We had fun this week roller-painting with cars. We started off with paint on some plates and we dipped the cars’ wheels in before we took them for a drive on the paper. Then B decided we should put some splodges of paint directly on the paper and let the cars roll through.
The children loved the process and there was lots of chat about traffic jams and short cuts – and the finished result was beautiful too.
With sunny weather forecast for the coming week I’m thinking this would be a great activity for outside messy play. How about a long roll of paper laid down the slide or a ramp, with the cars rolling down?
Have you ever tried painting with cars with your children?
Why not? …. add some bubbles to your water play today and set up a carwash in the garden?
Include some washing up sponges and scrubbers and get your trikes sparkly and clean.
And how about giving the children a purse with some coins so they can count out and pay for their carwash?
More fun doing maths this way than with a worksheet!
The highlight of Little’s week was a ride on a double decker bus. We had to sit on top and right at the front of course- something I remember always wanting to do when I was a child. When we got home she wanted to make a double decker of her own.
We used a shoe box for the bus and found two biscuit containers which we stuck in place with sticky tape to make the decks. I used a craft knife to make the bus open-top and to add in some windows.
It’s always good to add in some letters and numbers, so we made a sign for our bus too.
This kind of small world play lets children try out situations they come across in real life. By testing out scenarios they can gain confidence for their own encounters in the big world. It also lets them use lots of language and if you play along with them you can add in some new vocabulary. There’s usually a song you include too – The Wheels on the Bus would be perfect here.
We have more transport theme activities you might like too.
And you can find lots more play ideas at the Childhood 101 We Play link up
We’ve been playing I-spy Letters today as we were out and about in the neighbourhood. We were hunting for the lettert ‘R’, which happens to be the initial of Little’s best friend, but of course you can choose whichever letter you like: think about what stage your child is at with letter recognition and play the game accordingly.
Young children might just be able to spot the first letter of their name. Older children can be set the challenge of spotting each letter in alphabetical order. If you have more than one child you can even make this a competition to see who can find all the letters of their name first. Aside from helping children to actually recognise letters, this game helps them to sort through an assortment of information to home in on what they’re searching for. It shows them that letters have a real purpose, as you can talk about what all the writing is telling passers-by. It’s also good for them to see words written all sorts of different fonts and in both upper and lower case.
Somedays the school run can be fun, other days it can be a chore, so it’s handy to have a few games ready to use if the kids need to be chivvied on a little. What games do you play?
My guide to ABCs and 123s
Do you have a young child who is learning their ABCs and 123s, and do you want to make their learning fun? Our ABCs and 123s resource of mulitsensory, play-based letter and math activities is just what you need. See more here.
These two ideas wrap up our week of trains, trains and more trains.
Idea One is to make a Sorting Train.
I’ve seen lots of lovely train sets available in shops but my daughter specifically wanted one which had open carriages so she could take her toys for a ride, so we made our own. We used plastic box containers from the recycling bin for the carriages and attached them together with string – very simple, but just what she wanted. She loaded the train with her toy passengers and played with the train in this way for a while. We have open shelving in the playroom to encourage the children to be creative and grab their own props when they’re playing, and today the wooden blocks were chosen. I asked my daughter if she could sort the blocks into the carriages by colour – which you can see she did. This classification ability – being able to sort objects into groups, be it by colour, size, purpose – is actually a pre-reading skill. It encourages logical thinking and helps to develop visual discrimination skills. Being able to look at a selection of objects and sort them is a step on the way to looking at a selection of letters and words and being able to read them. Of course, she was just having fun! Once the train was loaded she delivered the different coloured blocks to stations around the room.
We used the wooden blocks again for Idea Two. My daughter enjoyed using felt shapes to make a train picture yesterday, so I thought I’d make her a ‘matching puzzle‘ using our wooden blocks. On a piece of paper I lay out some blocks to make a train shape and drew round them. Then I coloured them in colours that matched our blocks.
Then I asked my daughter if she could use the tub of blocks to find the right ones to go on top of the paper picture to make a block train.
To do this she had to use lots of maths and pre-reading skills as she had to think about:
– their shape – rectangle or square?
– their size – big rectangle or small rectangle?
– their colour – red semi circle or yellow semi circle?
– their orientation – arch pointing left or right?
You could adapt this puzzle game to the shape of blocks you have and what your child likes. You might make a house picture, a face or even a random pattern. If your child enjoys jigsaws, whiy not give this a try?
ABCs and 123s : fun learning activities for letters and math
All our favourite literacy and math activities, all in one place :: download our ABCs and 123s guide here.
Got a long cardboard box? Here’s how to transform it into a train, for lots of role playing fun.
We used: a rectangular cardboard box, a Pringles tube, a panettone box, some coloured paper, sticky tape, scissors, a craft knife, a small plate, a felt tip pen
Wrap the tube in coloured paper. We used sticky tape throughout for all out sticking. You could use glue and could also paint the train instead, but then you’re going to have to wait for it to dry – and 3 year olds need instant gratification!
Place the tube where you want your chimney to be and draw round the bottom with your felt pen. Then cut the circle out with a craft knife (grown-ups only, of course).
Poke the tube through the hole and you have your chimney.
Cut your other box into the shape of the cab, wrap in coloured paper and stick onto the train with sticky tape
Using the craft knife cut out a square flap to make a carriage for storing cargo and passengers. make sure you leave enough room between the carriage and the cab for the driver to sit. (We discovered later that my daughter fits inside this carriage nicely!)
Now draw round a small late and cut out some circles from coloured paper.
Stick these along the sodes of the train to make the wheels. Count tham as you go along and talk about what shape they are.
Adding spokes onto the wheels is a good opportunity to practice pencil skills.
Link up the wheels with a different coloured strip of paper . Talk about how this rectangle shape is different to the wheels.
All aboard! Ready to roll! Choo choo!
Add some props to extend the play possibilities – a drivers hat, some passengers, some parcels to deliver.
You can introduce some letters and numbers into the play by making signs for the stations you visit. How about making a train timetable and some tickets too?
We’ve been doing some train inspired art and maths play too – come back and see the next post to have a look.
Happily shared with Today’s Creative Blog.