Tag Archives: activities

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Quantity Time vs Quality Time with Kim Hunter

I first interviewed Kim Hunter for the Summit on Leading Practitioners. At her inspirational setting, children spend their time outdoors in mixed-age groups, enjoying a beautiful natural setting.

In this interview for Early Years TV, I wanted to explore some concepts that Kim has been researching since the Summit, namely the ‘Fear and Love Spectrum’. This is the idea that children’s contemporary childhood is changing and the world that children are growing up in has the increased potential to be fearful or isolating – from Stranger Danger to excessive screen time and violent games on smartphones.

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How To Develop Children’s “Extra Senses”

How many senses do we have?

Five, right? – touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell.

However, if you talk to an occupational therapist, you’ll find at least an extra two – vestibular and proprioception – which are vital that you know about.

The vestibular sense is so named because it is sensed in the ‘vestibulum’ system in the inner ear in the semi-circular canals. These are responsible for balance, and it describes both the sense of balance and spatial orientation. The vestibular system detects movement and changes in the position of the head, for example, when your head is upright or tilted (even with your eyes closed).

Proprioception is defined as the perception of stimuli relating to position, posture, equilibrium, or internal condition. Basically this means knowing where your body is in relation to the external environment, for example, being able to sit in a chair without turning round to look, or walk up stairs.

Proprioception is a dynamic sense, allowing us to continuously adapt to a changing environment and is learned through all our other senses and neuro-developmental exercises, usually whilst we are children.

It is vital to know about these, because without good vestibular and proprioception senses, children would not be able to walk, hop, skip, navigate around a room, catch a ball and definitely not be able to manage stairs.

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Viewpoint

Flexible and responsive planning

It’s been a funny week.

First my youngest son fractured his finger (rugby!) on his writing hand, just before his mock GCSEs start. So we’ve had various A&E, fracture clinic and physiotherapy appointments.

Then my husband’s cough started to sound quite worrying and after a doctor’s assessment we ended up at an emergency clinic at short notice.

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Squish, Squash and Squeeze – from Alistair Bryce-Clegg

I am very proud and pleased to have a guest blog today.

I first met Alistair Bryce-Clegg when I asked him to come and ‘close’ our annual North West EYP Conference. He was amazing that day – and has been amazing our EYPs in the North West ever since! If you ever have the opportunity to hear Alistair at a Conference, I would strongly recommend you do so. Inspirational and irreverent in equal measure, and with loads of practical, cheap and useful ideas.

Which brings us to the blog. Alistair has very kindly shared this blog with me, which originally appeared on his site in February. You can find it here. He has also written a number of books, which you can find on Amazon or through your local independent book seller.

I hope you are as inspired as I was on reading these ideas. Enjoy!

Activity Ideas – Squish Squash and Squeeze

By Alistair Bryce-Clegg

It was meant to be a rare day off but it seems that the printing press waits for no man and I had to get my photoshoot sorted out for the next ’50 Fantastic Things’ book.

I have to say a HUGE thank you to Jo and all of the team at Penguins Pre-School in Timperley who were super organised and super helpful and made the shoot run like a dream.

Here are a few of the things that we did…

BAGS OF FUN

 

Mix some food colouring with water in a pot
Put 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the bottom of your plastic bag
Then add 4 tablespoons of coloured water
WAIT (and see what happens)
Add 4 tablespoons of golden syrup to the bag.
WAIT
Zip up the bag and let the children squish.

THINGS IN JELLY

 

I know that jelly is a regular favourite but it never fails to get great results. We tried putting jelly into various other containers of different sizes, ice cube trays, freezer bags and even a rubber glove, which made for a very squshy hand shake! In the pots of jelly, I asked Jo and the team to add other ‘items’ for the children to look at and fish out. These caused a great deal of interest.

GET STUCK IN!

You can use this idea in SO many ways. It works equally well on a large or small scale.

 

All you do is to cover a surface (in this case a table) with sticky backed plastic. MAKE SURE THE STICKY SIDE IS UP! You can secure it underneath the table with tape.

Then let the children stick various items onto it to make patterns. They are always fascinated by sticking their hands to it and feeling the resistance as they pull them away.

PINK SLME

Dead easy and really effective…

 

Pink marshmallows in a bowl. Squirt of washing up liquid. Whizz in the microwave until they begin to melt. Cool a bit so as not to burn any fingers. That’s it!

If you use white marsh mallows you can add food colouring to change the colour of your slime.

BREAD + PVA MODELLING DOUGH

Hours of fun… White bread, grated or crumbled into a bowl. Add PVA glue a teaspoonful at a time, mixing with your fingers. When the mixture becomes slightly tacky (not sticky), then it is ready. You can model with it and then leave it to air dry.

If you use flour and water paste instead of PVA you can leave your models out for the birds to eat!

RAINBOW GLOOP!

The secret to this one is baby wipes!

Mix your gloop (or goop) as usual in a builders tray. Then paint it with food colouring. The best way to do this is to dip the corner of a baby wipe into the food colouring and then hold the clean bit.

That way you can dip and drag your wipe without getting stained fingers.

Once you have made your picture then play in it.

WARM TAPIOCA

Cook as per the instructions. Add colour if you fancy it. Squish whilst warm!

MEGA BUBBLES

Just soap flakes, water and a whisk!

WHAT ON EARTH?

What do you think this squashable landscape it made out of?

 

The answer is Vaseline! Scoop it out onto a glass plate or mirror then put it into the freezer over night. Take it out as you are about to use it. The Vaseline and the plate will have frosted over and stiffened up giving it a completely different texture.

If you want to make your Vaseline creation extra frosty then mist it with a water spray before you freeze it.

Hope that was a little bit of Thursday night inspiration! It was hard work, but great fun.

Alistair

P.S. Don’t forget to check for food and skin allergies when you are doing any messy play!

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