Category Archives: active learning

How Should You Teach Preschool ‘Art’? Process Versus Product

When considering the question of how to teach preschool art it is helpful to first consider the meaning of ‘art’ for our youngest children.

What is Children’s Art?

As adults, artists are generally referred to in terms of the product they create – painters, sculptors, musicians or dancers. When we create ‘art’ we might think about what we are going draw or make before we begin.

When children explore art there is much less emphasis on the finished product – they might say they are going to draw or make something specific but often this evolves into something else during the process.

As I watch my children involved in what we may traditionally term ‘art’, I find that creative expression isn’t their only interest and there is certainly very little focus on the finished product. Sometimes they are practising skills. My youngest for example likes to snip paper into tiny pieces but if I suggest she might like to make a picture with the pieces, she isn’t interested.  As children get older the finished product becomes more important. My pre-schoolers will often remark that they don’t know what it is going to be yet, whereas my 9-year-old often has an idea before she starts. Does this change occur naturally or do adults teach them that this is what ‘art’ is?

My younger girls’ ‘art’ is about exploration. They ask  questions like ‘what happens if?’  Through this exploration they see themselves as competent in the knowledge that there is no right or wrong way to do things. This give them the confidence to explore further.

The Salad Spinner Project

An example of  a process oriented  art project was inspired by a visit to the Children’s Museum where the children made pictures using a salad spinner. The directions were simple:

1. Put paint onto a paper plate

I've chosen 3 colours
I’ve chosen 3 colours

2 .Place the plate inside the spinner and put on the lid. Place the spinner onto a cloth or newspaper, the holes in the bottom of the spinner allow the paint to come through.

salad spinner painting

3. Spin

salad spinner art

4. Check results

salad spinner art

They watched as the pictures took shape changing according to the colours chosen and how much paint they put on.

There is potential for this activity to become a product oriented if the adult takes over.  The key to making it process oriented is to offer choice and allow the children to freely explore the materials.

How the Project Evolved

The pictures the girls had made at the museum had colours that ran into one another producing a marbled effect but the paints we used at home were thicker so produced very clear lines with little mixing.

They explored all the possibilities:

I’m choosing two colours.

What if I just put a bit of paint on?

I’ve put lots of paint on this one.

Which one is your favourite?

salad spinner art

The next time we got the salad spinner out I suggested they might like to add things to the spinner to see what happened.

I know lets put balls in.

First they tried a golf ball

salad spinner paint
It makes a kind of bumpy pattern

They put it back in a number of times spinning the spinner at different speeds to see how the pattern evolved.

Next they tried marbles. The marble made tracks across the plate

marble and salad spinner paint
It looks like a puzzle

The next attempt came out differently

salad spinner art
When we put marbles in it makes a noise. Sometimes they get stuck in the sides and we have stop.

Hmm, Maybe if I spin it faster

Still no change.

I could try more marbles

Still no change.

Suddenly my 5-year-old had an idea

I know; it’s because I used too much paint.  The one with tracks on didn’t have so much paint on so I need to use less paint.

salad spinner plates

The learning and creative thinking in this project is clearly evident so why would we plan art with a finished product as our starting point?

Process v Product

Sometimes as early educators and parents it is difficult not to plan art projects in terms of the finished product.  Certainly years ago when I worked with older children we would often plan workshops and sessions in terms of what we would make. We all like our children to come home from preschool with something they have made.  Teachers sometimes argue that parents expect their children to come home with something at the end of the day. It is difficult to be enthusiastic about yet another drippy painting or cardboard box construction.

This is often given as a justification for producing heavily adult directed arts and crafts.  Starting from an adult viewpoint in this way often means that the children don’t do very much themselves.  I have observed teachers presenting children with pre-drawn templates, ready cut outlines and telling them what they need to stick where – sometimes the child isn’t even allowed to do the sticking themselves. The children may come home with something pretty to put on the wall but what have the children learned, how much enjoyment have they had and have they actually made it themselves? Furthermore, if we show children at a young age that there is only one way to do things we destroy their enthusiasm to do things for themselves.  Is this why we often hear older children say ‘I can’t draw’, ‘ I don’t know what to make’ or ‘It doesn’t look right’.

When you allow children to freely explore materials they begin to understand the properties of media, they learn that art can be a series of explorations and they are allowed to become absorbed in the joy and relaxation of the artistic process. Sometimes they will want to make something specific but allow them choice in the materials and tools they use and encourage them to try out things for themselves.

Creative thinking isn’t neat and tidy.  An artist will paint many sections of a painting exploring colour texture and shape before finally coming up with a finished product.  Think about the work of an author who writes and rewrites many times with crossings out, arrows and notes all over the paper.  A finished product will come eventually but it is a long way off.  Allow children to explore in this way, let them make a mess and do things their own way.

As Peter Dixon puts it

Your children are at  a stage where the process of doing things

LOOKING, SEEING, FINDING, FEELING, INVESTIGATING etc.

is far more important than the end product sought by some parents. …The process of their work – might look messy, scribbly or completely unrecognisable to us but to your children it is utterly meaningful and an essential part of their mental and physical growth and development.  Please honour – please respect your child’s own way of thinking. It might seem unusual but it is their birthright. It is the foundation upon which they will build all future understanding.

The Adults Role

Process oriented art doesn’t mean that you leave children alone with a huge amount of materials.  The adults role is to organise the materials so that the children can find what they need easily. Sometimes this means setting out particular materials for example you may want them to explore with charcoal and erasers. It can also mean setting up an organised art station with neatly labelled pots and drawers that the children can choose materials from.

If the adult works alongside the child creating their own projects then they can inspire children and demonstrate techniques. They will be able to encourage children to develop their projects by asking questions

What happens if…..?

Have you tried this……?

What else could you add?

persuading them to try different materials and techniques.

If you log children’s comments and questions, displaying them alongside finished pictures and photographs of the process, it will help to show the value of process oriented art.

Examples of Process Oriented Art

 

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How I Encourage my Children to Become Confident Writers

Happy New Year everyone.

writing toddler

The lead up to Christmas was a great time for writing messages in our house.  Our visiting elf Christopher Poppinkins left notes for the girls and they responded with their own notes, we made gifts for the neighbours with a little note attached, wrote Christmas cards for the family, shopping lists and yesterday the girls helped me write a list of songs for my music class.

As children approach school age, parents are often anxious about their children’s emerging literacy and how best to support them at home.

When is the right time to introduce writing?

Does my child need to be able to write their name before they go to school?

How do I start?

Do they have to form letters in a particular way?

Writing is a complex skill involving much more than the correct formation of letters. I can’t guarantee that my girls will continue to love writing but I think we are headed in the right direction.

If you are interested in finding out how I  encourage the girls to write and keep it enjoyable I am sharing some of my experience in a guest post for ‘What to Expect.’

4 Ways to Help Toddlers Fall in Love with Writing

Outdoor Play: Ice Activities – how a simple art ice project turned into a science investigation.

ice decorations

Ice Ornaments and Icicles

What had originally been an icy art project, unexpectedly turned into a fascinating science investigation.

A few weeks ago we filled up my baking tins with water  that we coloured with powder paint and dropped all manner of things into them.  Shells, berries, leaves, sequins, buttons and even a stone were placed inside to make ornaments for our tree.  The weather unfortunately instantly became warmer, so we had to wait some time before they were ready to hang.  Even then,  only the top layer of ice had frozen and within an hour of hanging them on the tree they had melted.  We also discovered that if you colour water with powder paint it separates once it begins to freeze, so most of the ornaments were not the lovely colour we had hoped for.

The girls have been peeking outside every morning to check if there is any ice.  This week they were rewarded with below freezing temperatures.  The ice ornaments were finally ready!  We hung them on the tree.  The sun was shining and the tree stands in the sun until mid afternoon.  I wasn’t sure how long they would stay this time as ‘plop’ one fell down from the tree.

Let’s put it by the door. That’s in the shade – it might make a nice present for Father Christmas.

Ice ornament
A present for Santa

As we went inside I asked the girls to watch the ornaments from the window.

They are melting.

How do you know?

They’re wet and they’re dripping down.

What do you think will happen as they melt?

I don’t think it will fall off the string because the string is attached. It will just melt and the floor will be wet.

When we went out later there were more interesting observations

Look this one has holes in it.  It might break not melt.

melting ice ornament with holes

Can I touch one?

Yes sure.

child touching ice
It’s cold and wet.

Within an hour or so the tree was in the shade and the temperature was beginning to drop. We noticed that the drips were starting to turn into little icicles.

icicles

The girls thought this was really cool and the next day even more so when we saw large icicles had formed.

icicles

They rushed outside to feel them, touching them gently so that they didn’t break off.

A Winter Pirate Treasure Hunt

The weather was so cold that during the late afternoon I sneaked into the garden with a jug of water and some pirate coins.  I put the coins in various containers and poured a little water on the top.

In the morning I invited the girls on a pirate treasure hunt. First they needed to make a map.  I had some coffee stained and singed paper that in true Blue Peter fashion I had prepared earlier.

Next they needed their pirate toolkit:
A hammer
A spoon
A pot of pirate sea salt

pirate toolkit
Ready Mummy

Out they went and quickly found coins. The hammers were their first choice. They weren’t very successful so then they tried the salt. They found that if they used the spoons and the salt they could gradually get down to the coin and hook it out.

pirate treasure hunt
Got it!

This could take ages, if we got a jug of hot water it might be quicker.

We were talking about the sea salt later in the day.

How do the pirates get salt from the sea?

Good question.  The salt is in the water so how do you think they could get it out?

I don’t know.

Shall we try it?

Yes.

Little Scientists

What do we need to do to make the salt disappear into the water?

We need to dissolve it

How? Do you remember how we made jelly dissolve or the sugar water we make for the hummingbirds?

We put hot water on it. Let’s be scientists and do an experiment.

The girls helped to stir the mixture until all the salt had dissolved. We poured the mixture into a pan and put it on the stove.

What happens to water when it gets cold?

It turns to ice

What about when it gets hot?

I don’t know.

Watch. What can you see.

steam

steam

If I put this spoon over the steam what can you see on the spoon.

It’s wet – water.

Yes the water is turning to steam. Now look what’s happening in the pan. What do you think the white stuff is?

salt distillation

I don’t know. Is it steam. 

No. The water has gone now so what is left?

salt.

salt

We had another idea for an experiment.  If we put the salt back in water and then left it outside would it freeze?

We will find out tomorrow.

Linking to :

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Outdoor Play Ideas: Discovering and Learning about Ice on a Cold and Frosty Morning

children exploring frost and iceI used to love frosty days when I was a kid because we could play on the way to school  pretending to ice skate or breathe like a dragon.  The same sense of wonder came over my girls when they looked out on a clear frosty morning. They dressed quickly and rushed outside to see if they could find ice . They found ice on top of the water table and in containers that we have on the deck.

They soon learned that ice is very cold!


Later in the morning the girls put on their gloves to go out on an ice hunt.

 

ice
Look there is water and a leaf is floating. The ice has edges, I think there is water underneath.

I removed the lid from the water table. The girls were very excited to find ice inside there too. We added the penguins play set and a few whales.

When we got to the front of the house we found a small patch of frost.

Why is it frosty here and not anywhere else?

Because the sun made it melt.

So, why didn’t this bit melt?

It was in the shade.

frost

We decided to leave the lid off the water table to see if we could get even more ice the next day.  When they woke up the next day the girls were desperate to get out before any of the ice had melted.

First they checked the water table.

ice
The ice was thick and some of the penguins were buried underneath.

Let’s see what else we can find.

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We went back to the water table where the girls found 2 scoops filled with ice.

We can’t get it out.

Shall I run it under the hot tap like I do with the ice lollies?

Yes please

Next the girls turned their attentions to the animals stuck in the water tray.

Please can we get them out? Can we put hot water on them too?

Yes. I’ll get some.

We poured water onto the ice to free the animals, they could feel the hot water making holes and as we poured more on they were able to free them.

The other side of the water tray made a perfect ice rink for the penguins.
ice rink

I’m so glad we are home pre-schooling on days like this. Our next project is to make ice decorations for the tree at the front of the house and using  pirate treasure maps they made earlier in the week, hunt for coins buried in the ice. My pirate obsessed girls will be armed with special pirate tools and a bit of magic sea salt.  Arrrr.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life

Sensory Play: Goop

goopWe haven’t played with ‘goop’ for a while. Usually we play with ‘goop’ in the garden so that the girls can make as much mess as they like and explore it with their whole body.  Today there was an indoor ‘goop’ session at Romp so we decided to visit to see what was in store.

For those who don’t know what ‘goop’ is, it is a mixture of cornflour/cornstarch and water and makes an interesting consistency that is half solid and half liquid.

At the session today the ‘goop’ was arranged in trays with food colouring, paint brushes and sticks for mixing and scraping.  The girls were in their element – messy play, scientific exploration and colour mixing all rolled into one.

I gave the girls permission to explore it with their hands, yes they had coloured hands for a while but the comments and questions were far richer once they got their hands dirty.

I love the questions that arose from the play. I’ll definitely be putting ‘goop’ in the water tray soon to see if we can work out any answers.

*(This is not a sponsored post)

Shadow Play: Investigating shadow and light in preschool.

shadows
Shadows provide extraordinary educational opportunities.  Not only do they raise a spontaneous curiosity in the child, stimulating his imagination and exercising his emerging intellectual abilities but they are also omnipresent (even more than sand, stones, water or “pencil and paper”, because you only need a bit of sunlight or even a candle to produce them). Perhaps more effectively than other things, shadows can nourish the child’s need to do and to experiment given the ease with which the variables involved in their formation and transformation can be manipulated.

( Guido Peter – The Hundred Languages of Children)

My youngest has become increasingly fascinated by shadows. As we walk along she shouts

I can see your shadow

or

my shadow is long

With this in mind I thought it would be a nice idea to make shadow shapes and draw around them with pavement chalk.  Some shapes worked better than others, my youngest daughter’s shadow looked a little like an embryo!

embryo shadow

The girls drew around them. They were particularly interested by the fact that they couldn’t see the whole of their legs.  It was a very hot day so only my 4- year- old wanted to colour in the detail.  They were very proud of them and pointed them out to their dad every time he walked over the driveway.

My 4- year -old has very poor eyesight and needs practice copying and tracing shapes to enhance her perceptual motor skills . I hate the idea of sitting her down with worksheets so I thought shadow tracing might be a nice alternative.  We took a number of objects outside to draw around. We even attempted to draw around her bike, which was a little tricky.

Later in the week we were playing with blocks in the house.

My 2-year old declared

I have a shadow, it’s behind me

Where is the shadow coming from?   What makes it appear?

Maybe the fan.

Okay, so let’s turn the fan off and see if they disappear.  Has it gone?

No

My 4-year-old had an idea

I know maybe it’s the light, let’s turn it off.  It’s gone!……………oh hang on it’s still there, it’s just fainter.

Shall we see if we have a shadow outside today?

We don’t have a shadow……. Oh wait, when you sit  down there is a bit of a shadow.

Why do you think that happens?

I don’t know.  Let’s see if there are any shadows on the grass.  No, not even the dog.

Do the trees have shadows?

Yes and the bushes.

My 2-year-old had an idea,

Maybe the sun has taken away our shadows.

No, that’s not right because the sun makes the shadows.

Maybe when the sun is not there it takes them away?

I know, let’s draw a sun and see if they come back.

drawing a sun
drawing a sun to bring the shadows back

I know we can stand in the sun and make it bright colours to see if it comes out.

In the meantime my 9-year-old came to join us. I told them the girls had a bit of a problem that they were trying to solve and wondered if she could work it out.

Why is it that when it is cloudy there are no shadows but when things are close to the ground there is a small shadow?

Maybe it’s because it is darker when you are close to the ground

But there is no sun and you need light to make a shadow.

Yes, but if it was dark I couldn’t make a shadow because it couldn’t get darker.

If we were in the sun and it was too bright what would we do?

Stand in the shade.

What makes the shade?

A tree.

So what is happening to make the shade?

I don’t understand.

I drew a picture of the sun in the sky with a stick person stood underneath and a tree with a stick person underneath the tree.

Oh, the tree gets in the way of the sun.

At that moment as the girls were standing in their picture of the sun, the sun came out.

standing in the sun
They stood in the sun and hey presto the sun came out. Look, it worked the sun came out!

I think we might work on reflections as a starting point for our pre-school year .  We could

  • Resurrect the shadow puppet theatre
  • Use the projector to make and investigate shadows
  • Place paper on the windows and observe and trace shadows
  • Continue to talk about and ask questions about shadows when we are out and about.
  • Make a homemade light table
  • Investigate mirrors and natural materials
  • Observe reflections in water

and wherever else it might take us.

Ideas for Playing Outside in the Rain.

rain

 

Oh no, it’s raining, that means we can’t do all our fun things like playing on the trampoline and in the sandpit!

There are fun things you can do in the rain too.

Like what?

You can splash in puddles, play with mud or catch raindrops.

Can we make potions in the rain?

Rainy days are perfect for making potions.

I know we could use the rain water because there isn’t any water in the paddling pool.

Yes and you could use mud or mush up wet petals.

Later that day we went for an appointment and when we came out the girls found a fast drip coming from the gutter.

Why is this bit of rain faster?

Where is it coming from?

The roof

Yes, it usually means the gutter is blocked so the water doesn’t go down the drain pipe it falls off the end instead.

catching the rain
I’m trying to catch a raindrop but it keeps bouncing

Why can’t we catch it mummy?

The rain is coming down very fast. What happens when you throw a ball hard?

It bounces high

Yes and the rain is coming down very hard and fast so it bounces off your hand.

getting wet
I’m trying to catch a raindrop but it keeps bouncing

Shall we go home now and get dry, you could snuggle up in a blanket.

The girls removed their wet shoes. When we arrived home there was a big puddle outside our gate. I asked my 2-year-old if she would like to be carried or splash in the puddle barefooted. She wasn’t sure at first but then declared – splash!

barefoot in puddles
I’m trying to catch a raindrop but it keeps bouncing

After getting dry and snuggling under blankets for a while we decided to venture out for a while.  I took the dinosaurs to the sandpit and encouraged the girls to make a swamp.

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When the rain had stopped a disappointed 4-year-old complained

Oh, the rain has stopped we can’t play in the swamp anymore

It’s alright, it will stay wet for a while.

I think I may have succeeded in persuading them that playing in the rain is fun.

Other Rainy Day Ideas

  • Take umbrellas outside walk under drips or as my 4-year-old suggested – we could play Mary Poppins.
  • Make patterns with powder paint on the wet ground or on a wet sheet of paper.
  • Put different containers outside, cover them with different materials eg. plastic bag, tin foil, kitchen roll, fabric, netting. Find out which are waterproof.
  • Collect rainwater in containers.
  • Make boats to float in puddles or take out rubber ducks.
  • Make potions, give the children dry goods like flour, sugar or salt. What happens when they get wet?
  • Watch the patterns the rain makes in puddles or as it runs down the window. Have a race – which raindrop will get to the bottom first?
  • Play a dry land race, you are only allowed on dry land and have to avoid all puddles.
  • Build a shelter with bricks for small world people or animals.

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Why Clay is an Essential Material for Pre-Schools

clayWhen I taught at nursery school, clay was readily available to the children on a daily basis. I’ve seen very few pre-schools since that use clay daily.  Most settings use dough, but why not clay?

It may be that it is too expensive, dough can be made very cheaply but air drying clay is an expensive resource. If clay is stored and looked after properly however, and used to enhance the children’s play rather than simply to make models to take home this needn’t be the case.

How to store and look after air drying clay

It is essential to keep your clay damp.  Store  it in a bucket or  lidded container and place a damp flat rock in the bottom.  The clay should then be moulded into cubes smoothing out any cracks. Make a thumb sized hole in each cube and fill the hole with water.  Occasionally spray the clay with water.  The clay will keep for a considerable amount of time like this. Should you feel the clay drying out cover the clay with water and leave for 48 hours.

It was a rare exception when children asked for their creations to be dried, painted and taken home. Mostly they would build the blocks of clay on top of each other, stick things in it, roll it out, and bash it with hammers and were happy to put it back in the clay bin at the end of the session.  Occasionally we would have a focused activity on techniques like pattern making, how to join 2 pieces of clay together or moulding around wire. A group of 4-year-olds worked on a long-term project about self portraits . They looked closely at their faces in the mirror and drew a number of self portraits with adult guidance to enhance the detail. These were transferred to clay models. The accuracy with which they translated their drawing into the representation in clay was astonishing.

The Benefits of Playing with Clay

  • Clay inspires creative thinking
  • Clay is far stronger and more malleable than dough which makes it far better for modelling.
  • Children (and adults) find working with clay engrossing
  • Clay can offer children emotional contentment, they can knead and manipulate the clay to ease anxieties.
  • Children with lots of energy or displaying aggression can dispense some of this on a large block of clay. You can hit a piece of clay with force without it disintegrating to nothing.
  • Children are able to problem solve by making mistakes and working out how to fix them.

The Developmental Stages of Working with Clay

0-2 Years 

For these children large blocks of clay are best, the bigger the better. Lay a piece of plastic sheeting on the floor and allow the children to experience the clay with their whole bodies, they can sit on it, make impressions in the clay and pull pieces off. It might be better served as an outdoor activity with this age-group but it depends on your space. Allow the children to explore the clay with their hands, build towers with clay blocks or offer tools if they are reluctant to touch it.

2-3 Years

Experiment with the different things that clay can do. Let them build, flatten, roll, pile and stick objects in the clay.  A finished product is not necessary at this age, allow them to integrate loose parts from the environment. Investigate what happens when you spray the clay with water.

3-4 Years

Some children will be ready to make simple models so you could begin to demonstrate how to join 2 pieces of clay together. Many children will prefer to use clay in their imaginative play, making cakes or lots of tiny peas. Include small world objects with the clay perhaps rolling out a flat piece for the play people to walk on or build a rocky swamp for the dinosaurs. Continue to introduce natural materials.

4-5 Years

Children will now begin to build things for their small world play, chairs for the house or shelters for the animals.  Once the children are confident you could set them projects like build a bridge for the Billy Goats Gruff or a bed for the 3 Bears. Clay can now be used to support mark-making teach children to draw and write on clay with sticks, twigs or blunt pencils.

5+ years

The children will be keen at this age to make a finished product. Show the children examples of clay sculptures as inspiration.  Encourage them to translate both imaginative and observational drawings into clay models. Support group work, building one large co-operative model.

You will see in the gallery below how my children of different ages play with the clay. My 9-year-old goes straight into making a model, while her 4-year-old sister starts by making a pizza, practicing rolling and cutting. She soon copies her sister and starts to make a bowl. Both girls encounter problems with their models and work out how to fix them. My 2-year-old is happy to squish the clay, making marks with knives and then moves the pieces around the garden, collecting loose parts and piling blocks together.

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Mud Faces for International Mud Day

mud faces on trees for international mud dayOur first week of the school holidays has been rainy. Perfect for our preparation for International Mud day on Saturday.  We have been planting bulbs and sunflowers and finding bugs and worms under the ground.

Today we gave our trees mud faces. This is one of the many fabulous outdoor ideas that can be found in the Woodland Trusts  Woodland Adventure Booklets , free to download from their website.  We used materials from our loose parts station and from around the garden.

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Other ideas for International Mud Day

Make a mud kitchen (Including why playing in the mud is good for you).

Make muddy footprints

Top Mud Ideas from the Woodland Trust

International Mud day on  Pinterest if you’d like to share any of your mud day activities on my Pinterest board contact me and I’ll send an invite.

Ideas for Teaching Literacy through Play – Painting with Feathers

painting with feathersOn the way home from school we were talking about quills. My Harry Potter obsessed 9-year- old had made a quill by putting a biro refill into a feather.

My four-year old asked

Do we have any ink?

No but we can use paint.

We painted with feathers when I was little didn’t we?

We can do that tomorrow if you like. We could use the Peacock feathers we collected at Remlinger Farm.

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I set the paints up with a few feathers.


My 2-year-old suddenly declared

I wrote the word ‘buh’

Buh for bat.

She has been playing a Sesame Street alphabet game on the iPad and is beginning to talk about letters and letter sounds.

Her 4-year old sister asked

How do you spell bat?

How do you think you spell it? What does it begin with?

Buh

That’s right and what other sounds are in bat?

Bat….    t

Yes, so what is the middle letter?

Bat…b…a…t…..    a.     B..a..t spells bat.

After a little bit of impromptu literacy I had a brain wave. The girls are really interested in pirates at the moment and I thought we might be able to do some writing with feathers, make a pirate map or maybe we could make a wizard’s spell.

I stained paper with coffeemaking paper look old

When it was dry I singed the edges to make it look like an old scroll.

 

I asked the girls what they would like to do. They decided on a Wizard’s spell.

It will be funny because we don’t even know how to read and write……………. Maybe Wizards write differently to people.

quills

writing with a quill

I think this would be a great way to encourage boys in their mark making.

  • Set up a desk in a role play pirate ship with ink and quills
  • Make a spell book for children to add their own spells
  • Add a few feathers and a small pot of paint to your mark making area
  • Make treasure maps and encourage the children to mark the treasure with an X.

Literacy for under 5’s shouldn’t be about sitting at a table learning letters, tracing over letters or using flashcards. It can be brought into any aspect of play and when children are ready and interested in letters and sounds they will talk about it, ask questions and experiment. Make it fun, make it relevant and they will learn.