Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Using Real Resources in Home Corner

I also make “food bottles” ... I have found at Kmart for $2 for a set of 3 small screw top jars. They are made from BPA-free plastic and they are affordable and small enough for little hands. AND you can glue them closed! I used to make them out of different sorts of bottles from the $2/Discount stores, but they are not the safest plastics to use. I much prefer the Kmart ones now!
Basically, fill your containers with different sorts of dried food products: pasta, lentils, rice, beans, oats, flour, etc and then glue the lid on tightly. The end! You could add labels to the front if you wanted to add a literacy component to it, but I haven’t done this as yet. It’s on the list for later!



red lentils in action!

red lentils
One might argue that it’s irresponsible and disrespectful to use food as a “toy” ... I say that you can justify in any number of ways:
a)      Firstly, you can use products that are out of date and would otherwise be discarded.
b)      You can explain that we are using the food, in small amounts, to educate children to the importance of healthy eating.
c)      We are showing the children respect by providing something “real” that they can relate to and to hopefully dispel any apprehension they might have about eating different sorts of foods.
d)      It is something that will last years rather than moments, so the food is not being wasted, it is simply just not being eaten - and you are only using a small amount.
1.       It’s important that you are aware of any allergies in your learning space. For example, you wouldn’t use peanuts or a product that contains peanuts inside the jars.
2.        Make sure that you use low-allergy foods and make sure they are closed tightly and I suggest using a hot glue gun, or possibly a very strong construction adhesive. Just be wary of fumes, the hot glue etc and do not do this part with the children. You can fill the containers with them, and talk about the contents and what types of foods are healthy.
3.       Also please label the containers on the bottom with permanent marker with the date.
4.       You might also want to freeze the contents for a couple of weeks to make sure you kill any possible insect eggs so that you don’t have to throw away the jars post filling due to infestation! It happens to the cleanest of kitchens!
(c) Teacher's Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved

Paper Dolls = Home Made Felt Board Resource

I was playing online with Google looking for some inspiration for discovery bottles (there wasn’t a huge amount that really caught my eye ( I think I’ll have to create a post on that myself!) ... and I accidentally found this blog post on her "Shiny Happy Paper People":


I was really inspired by this blogger and she’s very kindly given me permission to do this post about her dolls! The ones that I have made are quite large! They are going to be good for the toddlers and preschoolers together ... If I make them again, I’ll make them smaller, and I’ll also explore other patterns! These are things that an educator could easily make for their own teaching bag!
Since I had brought some scrap booking paper to work for another project – this is something we were able to do immediately! It’s been evolving over a few weeks – and the ones displayed in this blog are the ones that I’ve made ... the kid’s ones were awesome and I wish I could show them! Some children took them home, some let me keep them for our own collection.
 We are using them as resources that we’ve made ourselves – which ties in with being creative, inventive, following the children’s interest (in collage and making things!), supports the children as capable and resourceful, used budget friendly materials (recycled donated cardboard + donated scrapbook paper).
The children can use them in block play or on the bulletin board where they will stick with some hook-Velcro ... It’s just a resource that we’ve done ourselves – that represent us or people we know or care about – and is something that will give us an opportunity to play! The children could even use them to create stories of their own which we could write down and document with photographs! The children might want to make some other items to help provision the play? Who knows where the children will want to take it ... it might just stay where it is!
Meanwhile we had an unimpressed observer ... Look at that face! He turned out to be so gorgeous for a "throw away" kitten ... how could you throw something so beautiful and gorgeous away? I'll never understand...

(c) Teacher's Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sustainable Recycled Repurposed Home Corner Resources

We all know the buzz buzz buzz about being sustainable and environmental in the EYLF and the NQS ... Well, I know I've mentioned this before, but I thought I would do a whole post on it! I've been slowly saving up some more cans ... and I have a few more that are still at work!
1) Collect your cans! Try and have a variety, that is colourful, has a balance of image and text.
2)  Wash your cans out... be careful as most of the lift top lids leave a sharp edge.
3) Have your "smooth edge" can opener ready - remove the inner lip of the can and discard.
4) Run your finger carefully along the inner edge and make sure its smooth - again, be careful!
5) Re-attach your label if you removed it from can (I did this as I didnt eat all that food in one go - and I used pet food tins which I use daily as the base). You can do this with sticky tape. Just make sure it lines up evenly.
6) Cut a piece of clear contact adhesive slightly longer than your can so that it sits on the bottom of the can and over laps the top.
7) Remove the cover of the contact adhesive and carefully smooth over the label of the can.
8) When the can is fully covered, make a few small cuts at the top over lapping adhesive cover and then fold them into the can and smooth them out. This gives extra protection from the rim (which should be smooth anyway!). If you are particular about the safety of these cans, use some silver duct/gaffa tape to line the top of the can.
9) Ta! Da! You now have some unique, made by yourself, economical, resourceful, creative, recycled resources that can be used to support children's creative and imaginative play!
10) Sit back and watch the magic ...

(c) Teacher's Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved

My Trusty Side Kick @ Photo Shoot

I've been meaning to do a few posts for a while ... and I finally got stuck into house work today and as a result, since the coffee table was clear - I took advantage of it!  I was  helped by my trusty side-kick Cody-Cat. As I am biased and think he's particularly gorgeous, I thought I would post him as well! I made a makeshift backdrop using an old fabric cover I made YEARS ago ... and the next thing I knew, it was being attacked ... It kept me distracted for a little while, and it also meant I couldnt adjust the 'screen' much at all ...


So ... Now I'll get to work!