Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Autumn Woodland Story Box -,Small World Play

With all the lovely autumn things we've collected over the past few weeks and a few felt animals, we created an autumn story box.  Current favourite books are all about woodland animals having various adventures.  So this box was perfect for encouraging some retelling and acting out the stories they know as well as creating new adventures.  Great for literacy skills, as well as learning about woodland animals and their habitat.

Popular books at the moment are the Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem, The Adventures of Fern Hollow series by John Patience and the Foxwood Tales by Cynthia and Brian Paterson. 

I cut out some felt animals that were requested whilst the girls busied themselves making nests, burrows, trees, logs and making stores of food for the winter.  We used a medium sized cardboard box to put it all in. 

We had a couple of squirrels, a fox, badger, rabbit, hare, snake, mole, two hedgehogs, an owl and a bat.  Whilst we made them we also talked about where the different animals might live in the wood and what sort home they would make and also what they might eat, learning a bit about the woodland habitat.


There was lots of conversations, adventures, stories, playing together and it was lovely listening to it all. (It's not like this all the time, so it's a pleasure when it is and definitely something to cherish as a parent.)

 Other autumn small world play ideas: We love Sun Hats and Wellie boot's Nocturnal Animals and The Imagination Tree's Hedgehog Hibernation Exploration Basket

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autumn Leaves Simple Maths & Numeracy

If you're like us and have collected a lot of fallen leaves over the last few weeks, here's a few ideas for some fun, playful maths with them.

Underpinning a lot of complex maths are some key basic skills.  These skills become more complex as the maths becomes more difficult but at a basic level involve things such as sorting, ordering, counting, measuring and making patterns.  Living Maths has a good summary of these basics and others.  Maths doesn't really start with worksheets of sums so we enjoy making maths with the things we find or things around the house.  Many things collected outdoors or from around the house make great maths aids - buttons, seashells, sticks, beads, counters etc.  Here our autumn leaves were put to some good maths use!

Sorting by size

Sorting - by colour
Also Sorting - by shape/type

Writing practice writing down the numbers, you could also do this as a tally using gates to introduce another maths theme.

Ordering - by colour


Other Maths ideas for Leaves: (adapt depending on age)

Patterns - make repeating patterns and sequences with type of leaf or colour of leaf or both for increased complexity.
Symmetry - use a stick or string create a line down the middle, create a pattern on one side with a few leaves and get them to create the mirror image on the other side of the line.
Measurement - length, width using a ruler or lego blocks or measure the area (non-standard area, drawing round leaf on graph paper) or perimeter with string.
- Create a bar chart with each different type of leaf.
Skip counting - line up in two rows and count in twos.

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