Toucan Learn

Carshalton-based children’s activity website Toucan Learn is blogging for us about great activities to do with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers!

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R is for Reading

Whether they are learning to read or just looking at the pictures it is vital to get children  enthusiastic about books. Here are some easy ways!

Bring it alive: Try funny voices and noises but why not introduce some sensory experience? If the book about a fish in rough water on his way to a party where he will eat cake... get them to paddle in a few inches of water in the bath while you read and have a mouthful of cake at the end with the characters!

Pictures: There are some super illustrations in children's books, so sometimes just look at the pictures. Spot things, talk about what else could be illustrated and draw your own illustrations.

Familiar books: If you have read a book too many times for your liking, talk about changing the ending, change the characters and discuss how different animals or people would make the story different.

Other means: Try all sorts of books: cloth books, outsized books, ones with lots of words or just a few. No matter the age of your child, they will get something out of looking at a new book even if it’s not officially aimed at their age.

Get everyone involved: If you have family visiting get them to read a book. Do a puppet show with teddies or dress up in the characters and record a version on your camera to watch whenever you want.

Library: The library will have countless books in different forms: try something new.

Write your own story together: Take some photos of things and print them. Then create your own story.

A book a day, keeps boredom away!

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children! 

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.  

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


Q is for Quiet Time

The summer holidays are the classic time to visit the great theme parks, stately homes and other tourist attractions, but if you have pre-school children, you can enjoy much more rewarding visits when it's less busy.

Theme Parks - Many attractions give special entry offers, such as 'Mums Go Free' or they entice you with offers on food in restaurants etc. Paultons Park (home of Peppa Pig World), Chessington Wildlife and Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire all do special offers at certain times of the season. Legoland hotel is also open even when the park is shut and offers some brilliant themed weekends at hugely reduced prices. Check websites for opening times, prices and full details.

Winter beach trip – Head down to Brighton or Eastbourne for a wintery walk along the prom, a splash in the sea and some fun on the pier! As longs as you are wrapped up warm, a visit to the beach can be even better in winter and you still can eat ice cream!

Bonjour! – even trips to France are incredibly reasonable off season. The Shuttle boasts some discounted tickets for families during winter... within 30 minutes of departure you could be in France!

Local museums – closer to home check out the activities and events at your local museums. Honeywood Museum, Carshalton, offers crafts and activities for children at certain times during winter months as well as the usual kids trails, Victorian dressing-up box and pretty wooden toys to enjoy.

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children! 

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.  

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


P is for Pictures!

The progression of children’s artwork tells a wonderful story of their development. From early splodges, hand/footprints, and scribbles through to detailed pictures of the family, their house and other scenes that they have witnessed. Every parent is proud of their little one's achievement, and it's lovely to see their artwork on display in your home.

Here are some ideas on how to display their artwork:

Gallery - create a dedicated 'gallery' space for their art; it could be on the fridge, a wall in the kitchen or in their room. Make sure its low down so the children can see their work too!

Frames - look for some cheap frames that you can use to frame particularly good creations.

Pegs – Use wooden clothes pegs to attach pictures to a string hung up in their bedroom. You could decorate them with sticky sequins or beads.

Display - change the artwork regularly so that there's always room for newer art.

Scrapbook - keep a scrapbook of their pictures.

Date - record the date on the back of artwork as you will forget when they were done.

Gift cards - turn the artwork into Christmas Cards or other items.... much better than bought cards.

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children! 

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.  

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


O is for Outdoors! 

Going for walks is an ideal way to spend time with the children because it's free, it's healthy, it's fun and it's something you can all share together.  A walk can be a long, all day affair or just an hour trek; it can take you to woodland, seashore, farm land or country paths.  Most of all, it's something to enjoy!   

So, here are some tips to get the little ones as enthusiastic as you! 

Getting the children out: make sure you describe the walk as an adventure, an excursion or something exciting rather than just a walk.  This will help encourage older kids to leave the house. 

Activities on your adventure: collect things (feathers, pebbles, leaves) or spot things (acorns, birds, animal tracks). 

Follow The Arrow: take 3 sticks and arrange them in an arrow shape.  Send the children a little way ahead and get them to make the arrow shape that will guide you all home. 

Follow My Leader: get the children to decide on the route.  Ask them which paths to take or which way to turn. 

Make a map: draw a map of the route as you go, marking on special land marks. 

Snacks: take snacks to keep energy high and moral positive!  Offer snacks when they find things or spot something fun. 

Camouflage: send the children ahead and get them to hide.  When you are near get them to jump out and surprise you! 

Weather: take waterproofs as you don't want to be caught in a shower and wear the right equipment (wellies etc). 

Listen to the children: if they get tired, try not to force them to go on... it may put them off for ever! 

Have fun! 

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children! 

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.  

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


L is for Little Ballerinas?

Watching your little one prance around a church hall in frilly ballet skirt may be cute, but why should we bother introducing ballet to pre-schoolers?

* It is fun! The routines and exercises are designed to be fun, so they enjoy the movements and stories told by the ballet teacher.

* Exercise: It is a great way to introduce exercise.

* Musicality: Listening to and dancing in time with music helps with musicality and being aware of music and timing will be of help if they learn an instrument later in life.

* Strength: It is physically demanding and ideal to improve strength.

* Posture: They learn how to stand and walk correctly avoiding back pains from poor posture in later life and they learn co-ordination and how to use their bodies.

* Balance: They learn all about balance and how to correct themselves when unbalanced, which is useful in dance but also other sports and physical activities.

* Mentally challenged: Those who find school difficult often excel in ballet because they feel they can express themselves more freely and easily when moving than when sitting still in class. They are mentally challenged in a ballet class, but in a different way.

* Social Skills: Ballet is a great chance to make new friends and to have fun with other children in a like minded environment. They communicate about different things and work together as a team.

* When to start?: Children can start as soon as they want to and if there are classes available from as young as three, then enrol them! They may not display much balletic prowess at this age, but they will begin to watch and learn from others.

Choose a class that is fun focused and that it is an accredited school either the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) or Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


K is for Kindness

Kindness Classes...

Being kind isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally to children, however there are ways you can encourage their kinder side... and get them thinking about others.

- Introduce younger children to the setting: whether it be siblings or family/friends, seeing how a baby is cared for a loved by his or her mother can be very encouraging to children who don't have siblings of their own and is a great way to teach love and respect by example.

- Special visitor: find a parent willing to visit with a new baby to show the children what they look like, what they do, and discuss the needs the baby has and how much love and care he or she needs.

If the baby cries, chat about what could be wrong and how we can stop the crying.

This teaches children to empathise with others and may deter those who are inclined to bully others.

- Spot babies and parents when you go out: what do they look like, happy or relaxed?  See how Mums at the park shelter and care for their little ones. 

- Look after a baby doll: try caring for a doll together for a day.  Pretend to feed it, bath it, let it sleep and chat about all the needs a baby has.  Talk about how much there is to do and how tiring it is and discuss how lucky we are to have carers and parents to look after us.

- Draw a picture of a baby and their mother or father or a baby animal and its parents. 

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


J is for Jelly and other messy play ideas

Don't be horrified by the idea of messy play, it gives young children the opportunity to explore materials in a unique way and reaches out to all their senses. Use an old washing up bowl to try and keep the mess contained, and try these activities outdoors... even in winter... just pop on a coat!

Creepy Jelly

Place some plastic creepy crawlies in a jelly as it is setting. Give the bowl to your little ones and encourage them to find the creepy crawlies and dig in with their hands to pull them out.  You could use shells or marbles as an alternative.

Yellow Brick Road

Get a cheap roll of wallpaper or lining paper from a DIY store and roll it into a long 'road' in the garden. Roll up trousers and prepare plastic plates of finger (and feet!) plates. Have your little ones step in the paint and then walk down the road creating a footprint collage.  Use sticks and other implements to make other marks.

Tactile Mousse

Try the jelly activity above but use opaque packet mousse instead. Pink goo!  This time your little ones won't see the toys hidden inside so they must do everything purely by touch. Help them squidge and squelch the mousse through their fingers.  What does it smell like and feel like?  Discuss it with them.

Grains and lentils

Playing with dry pulses and pasta can be fun too. Mix together a selection of dried beans, lentils, pasta and rice and encourage tactile play. Sort the foods into little bowls, make shapes with them and stick down onto card, or sort by colour, shape or size. 

Spaghetti Tangle

Cook up some spaghetti and add a small amount of cooking oil to it to prevent it from sticking. This makes a great treat to play with – arrange it into lines, knot it together, pull it, rip it, squeeze it... or bend into pictures.


All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's new Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.


G is for Good Children

Good Children Gone Bad?

There's nothing more frustrating than having your children misbehave, particularly when out in public but what can you do to improve their behaviour? Here are a few tips to help guide them back to being good, before things get out of hand! (EYFS: Personal, Social & Emotional)

- Give short term rewards for good behaviour

- Start a sticker chart or a way of showing that they have been good each day

- Don't criticise the child directly - you may criticise the behaviour though

- Don't reprimand in public or in front of friends

- Don't overload with instructions; instead give one instruction at a time

- Give lots of praise when you see good behaviour

- Be positive as much as you can

- Keep to a routine

- Make sure you tell them what's happening if it's out of the ordinary and explain what kind of behaviour you expect

- Be consistent

Good Luck!

Blog from ToucanLearn.com - Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com – hundreds of ideas and games for under 5’s all linked to the EYFS plus use the personal Daily Diary on your IPhone to share with parents and carers!

F is for Fashion Show!

Dressing up, being creative, being independent, performing and recycling... can you think of a fun activity that incorporates all of these? How about a Fashion Show – using old newspapers!

Just tape the pages of a newspaper together, cut out arm or head holes and away you go! (EYFS: Creative and Personal, Social & Emotional)

Here are a few ideas.

Make a Top - tape together two pages end to end. Cut a head hole. Tape under the arms and its a top! Snip pieces of paper and stick on to make sleeves with tassels.

Skirt - tape a few sheets together and wrap around the children's waist. Tape to existing clothing or tuck in. Snip out some square or triangle shapes along the bottom hem line to make it look unusual.

Hair bow - take a small strip of paper. Pinch together in the middle and pop under a clip or hair tie.

Bow tie - pinch a strip of paper together and tape to a narrow strip that goes round the neck. Secure with tape and stick on the bow at the front!

Walking stick - roll up a few sheets and secure to make a pretend walking stick, or a javelin or a magic wand!

Princess hat - wrap a sheet round your hand to make a pointy hat. Tear some long strips of paper to make a flowing ribbons and stick to the top of the hat. Secure with tape.

Great fun!

All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents. Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone.

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.

P is for Phonics

Learning phonics and understanding the sounds that different letters make is essential for reading and the earlier you start introducing letters to the children the better.  

Here are some easy and fun ideas to get phonics into your daily routine and introduce them to little ones in game format:-

1.Pick a different letter each week to focus on.  Start by drawing the letter on a big page and colouring it or decorating it. Say the sound together.

2.Sound Telescope: Make a telescope to look through to find the sounds.  Simply decorate a kitchen roll tube and use it for hunting sounds.

3.Say the sound the letter makes and go on a sound hunt.  Find things beginning with that sound.  Find socks, sugar, soap and saucers.

4.Sound box. When you find something beginning with the right sound, collect it in a box.  Put any things you find that are not actually the right sound into a 'bin' box.

5.Give masses of support, guidance and help as its hard to begin with, but once they get it the children will be off on an adventure with no trouble at all!

6. Sound Table: When you have a few items, gather them onto a table and look at them and say the sounds and the words together to reinforce that the correct letter and correct item has been found.

Have fun, and expand this sound game with your own ideas too!

(All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images – all accessed through the IPhone. 

Blog from ToucanLearn.com - fun and learning for your little ones. Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com – hundreds of ideas and games for under 5’s all linked to the EYFS plus use the personal Daily Diary on your IPhone to share with parents and carers!)


G is for Games on Journeys

Whether it’s some long distance driving in England or a full blown European motoring vacation, the thought of taking children on a long car journey can seem a great idea until the day approaches and the winging starts!  Here are some tips!

1) Prepare the car: Before you go, clear out the car. Get rid of old crayons and rubbish tucked in between the seats; throw away scrappy colouring books and even get the kids to help with a bucket of soapy water and a cloth.  This way you'll feel much more ready to hit the road!

•Supplies: Make sure you have wipes, plasters, first aid kits etc on board just in case.  Take plenty of drinks, and non-sticky, non-sickly snacks.  Plus, if it’s a long journey you may wish to think about blankets, pillows, torch, fire extinguisher and jump leads... just in case!

•Safety inside the car: Keep the back of the car clear of any baggage or things rolling around.  Get a good box/holder to keep all the supplies together and safe.

•Treats: Ration the treats and entertainment you bring along.  Don't use up all your good ideas before you even hit the motorway. 

2)Entertainment: 

1.Take some different coloured mega blocks and can see if the children can arrange them in order when you shout out the colours.  Say, “red, blue green” and if they can assemble accordingly. 

2.Bubbles - blow bubbles near them to catch.

3.Balls – great for a run about in the open air when you stop.

4.Books - old favourites and perhaps a few new ones.  CDs of spoken books are great too.

5.Post it notes - allow them to write notes and stick them everywhere!  Easily removed and their arms won't stretch too high to obscure the driver's view.

6.Make up a story inspired by what you see outside. 

7.Wool, hole punch and old birthday cards - get the children to punch holes, then thread with the wool.

Most important, remember they are only children so many not be moved by the scenery or views.  Take plenty of stops and encourage sleep!

Bon voyage!

(All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images. 

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.)


F is for Friends

Making friends, especially if you are a toddler, is not always easy!  Forming relationships is part of the EYFS that covers Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Here are some tips on how you can help children make friends:

- Give them plenty of opportunity to make friends: see lots of people and do lots of different activities

- Give them lots of praise when they do something kind to another person

- Don't force them or try to make them form friendships with people they don't like!

- Try not to interfere when they are interacting or playing

- Be bold and approach people at playgroup and get to know them yourself

- Lead by example, chat to people and make friends yourself

- Talk about being kind, sharing and being a good friend while you are at home

- Support any efforts to make friends even if they fail

(All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images. 

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.)


E is for Environment

Encouraging our children to think about their environment, and leading by example, we can look to a better, safer and healthier future.  Here are a few easy ways to help the environment by being careful at home.  See if your children can think of any more ideas!?

Fridge door – always close it tight.  

Make a picture of a fridge by folding an A4 page into two.  Draw a fridge door on the front and some lovely food inside!  

Walk to school – walk or scoot rather than use the car.

Front Door – close it quickly to keep warm air inside.

Have a chat about what would happen if wind blew things around the house!?  What would fly away?

Taps – turn off the water when you’re not using it.  

Show the children how to brush teeth without wasting water.  Count together how many seconds you need to have the water running?

Lights and TV – turn them off when you’re not in the room. 

Walk round your home and count how many electric items there are.  More than you thought?

Trees – plant a tree.  

This improves the air quality (adds oxygen!), provides food and shelter for bugs and animals and makes our work look more attractive.

Head to a local garden centre and choose a sapling.  Care for it and watch it grow. 

Donate – to a charity shop.  

Pass on clothing to charity shops and take the children with you to see how it works.  Encourage the children to give some toys away they don’t need.  

(All ToucanLearn activities are graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development – so it’s ideal for childminders and great for parents.  Membership is free or just £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

Every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for sharing with parents, charting progress, recording events and storing images. 

Join for free at www.ToucanLearn.com.)

D is for Dictionary

As little ones become more familiar with letters and their sounds and their shapes, encourage them to practice with this simple activity that will help their literacy, writing and sounds...as well as giving them a great sense of achievement.

- Take a note book and on each page write a letter, starting from letter 'a' on page one to letter 'z' on page 26 so you end up with a book that runs the whole alphabet from a-z.  

- Use lower case letters which your child will be more familiar with and will learn about at nursery.  If your child is able to write letters themselves, get them to write the letters too.

- Gather magazines, brochures, family photos, spare stickers anything with pictures on them.  Decide on which page each picture should go on.  For example, a picture of apples on the 'a' page, books on the 'b' page.  Fill up the whole book.

Your unique book

Draw a lovely cover on the book and keep it to hand.  

Use the book to practice the sounds and learn the shape of each letter.

Try drawing each letter in the sky each time you turn a page.

Read the Dictionary instead of a bedtime story and name all the items on each page.

Think of more words each time you look at the book.

Have fun!

(Toucan Learn has hundreds of activities, crafts and ideas for children aged 0-5 all graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development.  Membership is free or only £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

All activities are broken down into simple steps and are aimed at the capabilities and age of the children. As every activity is linked to the EYFS it is a brilliant help for childminders and parents alike.  Plus, every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for charting progress through the EYFS, recording events and storing images. Join for free at 
www.ToucanLearn.com.)



C is for Cooking 
The idea of cooking with youngsters might fill you with dread!  Its messy; its time consuming; it takes preparation and organisation; not to mention the danger and the unappetising results!  

However, with a little bit of planning, and lots of patience (!) you can all have a fulfilling and fun time in the kitchen. Cooking can fall into various areas of the EYFS including:

  1. -Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy - count, weigh and measure ingredients together.
  2. -Physical Development - health and bodily awareness when talking about healthy foods and using new and new tools and actions. 
  3. -Personal, Social and Emotional Development - great sense of achievement when it's finished; personal hygiene when washing hands and preparing and learning about safety in a kitchen.

What to cook?
It needn't be hugely challenging or difficult.  Here are some ideas:

- shop-bought pastry: make jam tarts, pastry shapes or little pies.  Get the children to roll, mold and shape the pastry.
- shop-bought cake or cookie mix: they can mix, pour and dollop!
- simple vegetable salad: they can chop soft vegetables, pour sauces/dressings etc.
- pasta salads: once the pasta is cooked, add vegetables, ham, herbs etc and make a tasty supper.

While cooking.
Show your children the recipe and get all the ingredients ready in advance. Use tools and bowls that are the appropriate size so they feel in control and able to do the task.  Allow them to do as much as they can themselves.  Talk about the dangers and hot areas to avoid (oven, hob etc).  Encourage them to help clear up and taste the food.

Why should they cook?
- Introduce new foods and ways of eating.
- Explain how foods and meals are made.
- They learn numbers, counting and measuring.
- They have to listen to instructions and carry the instructions out.
- They have to understand sequencing - you have to break the egg before you whisk it!
- They can make some great creations!
- Because it is fun!

(Toucan Learn has hundreds of activities, crafts and ideas for children aged 0-5 all graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development.  Membership is free or only £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

All activities are broken down into simple steps and are aimed at the capabilities and age of the children. As every activity is linked to the EYFS it is a brilliant help for childminders and parents alike.  Plus, every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for charting progress through the EYFS, recording events and storing images. Join for free at 
www.ToucanLearn.com.)



B is for Balls!

Catching and throwing are difficult skills for children to learn.  Even once they have better control of their arms and hands at around 2½ years old it can be frustrating and disappointing for them if they can't master how to throw and catch effectively.  Here are some ideas to make learning to catch and throw a ball just a bit more fun!  

Go on a Ball Hunt - Find all sorts of different sized balls you might have round the house.  If you don't have that many, roll up some socks or silver foil or newspaper to make some new balls!  Then, roll the balls to each other and see how you do.  Talk about the colours, the sizes and the shape of the balls.

Tricky Balls - Now find some mittens, oven gloves or gardening gloves and try to roll and catch the balls while wearing gloves!  Is it easier or harder?    

Balls-stew! - Pick out a potato, onion or carrot from your vegetable rack and try rolling them to each other.  Every time you manage it, pop it in a saucepan to make a ball-stew!  You could try throwing a catching too... don't use things that will bruise too easily!

Bubble catching - Blow up some bubbles and see whether they are hard to catch or easy... or do they just pop!?

In all cases, make the game fun and laugh each time the ball is dropped.  Being confident enough to try throwing and catching is half the battle so this is an exercise in just having fun and enjoying the idea of ball games.

(Toucanlearn has hundreds of activities, crafts and ideas for children aged 0-5 all graded according to the Government's Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development.  Membership is free or only £16 for Premium membership for full access for an unlimited number of children!

All activities are broken down into simple steps and are aimed at the capabilities and age of the children. As every activity is linked to the EYFS it is a brilliant help for childminders and parents alike.  Plus, every child has personalized Activity Sheets and Daily Diary for charting progress through the EYFS, recording events and storing images. Join for free at 
www.ToucanLearn.com.)

A is for Apples!

Here are some ideas for you to try with your children...

Apple printing - Put coloured paint into dishes. Cut two apples in half: one vertically so you get the core and seed shape and the other horizontally so you get the seeds in a star shape. Dip each one into the paint and press onto paper. Paint on a stalk or leaves. Make the apple print into a card and send to someone you love!  Talk about how nice it is to send cards to others.

Hand-print tree - Cover hands with brown paint and make a great tree trunk hand print! Dip fingers into red and green paint and make red apples and green leaves.  Explain that apples come from trees.  What else grows on trees?  

How many apples? - Take an apple and cut it into slices. How many slices can you count together? Then pick out all the seeds. How many are there? What about if you take one away or add a few more? Eat some of the slices and how many are left? Do lots of counting activities together ...then eat all the apple!  Yum!

What number? - Draw about 8 apples and colour them red, yellow and green. Write the numbers 1 to 8 on some paper and cut out. Place a number in front of a plate and ask your little one to count out the right number of apples into the place. So, if the number 2 is written they must count out 2 apples.

For more information about Toucan Learn, visit www.toucanlearn.com

This blog was first published on www.carshaltonmums.com






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