Monday, March 14, 2011

Playing with the wind

For the past few weeks we have been playing with the early Autumn wind, enjoying the lovely sunshine and (sometimes)balmy days.

The children loved story time - based loosely on "The Story of the Wind Children" by Sibylle von Olfers. As the windsprite blew (and the children helped) the little boat sail past kites, bubbles (this was the childrens favourite part), and parachutes.

And we have been very busy making lots of wonderful toys to play with outside in the breeze.

Bark Boats
You will need a sturdy piece of bark, a small stick, some modelling beeswax, sand paper and polishing beeswax.

Lightly sand your bark and stick (mast).

Warm up the modelling beeswax in your hands. Use this to hold the stick in place on the bark. This is the mast.

Cut a leaf shaped sail out of a piece of green felt.

Here is a finished boat.

And a flotilla of little boats just waiting for a wind sprite to set them sailing!


You will need a square of muslin (around 30cmx30cm), 4 pieces of string each 30cm, a little bead (ours were pieces of wood cut off a tree branch with a hole drilled through) and a small piece of modelling beeswax. The children first got to choose which colour their parachute would be.

Tie a piece of string to each corner of the muslin.

Thread each piece of string through the bead and tie a knot at the bottom. Then wrap the beeswax around the knot (this both stops the knot from sliding through the hole and gives it a bit of extra weight)..

Then take your parachutes out to fly!
(Tip - make sure all of your threads are untangled, and the higher up you are the better)

Autumn Sun Balls
Finally we made Autumn Sun Balls/Comets

You will need 2 circles of thick fabric around 8-10cm in diameter, ribbon (ours was cut around 70cm long), rice, needle and thred. We use lovely Autumn colours. Sew your 2 circles together leaving a small gap, then turn inside out.

Fill your 'bag' with rice until quite full. The kids loved this bit.

Or just have loads of fun playing with the rice and funnels!

Tie your ribbon (we used 2 pieces) together and insert into the bag opening. Stitch it closed.

Your sunball should look something like this.

Now go outside and THROW!!!

Our Sun Balls went hizzing through the air, tails streaming - narrowly missing tree tops(although we did lose one up there), chickens and children! They went amazingly high and far!What fantastic fun!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

At our beach, at our magic beach...

With not much of a summer to speak of this year, we spent the first few week of term making the most of what was left. Inspired by Alison Lesters Book "Magic Beach" we kicked off the term with a splash at Wellington Point exploring Our Magic Beach. Thankfully Father Sun came out to play and we had a beautiful morning and weeks to follow.

The water held an irresistable pull ...
"At our beach, at our magic beach, we swim in the sparkling sea,
surfing and splashing and jumpin the waves, shrieking and laughing with glee"

Then a bite to eat with a refreshing fruit salad and some wonderful healthy picnic treats - and a birthday to celebrate.

A play on the wonderful playground

Then a fossik along the shore...
"At our beach, at our magic beach, we walk when it's cloudy and grey,looking for driftwood, feathers and shells washed up on the edge of the bay"

A search for the hundreds of tiny crabs that we never quite got to as they disappeared down their holes before we could even get close...
"At our beach, at our magic beach, we search in the clear warm pools,peering at starfish, limpets and crabs, and tiny fish darting in schools"


In the following weeks back at home we drew on our beach experience to create some beautiful experiences, play spaces and craft activities.

Our nature table held a collection of shells, coral, sea creatures and the beautiful Ocean Queen

A magical playscene and shells to play with in the playroom

A log, shells and seaweed from the beach formed a lovely backdrop to our circle time where we listened to the song of the sea.
Can you hear the seas song in this little shell?
Hold it up to your ear and listen, listen well
Swish-oo, swish-oo
The seashells song is from the silvery sea,
Where the waves roll in wild and free
Swish-oo, swish-oo

Shells in the sandpit become natural scoops and drawing tools.

We stitched and sewed with love some magical little felt seahorses at craft night.

We painted with watercolours inspired by the blue greens of the ocean
Blue wave from the sea, come and wash all over me

We also used some of collected items to create some interesting prints.

The shells we pressed into disks of clay to make shell fossils.

The children then chose some beads and pieces of driftwood from our collection to create beautiful beach mobiles.

A sweet reminder gently swaying in the breeze, of our Magic Beach!