I just added black food colouring to the water. You have to add quite a lot to make it really black 🙂

      Reply
  7. Hi Rachel,

    How did you make the ‘black water’ for the water tray?

    Adrian

    Reply
    • Just saw someone’s already asked the same question – black food coluring

      Reply
      • Yes, black food colouring 🙂

        Reply
    • Black food colouring 🙂

      Reply
  8. How did you make the gel bags?

    Reply
    • It’s just cheap hair gel & food colouring in ziplock bags. I taped over the top of the zip to make them more secure 🙂

      Reply

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