The sun was out so we celebrated by having a bit of a beach/rock pool theme today. We even had the sound track to Moana playing to really get that sun, sea and sand feel going!
Our story was 'Sharing a Shell' by Julia Donaldson (I promise we do read other authors).
The images in this book make you feel relaxed just by looking at them and you can imagine dipping your toes in a deliciously cool rock pool especially on a day like today!
But there was little relaxation today as we had lots of activities to do...
Our first tuft tray was sea and sand - with a fishing net, really simple, but so effective! The kids loved it. We also added pots later on in the morning, so they could scoop sand into pots. Lets just say the sand didn't stay this dry for very long as the water from the green tray was splashed everywhere! The sensory feel of the water and the sand, was great for quite a few of the children.
Another simple tray was our shell tray - but not the type of shells you immediately think of (I've just realised I didn't take a picture of it!). But we filled the tray with pasta shells. This is such a cheap and easy activity to do. We used a whole bag of shell pasta and added again scoops and some small rings and the children were focussed for a long time on filling the rings with the pasta. The pasta shapes just feel so good! This does need supervision, but if they do get round to eating one at least its not toxic.
I've probably mentioned before but we have an avid poster in our midst at play plus, he can and will post anything. So this week I made a crab posting game, but this week we up'd the anti and he had to post the big crabs in the big pot and the small crabs in the little pot. This was spurred on by a question last week about how can we take a love of posting to a new level and help with areas of development and communication.
This is great for communication as you can talk about big and small and in and out. You could have talked about the red crab and the yellow crab, but I didn't get that far. By taking a game they are interested in and adapting it, you can use that interest to encourage more language! You can post all sorts of objects trains, cars, animals or just pictures of animals etc. The possibilities are endless.
We did also realise that crab is a fun one to sign so we did a bit of that too. Check out this 'Something special' clip to help you learn to sign Crab, Octopus and fish!
Julie (our resident art therapist) excelled herself today and made a rock pool which the children really enjoyed decorating with all sorts.
But my toy today (yes I did really buy it for the children!) was a talking picture frame. There are so many ways you can use this. You can use it to sequence stories or to have someone say the name of the animal or object on in the frame. It's very easy to use, you put in the pictures you want to use. I drew my pictures so they matched the story today, but you can use photos, or print them. You then record the message or word that matches the picture and the children press the frame and it says what the picture is. We have a few children with communication differences, so I really wanted this to be able to help the children see the picture and then have the word spoken to them and they can play it as many times as they want!
The next time we use it, will be on robot week and it will tell us about the different colours of the robots. I am very excited about all the uses. We also came up with a few extra ideas today. Have it in the kitchen and have pictures of drink, biscuit etc for children who are non verbal. This is great because you can attach it to the wall, so it can't be stolen and hidden! Another mum said she'd like one as all of her family live overseas, and she would like to put pictures of her family and have a recording from each member of her family, such a good idea!
So to our sign of the week, which is a great one to learn and probably in my top 10 most frequent signs and it's 'SHARE'.
So how many times this week will you use this one?