Visit Inspiration

Visit Inspiration

A planned visit to The Chestnut Centre has inspired some of this week’s activities…

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Finger Gym Fun

Both of these activities were inspired by photos I’ve seen on Pinterest.

Picking up ‘worms’ (wool) with the ‘bird beaks’ (pegs). Some of the children were asked to use the sand timer for an added challenge. They loved it!

Picking up 'worms' with peg 'beaks'. Beat the timer! - from Rachel (",)

For this next activity, the children were asked to create a ‘hedgehog’ by putting spaghetti into the holes. They had to try & do it without snapping the spaghetti. I really thought there would be lots of snapped spaghetti, but they were very careful with it…

Adding spikes to the 'hedgehog' without breaking them - from Rachel (",)

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Owls & Hedgehogs in the Maths Area

Various ways to explore number this week…

Number exploration with hedgehogs and owls - from Rachel (",)

Number exploration with hedgehogs and owls - from Rachel (",)

Hedgehog Game

I made a simple fine-motor peg game – the children were asked to peg the correct number of ‘spikes’ onto the numbered hedgehogs…

Pegging 'spikes' to numbered hedgehogs. FREE printable available - from Rachel (",)

The hedgehogs are here if you would like a copy: Numbered hedgehogs without spikes – from Rachel (“,)

Note, that you will need smaller pegs for the larger numbers! There is a blank hedgehog in case you wish to add larger numbers.

Owl Game

I’ve seen a similar game on Pinterest, but I wanted my ‘boards’ to have the numbers in different places, so I created my own. The children rolled the dice & covered the corresponding number with a small pebble…

Owl game - FREE printable available... from Rachel (",)

If you wish to download my Owls game, you can do so here: Owl Game – from Rachel (“,)

Again, I have included boards with blank circles, in case you wish to add different challenges.

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These wooden owls were useful for counting activities too (an eBay purchase some time ago)…

Counting owls - from Rachel (",)

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Woodland Forest

We pretended that this was the Chestnut Centre…

Woodland Forest and Owl Babies from Rachel (",)

These gorgeous ‘Owl Babies’ were made by Tishylishy’s #craftymum – aren’t they fab?!

Owl Babies from Rachel (",)

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Owl Babies Story Stones

I made these by scanning pictures from the book & sticking them to stones with PVA glue. I added a layer of PVA glue over the top too. Lovely for story telling & general discussion…

Owl Babies Story Stones - from Rachel (",)

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Natural Sensory Tray

Bird seed, conkers, acorns, glass nuggets, bowls with various sized scoops & spoons…

Bird seed and natural materials sensory tub from Rachel (",)

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Play Dough Creatures

Brown dough with feathers, matchsticks, buttons & googly eyes…

Play dough, feathers, buttons, matchsticks & googly eyes - from Rachel (",)

Play dough, feathers, buttons, matchsticks & googly eyes - from Rachel (",)

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Natural Transient Art

… with (mostly) natural materials…

Transient art with (mostly) natural materials - from Rachel (",)

Transient art with (mostly) natural materials - from Rachel (",)

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Exploring Number at the Lightbox

Exploring number at the homemade lightbox from Rachel (",)

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Handwriting Patterns

We continue to work on pencil grip & control. I created handwriting patterns on the Interactive Whiteboard for the children to trace over (there are some downloadable pattern cards in this post if you are you after some).

An Occupational Therapist explained on a course I attended, that some children find it much easier to mark make in a vertical position, than leaning over a table…

Tracing handwriting patterns on the Interactive Whiteboard - from Rachel (",)

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Chalk Patterns

More pattern work with water & chalkboards. This time I pre-drew the patterns on a large chalkboard & the children used paintbrushes & cotton buds, dipped in water, to trace over & ‘erase’ them. They could also create their own patterns with the water…

Tracing over chalk patterns with water - from Rachel (",)

Tracing over chalk patterns with water - from Rachel (",)

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Building with the Small Bricks

Owls & hedgehogs were added to some of the creations when we had a visiting Teaching Assistant…

Building fun from Rachel (",)

Another busy week!

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Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget that you can also find me on Facebook,  Twitter &  Pinterest.  I’d love you to come & say hello! 🙂

Mark making opportunity from Rachel (",)

– Rachel (“,)

18 Comments

  1. These ideas are fab, and so beautifully presented. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind comment, Annie! (“,)

      Reply
  2. So excited, as usual, to see your meaningful and interesting activities! We are doing a Tree Homes unit in January, studying bears, raccoons and owls–this will be PERFECT for us! <3 Thank you so much for your continuing inspirations–your kiddos have a treasure in you!

    Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing these are lovely!
    May I ask where do you get your lovely big flat pebbles?

    Reply
    • We bought a big bag of cobbles from ‘Cosy’. B&Q sell a wide variety of stones too (“,)

      Reply
      • Thank you!

        Reply
  4. I love all the playful learning! I think I would have fun with that pretend play woodland forest myself! 😉

    Reply
    • Thanks Emma! (“,)

      Reply
  5. Oh Rachel, once again I so wish I could come and play in your class or work with you. I’m feeling a little discouraged at the moment – never seem to be able to get set up the activities I would like or have thought of. Seeing this inspires me to try again…

    Reply
    • Oh Hettie, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling a little discouraged 🙁
      Hope you find your ‘mojo’ again soon. Glad I’ve inspired you a little xx

      Reply
  6. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas; they are always so exciting to read and are such an inspiration.

    Can I just ask what you seal your story stone pictures with as the varnish I use has a tendancy to peel.

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the lovely comment!
      I’ve just used PVA glue for my story stones (one coat underneath & a couple of coats over the top) 🙂

      Reply
  7. Just discovered your brilliant site. Can’t wait to get started on some of your activities. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas.

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    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Christine! 😀

      Reply
  8. I use your pins every week when I am planning and to share great inspiring ideas with my team. Thank you so much! Can you tell me how you made the IWB handwriting tracing?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the lovely comment, Sarah!
      For the IWB handwriting tracing activity, I just drew patterns in our drawing package (which was Dazzle 03 at that time) & saved it.
      The children just used a smaller pen to draw over the patterns – it was necessary to re-open the document each time a different child wanted to have a go (& to remember not to save over the patterns, or to at least ‘save as’ under a different name if you want to save their achievements).
      Hope that makes sense! Let me know if you need further explanation 🙂

      Reply
  9. I’ve just found this amazing site, i’m a trainee teacher and love everything on here. I’m going to be using your hedgehog pegs on Wednesday with my nursery class. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Isabel x

    Reply
    • You are very welcome, Isabel!
      Thanks for the lovely comment! 🙂 x

      Reply

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