Saturday, 23 May 2020

EYFS Writing | Success Criteria grid for Self Evaluation

Help children to be more independent when self-checking and evaluating their writing, by offering an EYFS success criteria grid with visual prompts of sentence writing steps. Children can mark their own work before asking a friend to peer review...

EYFS success criteria grid for writing with self evaluation and peer review

This blog post includes a video demonstration and a free print to download (including a cursive option) so that you can use this sentence writing success criteria grid within your setting, or at home with your child for home-learning. I introduced this to my own Reception class towards the end of the year in the Summer term, and have done the same for my own Reception aged child at home...

Monday, 11 May 2020

Dinosaur Island Play Tray | Tuff Spot Ideas

Does your child have a special interest in Dinosaurs? Perhaps you are learning about a dinosaur topic or how dinosaurs have become extinct and would like to create a tuff tray play tray to enhance your learning environment and allow for open ended play and exploration? 

In this post I have a large dinosaur island tuff tray with lots of loose parts, and an alternative smaller scale play tray with dinosaurs past and also dinosaurs present with a special fossil hunting activity!!

Dinosaur Island play tray fossil tuff spot activity

The beauty of loose parts is that children can move and explore all of the objects to create their own scenes, ideas and narratives. Nothing is permanent, so nothing gets ‘ruined’, nothing has to be ‘put back how you found it’ and nothing is ‘wrong’. When there are no limits set on play, children have the chance to take ownership without fear of failure, or, fear of creating too much mess to clean up. Your set up doesn’t have to be perfect (it won’t stay as it is for long anyway), it just needs to be inspiring, interesting, exciting and provoke a sense of wonder - inviting children to come and have a look, a touch and eventually a full on play!

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Coffee Beans Sensory Play Tray | Tuff Tray ideas

A sensory tuff tray exploring coffee beans using a manual coffee grinder, old coffee machine, cafetiere and some information on how we extended the coffee beans activity once they had all been ground up!

coffee beans sensory play tray with coffee grinder - tuff tray ideas


A few weeks prior to this coffee beans sensory play tray activity, I had picked up a manual coffee grinder in a charity shop and ‘left it’ in the playroom for the children to discover and try to figure out what it was and what it could do... The children loves exploring and experimenting, and here is what we got up to when we finally got round to using it for real!

Monday, 4 May 2020

Solid Wood Floors and Cast Iron Gates - A Look Back

Finding myself stuck within the four walls of my home for the last few months, I've been thinking about what really makes a house a home? What will my children remember the most about their time here? 
My dreams have been filled with images and memories of my own childhood home. The solid wood floor, and the feel of its grain beneath your feet. The cast iron gates I'd open for school each morning - and the way I tested my own strength by my ability to push them open with one or two hands. 


Chestnut Lodge, Boughton Pumping station with green iron gates
AD: This is a collaborative post  

So many of my memories were focused around the more natural resources around the house. The rough feel of the red brick, turned green by moss on the outside. The musty smell of the cellar with its concrete steps and the way we used to 'polish' the hardwood floor in the boardroom by spraying our socks with a can of Pledge and skating around the room to 'don't you want me baby?' by The Human League...

Sunday, 3 May 2020

How to make mini glitter alphabet letters using UV Resin

A quick post and video demonstrating how to make mini glitter alphabet letters using UV Resin, for loose parts and letter matching.

 gold glitter mini alphabet letters made from UV resin on a mirror tray

These letters are much smaller than some of large resin letters that you see - and so rather than epoxy resin which requires mixing and pouring, I have made these mini glitter resin letters using UV resin with a thin nozzle attachment. If you would like to find out how to make these resin alphabet loose parts, have a watch of the video below...


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