We had a gardening theme today, so it felt very summery. The sun definitely made us all feel so much happier. Our gardening theme was inspired by a new book that came out in May called 'Errol's Garden'. Its such a lovely book with beautiful pictures. Errol loves growing things, but runs out of space in his flat and one day comes across something that might solve his problem, but I won't give the ending away.
I don't think I am as keen a gardener as Errol, but it did inspire a lot of play ideas today. But mainly the children wanted to be enjoying the sun, and why not!!
Our first activity was lavender play dough. My parents have an incredible lavender plant (Which now has a few stalks cut off), which was in full bloom. So I first made the play dough and then cut up tiny pieces of the lavender. Not only does it look great, but it also smells great!
If you want to make this at home, the recipe is...
1 Cup of free running salt
2 Cups of plain flour
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 Cups of boiling water (straight from kettle).
3 or 4 stalks of lavender
Food Colouring – optional
Cream of tartar – again optional but it helps it last longer.
It’s so easy to make simply mix everything together.
This is a great one to make with the kids (but do supervise the hot water stage). But they can help with the mixing and and even the measuring, because it's all in cups. I only used 1/2 a cup of every thing for my play dough, so it does make a lot, and you can keep it in the fridge in an air tight container for another day!
Our sensory tray had soil, mini veg and some beans. They had fun planting everything. In the afternoon session, they cut open the peppers inside to see the seeds. This can help start conversations about where fruit and veg come from and how it's grown.
We also had a go planting some cress today - it didn't completely go to plan, this is a much better activity for a smaller group of children. I used a chocolate box container (yes I know the sacrifices I have to make for Play Plus eating lots of chocolate!!) as a seed pot and some cotton wool. But you can use Kitchen roll. You can also put kitchen roll or cotton roll in an used egg shell (from a boiled egg) and decorate the shell with a face, it then looks like your egg is growing hair!
Some simple gardening activities especially if you are like me and don't have a garden! Well it didn't stop Errol!
Our sign of the week was flower, which was very apt - if you want to have a go here it is...
Now is the perfect time of year to be using this sign - maybe you could post a video of you signing it!