Friday, 30 November 2012

Outdoor Adventures

We have been having fun learning outdoors this week:

Cooking and eating BBQ sausages. Yum!

Visiting Staglands.

 A parent helper took this photo, the baby guinea pigs at Staglands were adorable!

Making and flying kites.

Treasure hunting. We followed the clues to the sandpit and dug up gold doubloons.

River walking (and watching M-Block Raft Race).

Rock art (click to see our ladybug rock painting). We used pastels to draw colourful designs on these rocks, then painted water-based sealant over the top.

We were meant to picnic at Harcourt Park, but unfortunately the weather was not quite up to scratch.

Learning outside the classroom has lots of benefits:

  • Opportunities to satisfy curiosity and explore the world.
  • Experiences to engage in creative activity.
  • Improved self-confidence and risk-taking.
  • First hand experience in real-life situations.
  • Encourages independence and self-reliance.
  • Establishes a team building attitude and support cooperative learning skills. 
Plus we had a week of fantastic photo opportunities!  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Paper Dolls

 Our paper dolls were fiddly to cut, but the children were very pleased with their finished creations.

 Paper fairies.

 These paper dolls have paper pants!

 Paper aliens.

Friendly paper monsters.

I used this website for paper doll ideas, and we have been singing and acting 'Miss Polly had a Dolly' all week. Our favourite part is when the Dr knocks on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat, because we like to loudly quietly knock on the floor.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sailing Away....

.... on the deep blue sea.

We constructed giant boats with our friends....

.... and little boats out of junk....

.... then floated (and sunk) our boats on mini oceans.

We discovered what can float or sink....

.... then wrote a list of sea-creatures....

 .... made a chart of an imaginary ocean....

.... and constructed a compass to navigate our way across the paddling pool sea.

We had 18 Mountaineers (we call our pre-school visitors Mountaineers) visiting us today. It was a very busy Discovery session, but as you can see it was lots of fun!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

How to Draw a Bird

We have been learning how to draw a bird for our fundraising Calendar Art this year. Parents can purchase a calendar, diary, or greeting card, so I wanted our art to be very bright and eye-catching.

I used this post for inspiration, but we coloured in our birds with pastel and used dye and salt for the background.  This is the same method we used for our Swimming Self-Portraits and I could definitely see improvements with the children's pastel control and colouring technique.

The children had a great time carefully drawing their bird and I love the thoughtful colour selections that make each bird really stand out.

Although each child was taught how to draw the same bird, every bird is an individual, just like its artist.

Even though our birds aren't black we have also been reading (and singing) this classic children's song - Two Little Black Birds.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Mickey Mouse's Birthday

Happy birthday Mickey!

On the 18th November Mickey Mouse turns 84. The Walt Disney Company celebrates Mickey's birthday as November 18, 1928, the release date of Steamboat Willie (the first Mickey Mouse cartoon).

We celebrated Mickey's birthday and the fun and excitement of birthdays in general with these special birthday Discovery activities:

 We made delicous playdough birthday cakes for Mickey....

.... completed a Mickey Mouse puzzle ....

 .... and Mickey Mouse bookmarks.

 We blew up balloons for Mickey's party (I love teamwork in action) ....

.... after the arm workout, we made fairy bread ....

 .... cut it out ready to eat ....

 .... then some children ate it in our play fort.

We made Mickey Mouse ears and had our faces painted ....

 .... before wrapping up empty boxes presents....

 .... and carefully carrying them ....

 .... to give them to Mickey.

Then a fantastic surprise ....

We sung Mickey 'Happy Birthday', and enjoyed a piece of this amazing birthday cake (it turned up this morning from a very kind and thoughtful mother) ....

.... what a great birthday party. 

Happy Birthday Mickey!

Solar Eclipse

 We spent some time today looking at and talking about today's solar eclipse and how eclipses occur. 

We watched this video to help understand. (Hopefully some of the children understood about how the moon can block the sun.)

The children loved using our special glasses to view the eclipse. It looked like an orange biscuit with a big bite taken out of it. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Discovering About Light

 We had an illuminating time discovering about light this week for Discovery. 

 We had a shadow puppet show...

 .... with these fantastic sea creature puppets.

 The children had a great time discovering that when something blocks light you can make a shadow.

We made exploding rockets....

.... and sparkly sparklers....

.... then we practised counting and cutting....

.... and stamping stars.
We discovered that stars are suns that are very, very, far away.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Our Huge Hanging Spiders

You had better look out when you come into Room 4! 

 Our huge hanging black spiders are out to get you with their pointy fangs and black dangling spider legs.

These paper plate spiders took us a couple of weeks to make. The black paint needed to be completely dry before we could staple on our black paper legs. We also wrote facts about spiders that I glued underneath their tummies, that way everyone who visits us can enjoy reading what we know about spiders too.

"Spiders have patterns for camouflage."
"Spiders can be on the floor and climb. They climb and stay on the wall. Spiders have 8 legs with four eyes or 8. Spiders make webs. Big spiders eat mice. Spiders go fast."

"Spiders eat flies and bees. And the spider makes a spider web and they live in webs and houses. Lots live in the ground."

"Spiders catch flies with their web. They spin their web at night."
"Spiders crawl fast. They live on their web."

I used these spiders from Sparklebox to write some interesting spider words on for us to read with our spider facts.

All that tricky accordion folding for the legs of our spiders was a great way to strengthen our fingers to get them ready for writing. 
These spiders make a great Halloween art and craft activity as well.