NurtureStore http://nurturestore.co.uk kids activities, art and craft, play dough recipes and more Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:54:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials http://nurturestore.co.uk/stone-cairns-building-towers?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stone-cairns-building-towers http://nurturestore.co.uk/stone-cairns-building-towers#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:53:04 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=16629 Have you ever tried building stone cairns? If you have children who love building towers they’re a fab activity to try – combining natural materials, loose parts, construction play and just a little added dash of wow-factor!

Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials

A cairn is a man-made stack of stones, . . . → Read More: Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials

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Have you ever tried building stone cairns? If you have children who love building towers they’re a fab activity to try – combining natural materials, loose parts, construction play and just a little added dash of wow-factor!

A fun idea to try: building towers using natural materials. Fun balancing challenge.

Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials

A cairn is a man-made stack of stones, found all over the world, marking special places and used since ancient times. They are also lots of fun to build with your children.

play with natural materials

When you’re at the beach there’s no end to the loose parts on offer for play.

natural materials loose parts free play

 Start by hunting out the perfect pebbles. Flat stones are easier to balance, or go for a mix of shapes if you fancy a challenge.

stone cairn building towers

 You could try to build a cairn with a wide base…

cairn building towers

or build a tall, narrow tower, with one pebble on top of another. You can pick all your pebbles so they are the same colour, or mix in different ones to create a design. You can add small stones or shells at the very top for a final florish.

stone cairns

What are children learning?

Aside from being fun,by making these stone cairns you have the opportunity to

:: explore the beach and discover the natural materials available for play. You might find other treasures while you beach-comb for the perfect pebble. We found shells, a mermaid’s purse and some fossils.

:: learn about constructing in three dimensions and consider how you need to adapt your design to get your cairn to stay upright.

:: encounter gravity!

:: concentrate. It’s good for children to have a task that requires them to be quiet, think, and focus just on what they are doing. Building these towers is a mini meditation. My children were silent as they fixed their attention on getting their stones to balance.

:: create something beautiful, for others to discover after you have left the beach for the day. These are art installations that might inspire others to take up the challenge and see if they can add a  cairn to the collection.

cairns building towers

More beach theme activities

If you like our cairns idea, you might also like these beach-theme activities

:: seashell lemon play dough recipe

:: sight word seashells :: sensory spelling

:: sandcastle messy play :: homemade cloud dough recipe

:: shell painting

:: ice cool play with hidden-treasure blocks

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Frozen math games http://nurturestore.co.uk/frozen-math-games?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=frozen-math-games http://nurturestore.co.uk/frozen-math-games#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:00:56 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=20513 These frozen math games are great for multi-sensory learning.

Frozen math games

We’ve been using ice as our math maniplatives this week, to add a different sensory experience to our learning. I made some simple number ice blocks using wooden numbers (from the scrapbooking section of the craft store) and a chocolate mould. . . . → Read More: Frozen math games

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These frozen math games are great for multi-sensory learning.

Frozen math games for multi-sensory learning

Frozen math games

We’ve been using ice as our math maniplatives this week, to add a different sensory experience to our learning. I made some simple number ice blocks using wooden numbers (from the scrapbooking section of the craft store) and a chocolate mould. For the numbers you could also use fridge magnets, plastic numbers or ones cut from a piece of craft foam, and you can use an ice cube tray in place of the chocolate mould.

sensory math activities using ice

Top tip: place the mould in the freezer before you pour the water in – fewer spills that way!

sensory learning with ice

Once the water is frozen, pop out your number ice blocks and you’re ready to play.

sensory math games

You can use your cool numbers in a bowl of water, in the water tray, outdoors in the yard, in the kitchen sink, in the bath tub…anywhere you like.

ice sensory play with numbers

Adding in a tea-strainer, sieve or fishing net gives you a fun invitation to go fishing for numbers.

multi sensory math activities

How to play frozen ice games

#1 Set out the invitation and leave the children to it! Let them explore the feel of the ice, especially in contrast with the water. They might count, they might set up a pretend play story – it’s always interesting to sit back and see what they come up with. Having the numbers as part of the materials available is a way to gently introducing counting and math.

#2 If you want to add some more math games, see if you can say the name of each number.

#3 Challenge your child to catch a number three, or a number that’s one more than four.

#4 See if you can line up the slippery ice numbers in ascending or descending order.

#5 Fish out two numbers and see if you can say which is the biggest, or try and add them together.

frozen math gamesMore multi-sensory math activities

Looking for multi sensory learning ideas and ways to make learning fun? Check out our index of 100 creative math activities.

100 hands-on, creative math activities for kids. For ages 0 - 10. organised into topics and seasonal themes.

 

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Kids art projects :: painting landscapes http://nurturestore.co.uk/kids-art-projects-painting-landscapes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kids-art-projects-painting-landscapes http://nurturestore.co.uk/kids-art-projects-painting-landscapes#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:28:57 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=16651 Here’s a kids’ art project inspired by our recent trip to the beach :: have you ever tried painting landscapes?

Kids art projects :: painting landscapes

My youngest daughter is very interested at the moment about what ‘famous artists’ do. {Do they draw pictures as their job? Can anyone have their . . . → Read More: Kids art projects :: painting landscapes

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Here’s a kids’ art project inspired by our recent trip to the beach :: have you ever tried painting landscapes?

Great kids art project : painting landscapes Kids art projects :: painting landscapes

My youngest daughter is very interested at the moment about what ‘famous artists’ do. {Do they draw pictures as their job? Can anyone have their art shown in a museum? } We’ve recently been to see Constellations at Tate Liverpool and she was taken with the idea of Andre Cadere sneaking his own art into exhibitions of others’ work, which I think has sparked ideas!  So, now we’re back from a week of being inspired by a most gorgeous beach we thought we’d have a try at some ‘famous painting’ ourselves.

landscape painting

Step one in her being a famous artist is to paint on canvas – in our case, sections of fabric from an old tablecloth.

kids painting landscapes

Step two is to plan out a frame work for your design.

painting landscapesStep three is to mix colours and add excitement to your painting.

painting landscapesTo create a landscape painting that combines the three main elements of where you’ve been playing for the last week: sand, sea and rock pools.

kids painting

My older daughter also tried her hand at a landscape painting, carefully mixing colours to match the pebbles from our beach.

kids painting

Visual thinkers like my daughter tend to have a very clear idea in their mind of how they want their art to turn out, so a ‘trial sheet’ is really helpful, as she can test things out as a practice before committing to an idea on the main painting – resulting in less disappointments and freeing her from the grip of perfectionism.

kids landscape paintingShe really enjoyed using different techniques to apply her paint, including using the circular, flat, ‘wrong’ end of  her brush to stamp on all the pebbles.

kids landscape painting

A length of drift wood at the top would be a great way to hang her painting, don’t you think? We’ll have to see what we can find.

What I’m hoping both my children are learning is that anyone can enjoy painting – famous artist or not. And that different interpretations, by different people, of different ages, and with different levels of experience, all make for art that’s worthy of being appreciated and celebrated.

More kids painting ideas

We have lots of kids painting ideas in our archive. You might like to try:

one of our most popular posts: 52 kids painting ideas

painting shells

taking art outdoors (an lovely idea over at One Perfect day}

or come and follow our Kids Art Pinterest board which is bursting with inspiration!

kids art on Pinterest

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Sand pit fairy garden :: small worlds play http://nurturestore.co.uk/small-world-fairy-garden?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=small-world-fairy-garden http://nurturestore.co.uk/small-world-fairy-garden#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:47:14 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=15551 Do your children like to create and play with small worlds? My girls always have one or two landscapes on the go at any one time. Today B made a fairy garden in the sand pit which she declared ‘the sweetest thing I’ve ever made’ – so I had to show it to you. It’s . . . → Read More: Sand pit fairy garden :: small worlds play

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Do your children like to create and play with small worlds? My girls always have one or two landscapes on the go at any one time. Today B made a fairy garden in the sand pit which she declared ‘the sweetest thing I’ve ever made’ – so I had to show it to you. It’s lovely, and also a good reminder that the simplest of ‘loose parts’ and a child’s imagination can combine to create great things.

Fairy garden in sand pit :: make a magical small world!

Sand pit fairy garden for small world play

Our sand pit is often the site of the children’s small world creations and I keep it stocked with different materials they can use to build and make and play. We’ve been chatting about ‘loose parts’ recently over on NurtureStore’s facebook page and I know more and more of you are including them in your play settings, with some of you taking steps to clear out plastic toys and replace them with natural materials instead. By loose parts I mean offering children open-ended materials that they can use in their play, any way they like.

small world play sand pit

Loose parts we often have available  in our sand pit area include:

sand :: water :: sticks :: bark :: straw :: fir cones :: shells :: pebbles :: slate :: gravel :: pots and pans :: cups and plates :: wooden and metal spoons :: scoops :: slices of tree trunk ::

loose parts small world play

Another great addition to a loose parts collection is to have a Snipping Pot: a few extra tubs of plants that the children can pick and use in their play. A pot of ‘cut-and-come-again lettuce’ is a great choice as it quickly re-grows for the children to use another day. Herbs are also perfect, adding the extra sensory elements of sight, smell and taste.

herb fairy garden

Giving children ‘permission’ to pick some of the flowers in the garden and having interesting materials available can result in wonderful creative play. B’s fairy garden is a classic ‘loose parts’ creation and she chose a variety of plants to create a little orchard…

small world play

And a little allotment, planted with neat rows of vegetables.

fairy garden allotment

Her fairy garden is super simple, made of only sand, plants and imagination, but also something full of her own ideas. It’s lovely to watch and see what children make when they have a blank canvass and a few supplies.

Do you offer loose parts in your garden?

What kind of materials do you include for your children to play with? What are their favourites?

small world fairy garden

 More garden play ideas

If your children love to play outdoors or you’d like to bring more of nature inside, come and take a peek at The Garden Classroom. It’s got a whole year’s worth of nature play ideas, including dinosaur small worlds and miniature garden ideas.

The Garden Classroom: a whole year of garden play and learning

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Keep cool and craft on :: Play Planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/keep-cool-craft-play-planner?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keep-cool-craft-play-planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/keep-cool-craft-play-planner#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:35:22 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=20485 Kids activities all week long with NurtureStore’s Play planner

If you’d like to have a copy of the weekly play planner delivered straight to your e-mail in box, just pop your e-mail address in the box below. The planner will arrive on a Sunday, ready and waiting with a week’s worth of play ideas for . . . → Read More: Keep cool and craft on :: Play Planner

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kids activities play ideasKids activities all week long with NurtureStore’s Play planner

If you’d like to have a copy of the weekly play planner delivered straight to your e-mail in box, just pop your e-mail address in the box below. The planner will arrive on a Sunday, ready and waiting with a week’s worth of play ideas for the week ahead.

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Ice Lolly Rescue Remedy

Oh boy, it’s been hot here this week! I hope you like the ice lolly recipes in this week’s planner – my girls have been eating them all week to keep cool. And lots of you in the UK will be finishing school for the summer around now ~ happy holidays to you! ~ Cathy

Here’s this week’s Play Planner

Monday’s child is…

making foil fish
Gorgeous foGreat under the sea art / ocean craft for kids.

Tuesday’s child is…

learning through creative math activities(I’ve been organising my math archive to make it easy for you to find activities that are right for your child. Hope you like these!)
100 hands-on, creative math activities for kids. For ages 0 - 10. organised into topics and seasonal themes.

Wednesday’s child is…

enjoying these toddler activities (from Toddler Approved)
18 easy play ideas for 9-18 month kids

Thursday’s child is…

going on a road trip
road trips with kids

Friday’s child is…

making petal perfume
homemade petal perfume

Saturday’s child is…

keeping cool with homemade ice lollies (see all the recipes at BabyCentre)
homemade popsicle health ice lollies

Sunday’s child is…

making a shell mobile
How to make a shell mobile :: a lovely seaside craft for kids

 Three to Five: Playful Preschool - creative, hands-on learning including 10 free printables

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