Thursday, 4 August 2016

EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1 - Learning through play

EYFS 'learning through play' toddler activities

EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1 learning through play

Those of you who follow me on social media, will no doubt have noticed that I LOVE to come up with interesting 'learning through play'  activities for Arthur to try at home. Play is the best way for children ( and arguably adults too) to learn! If it is fun, we are more likely to remember it aren't we?? Over the coming weeks I am going expand on some of my social media posts in more detail, should you wish to give some of these a go yourself...


EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1Edible Fine Motor Skills Activity: 


You will need:

  1. A banana
  2. Cereal hoops ( we used cheerios)
  3. Raw spaghetti

Set up:

The photo here (below) is fairly self explanatory - stick the raw spaghetti into the banana to create 'posts' to thread the cereals onto. Try not to put them too close together otherwise it can be a little more tricky! Vary the height of the different pieces of spaghetti. Thread a few cheerios onto some of the sticks of spaghetti as a reminder of what the activity is, and leave a handful of the rest on the plate for your child to have a go themselves.

Activity:


Show your little one how to do this a few times before letting them have a try. Make sure you talk about and explain what you are doing ( in simple terms) as you show them. For example, I repeated "put the hoop on the spaghetti", to Arthur as I did just that. This helps to build understanding of language.

Extend:

Depending on the age and stage of your child, you can extend this activity in a number of ways:


  • Use different colour hoops ( coco hoops, honey hoops, cheerios etc) to encourage colour sorting onto different sticks of spaghetti, pattern making etc
  • Counting - count the hoops as you / your child puts them on or takes them off. Count how many are on a particular stick etc, how many of a particular colour.
  • Addition/Subtraction - find a total number of hoops on the banana. Remove a stick of hoops and talk about how many 'less'
NB: The ends of the spaghetti can be sharp - watch out for eyes and of course, if your child wants to eat the banana after, you will probably have to remove pieces of broken spaghetti from inside the banana first.

EYFS links: For those looking to link this activity to the EYFS, here are the main strands to look out for and link to depending on how you used the activity:

Communication & Language ( L&A, U, S), Physical Development (M&H), Maths ( N, SSM), CofL.


Edible fine motor skills activity for children - this one is so quick and easy, and just uses three ingredients from home! A banana, raw spaghetti sticks and some Cheerios (or other hoops!) show your little one how to thread the hoops onto the spaghetti sticks and challenge them to have a go themselves. Admittedly this didn't last long, because he really wanted to eat the banana!! For older children you can extend the activity by colour sorting hoops and including counting. A great and safe way to experiment with small objects without worrying about them being put into little mouths!! #EYFS #activity #eyfsactivity #finemotor #playtolearn #playingislearning #toddlerfood #toddlerplay #foodplay #toddleractivity #toddleractivities #earlylearning #homeschool #learnathome #finemotorskills #threading #threadingactivity #toddlerfun #toddlerlife #toddlersofig #toddlersofig #kidsofig #kidsofinstagram #dailyparenting #pblogger #mblogger #eyfsideas
A photo posted by Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears) on



EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1Emptying and Filling activity:


You will need:


  1. A selection of dried beans/peas
  2. A selection of containers for emptying/pouring into
  3. Scoops or spoons
  4. Helping Hands tools (amazon link below)




This activity is a great way for children to learn lots of different concepts  in a really fun way - capacity, counting, shapes, fine motor skills, balance, equipment control, investigation techniques, perseverance....depending on how you question and extend.

Activity:

As with most activities, the most important thing is to model (demonstrate) using the resources to your child. I actually started this activity with just the scoops and containers, showing Arthur how to scoop up the beans and then transfer from one container to another, using appropriate language whilst doing so such as "scoop", "empty" etc.

After he had a good few goes with this, I slowly introduced the helping hands tools (link above), again, demonstrating how to use them and offering support as needed. Dont worry if they find this tricky - just let them explore.

Extend:

For older children encourage one to one correspondence with counting by touching and counting the beans and also counting them as you take them in and out of the containers. Ask for 'one more' or 'one less' and find out the new total.


EYFS links: For those looking to link this activity to the EYFS, here are the main strands to look out for and link to depending on how you used the activity:

Communication & Language ( L&A, U, S), Physical Development (M&H), Maths ( N, SSM), Understanding the world (TW), Expressive Arts and Design (UMM), CofL.



Arthur has had so much fun emptying, filling, fiddling, scooping and investigating...I used dried beans for 'scooping' (he was absolutely fine until he decided that one looked like an 'ear' and then tried to shove it in his own ear - supervision IS required!) this activity was challenging and tricky enough to keep him occupied (those scissor scoops and tweezers take practise) but he loved being able to just pick them up with his hands and fingers (great for pincer grip). The tubs and scoops were from tesco, the tweezers, tongues and scissor scoops were from Amazon. I used a toolbox tray but an ice cube tray would be just as fun to empty things into. For older children encourage one to one correspondence with counting by touching and counting the beans and also counting them as you take them in and out of the containers. Ask for 'one more' and find out the new total. So many ways you can extend this activity depending on age and stage 😊 #EYFS #learningisfun #learningthroughplay #playtolearn #playingtolearn #playbasedlearning #toddler #toddlerfun #toddleractivity #toddleractivities #finemotorskills #finemotor #toddlerinvestigations #eyfsideas #mblogger #mbloggers #pblogger
A photo posted by Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears) on



EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1Fish Investigation Activity: 


You will need:


  1. A whole fish ( from the seafood counter)
  2. Any other seafood as appropriate - I have undertaken this activity in school in the past with a selection, including fish, oyster, langoustine, mackerel, sprats
  3. Magnifying glass (optional)
  4. Crushed ice for the fish to lay on (optional)
NB: You can find a planning sheet and a video of this activity over on my Rainbow Fish Activity and planning blog post.

Activity:

For older children, you could cover the fish up with a newspaper and let them have a guess first as to what could be underneath. 

Give clues such as: it is wet, cold, belongs in the sea, begins with /f/

 Focus on the use of senses -  what can you smell, look, feel (not taste for this one!)

Reveal the fish and allow your child to investigate. This activity gives you some really good opportunities to develop language by offering vocabulary as they explore for example:

Verbs: ( add verbs in when speaking to children to give them additional language)

Hold, touch, stroke, poke, prod, lay, put, look, see, feel, touch, smell,

Vocab: (Use vocab in comments to children to give them the language)

Sea, water, cold, ice, fish, mussel, langoustine, sprat, mackerel, trout, slippy, slimy, sharp, heavy, light, long, short, longer, shorter, fin, scales, tongue, teeth, eye, tail, bones, gills

Extend:

For younger children, extend their thinking and their understanding of vocabulary by adding the vocab mentioned above into the following phrases:
I can see that you are…
That….is very…..
You have …..it is very……
That… is bigger/smaller than……
I like how you are……
This feels…..
I think that……
Your (creature) has …..



For older or more able children, extend their thinking with the following questions:

How did you...
Can you...Estimate...
One more...
One less...
How many...
Compare...
What can you see/feel/smell...
total...




EYFS links: For those looking to link this activity to the EYFS, here are the main strands to look out for and link to depending on how you used the activity:

Communication & Language ( L&A, U, S), Physical Development (M&H), Maths ( N, SSM), Understanding the World (TW), CofL.




EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1Sensory Water Play Activity:


You will need:


  1. Water tray
  2. fresh water
  3. Lemons/limes - sliced
  4. mint leaves
  5. containers for filling and emptying
  6. Pipette ( from the helping hands set)
  7. rose petals (optional)

Activity:

This was a very open ended 'set up and go' activity. I modelled to Arthur how to empty and fill  the containers and how to touch, feel and smell the leaves and lemons by just getting in there and playing myself (alongside him). Getting involved and playing with your children is one of the best ways for them to learn - don't ever feel embarrassed, or worry that others will look at you and think you are 'just playing' - they may not understand the value of play, so show them!

As with the activity above, this is a great one for building language, with vocab such as:

Lemon, lime, mint, leaf/leaves, rose, petal, flower, water, splash, pour, fill, empty, drops, squeeze, pipette, wet, dry, cold, warm, sour, touch, feel, smell, fruity, minty etc etc

Extend:

For younger children, extend their thinking and their understanding of vocabulary by adding the vocab mentioned above into the following phrases:
I can see that you are…
That….is very…..
You have …..it is very……
That… is bigger/smaller than……
I like how you are……
This feels…..
I think that……
Your (petal) has …..


For older or more able children, extend their thinking with the following questions:

How did you...
Can you...Estimate...
One more...
One less...
How many...
Compare...
What can you see/feel/smell...
total...




EYFS links: For those looking to link this activity to the EYFS, here are the main strands to look out for and link to depending on how you used the activity:

Communication & Language ( L&A, U, S), Physical Development (M&H), Maths ( N, SSM), Understanding the World (TW), CofL.


Sensory water play outside: I added mint leaves, sliced lemon and some fallen rose petals from the garden, along with some containers for filling and emptying, watering cans and a pipette....Arthur loved to smell the mint leaves and apparently those lemons were just too tempting! He couldn't help but taste them! Sensory activities are a great way to introduce new language to your child within a 'real life' experience - talking about and demonstrating what you can see, smell, feel, hear and taste (if appropriate), naming different objects and exploring as much as possible - the more senses we use whilst undertaking an activity the more likely we are to remember it! #EYFS #learningthroughplay #learningisfun #sensoryplay #sensoryplaytime #waterplay #playtolearn #playingtolearn #playbasedlearning #playoutside #outdoorplay #toddlerfun #toddlerplay #toddlerhat #toddlerlife #toddlersofig #kidsofinstagram #kidsofig #momentsnotposes #letthembelittle #dailyparenting #oureverydaymoments #simplychildren #pblogger #eyfsideas #mblogger #mbloggers #pblogger
A photo posted by Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears) on



EYFS Toddler Activities roundup 1

Edible Building Activity:


You will need:

  1. Hoola Hoops
  2. Cheddars
  3. Squirty cream
  4. equipment for spreading, such as a toddler knife etc
Activity:

I decided to keep this one entirely edible as I knew the crisps would be far too tempting!!

An alternative option to this activity is to use building blocks and shaving foam, if your child is old enough to understand that they should not eat the shaving foam!

Again, this is a great activity for exploring different senses ( including the sense of taste this time!) I demonstrated sticking the hoola hoops together and building a tower, before allowing Arthur to just take control and do what he wanted with this one....obviously that was going to be 'eating!' 

The cream is great for early mark making and Arthur really enjoyed spreading it around with his hands and making marks with his fingers.

Lots of vocab available to introduce in a meaningful context:

Spread/spreading, soft, cold, build, stick, tall/taller, long/longer, one more, one less, taste, feel, crunch, lick, etc. 

You can use the same type of questions as in the activities above to extend their level of thinking (if you aren't losing your mind by this point and trying to remove squirty cream from walls and floors!


Edible building activity - this morning's very messy (but tasty) play! (Genuinely relieved I decided to use squirty cream and not shaving foam) with the added bonus that along with all of the other 'senses' Arthur was also allowed to use his sense of taste for this activity...it may look like something a pregnant woman may choose for tea, but apparently beef BBQ hula hoops are rather delicious when combined with squirty cream! I showed Arthur how to use the cream to stick the crisps together (the cement) and demonstrated using his hands and the tools provided to explore the cream and make marks on the table. Be warned - this is a VERY messy one and took quite a bit of clean up. For obvious reasons it didn't last long either. Great for 1 to 1 if you are inside - I'd probably take this one outside next time and combine it with a paddling pool (bath! Lol!) #EYFS #learningthroughplay #learningisfun #sensoryplay #sensoryplaytime #playtolearn #playingtolearn #foodplay #playbasedlearning #toddlerfun #toddlerplay #toddlerhat #toddlerlife #toddlersofig #kidsofinstagram #kidsofig #momentsnotposes #letthembelittle #dailyparenting #oureverydaymoments #simplychildren #pblogger #mblogger #stillaboy #childhoodunplugged #childofig #mumblogger #ourcandidlife #eyfsideas #mblogger #mbloggers #pblogger
A photo posted by Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears) on

Have fun!! I will be posting more of our activities in more detail over the next few weeks - if you enjoyed reading this please share the post with others so that they can have a go at the activities too! 

To make sure that you don't miss out on my future posts, you can follow me on twitter, instagram and Facebook  or you can Subscribe via email here

You may also like 19 tuff tray activities for open ended play

Learning through play posts