Friday, 7 November 2014

Learning numbers with Christmas play dough mats - with free printable.

I know its still a little while until Christmas starts but I had designed some fun Christmas play dough mats that I wanted to share with toddler girl. She has been growing up so quickly over the last couple of months and is now confident at counting to 10, so I thought I should introduce her to what ten looks like.

We decided to make some non-cook Christmas play dough to go with our Christmas play dough mats. This is the recipe we used:

  • 4oz of plain flour.
  • 2oz of salt.
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp of lemonade
  • 2 tsp of vegetable oil
  • few drops of red food colouring.
  • lots of sparkly red glitter
  • 120ml of boiling water.
It is a very simple play dough recipe and make enough for one child. 

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and then mix in the liquids. Knead it until it makes a firm but pliable dough.

Once we had let our play dough cool we decided to get out our Christmas play dough mats. 

You can download your FREE play dough mats here..

Toddler girl had fun attempting to roll sausage shapes with the play dough and filling in the letters and numbers.
We then rolled up some balls and counted them out onto the blank ten frame.

After doing a couple of the boards with Toddler girl, I decided to take a step back and see what she did.

It was lovely to watch her attempt to count and put the play dough in the ten frame.

I hope your little ones get some enjoyment out of these free Christmas play dough mats.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

EYFS themed activities. - Colours.


This list looks at different activities you could do with your children. There are thousands of other ideas on my 'Colour theme’ pinterest board, so please pop along and follow me. :)

All of the 'Colour' activities have been grouped into the EYFS areas of learning that I feel they best fit into, but feel free to rearrange them to suit your planning.

Personal, social and emotional development:

  • Make a 'my favourite colour' graph.
  • Look at how colours make you feel.
  • Display a colour line in the play area.
  • Create a colour of the week table display. Encourage the children to contribute to the display.
  • Send an ' I can find colours' workbook home with the children. Children have to look around their own home for different coloured toys etc.
  • Make a colourful fruit display for snack time. Discuss the importance of eating a 'rainbow' of fruit and vegetables.
  • My colour book.
  • Create different coloured sensory tubs.

Physical development:

  • Dropping pom poms down the matching coloured tube.
  • Jumping on different colours to get across the room.
  • Run to a colour game - the adult calls out a colour and the children have to run to it.
  • Play traffic lights, hold up the colour as well as saying it.
  • Play with and explore different coloured rice.
  • Set up a colour treasure hunt.
  • Play colour run and sort ball game.
  • Threading different coloured pasta tubes.
  • Threading different coloured beads on the corresponding pipe cleaner.
  • Practice pouring and mixing different coloured water.

Communication and language:

  • Supply different coloured sensory baskets for children to explore.
  • Make different colour icing up and decorate some cakes or biscuits. Discuss what you are doing, and why they are choosing the colours.
  • Read books that promote colour recognition.
  • Break up old crayons and put them into cake tins. You can either sort them by colours or mix the colours. Put them into the oven until they melt. When the new crayons have cooled you can draw some pictures with them and discuss what you have done. How you melted the crayon, and how it reformed when it started to cool. Look at how different colours have mixed.


  • practice mark making or writing over different colour names. 
  • practice writing the colour name onto sensory bags.
  • Practice mark making in different coloured paint.
  • Add colour words and colour cards to the writing station.
  • Mark making in coloured salt.


  • colour bingo game. 
  • Count how many people in the group like each colour.
  • Colour matching boards.
  • Look at simple colour patterns.
  • Dye pasta shells and then sort them into different colour sets.
  • Play colour tic-tac-toe.
  • Make a colour rainbow with different toys in the room.
  • Sort different types of toy by colour.
  • Make your own count and sort posting box

Understanding the world:

  • find colours in the environment. 
  • Go on a colour scavenger hunt.
  • Look at the colour of leaves in autumn, explore how they change colour.
  • Explore the colours of the traffic light, and discuss what each colour means.
  • Look at the colours on the taps, discuss why the cold tap is blue, and the hot tap is red.
  • Exploring coloured ice in the water tray. Looking to see if the colours mix when they begin to melt.
  • Drop different coloured food colouring onto a piece of kitchen roll. watch as the colours spread and mix together.
  • Make different colour sensory bottles.
  • Make rainbow flowers. Buy some white flowers and put a flower in different coloured water. Watch as the flower drinks the water and the white petals change colour.

Expressive arts and design:

  • hand printing to mix colours. Put a different colour on each hand, for example red and blue. Start with your hands at opposite sides of the paper and move them in until they meet in the middle. Make sure the colour in the middle has mixed. Talk about the new colour.
  • Paint the rainbow.
  • Make a large hand print rainbow for a display.
  • Use different coloured play dough to decorate play dough mats.
  • Make a coloured necklace by threading different coloured beads or dyed pasta onto colourful shoe laces.
  • Make some CD colour spinners
  • Slowly add white or black to a colour to change the shade of it.
  • Make different colour flags.
  • Explore different colours with bare feet.
  • Create pictures using different coloured paper.
  • Make different coloured aeroplanes and see who's flies the furthest. 
  • Make a colour wheel using a paper plate.
  • Make your own colour dice.
  • Create a sticky picture using colour glue.
  • Make some hungry monster colour sorters. Love these :)

There are many other ideas here which also relate to the theme 'colours'

Friday, 25 July 2014

our circle pig

I really enjoyed doing this activity with toddler girl. I was surprised by how well she managed to do it without my help.

Toddler girl sat lovely whilst I cut out the different sized circles. She talked about ‘big’ and ‘baby’ circles and began to line them up in sizes and group them together.

Once all the circles had been cut out, I explained what we were going to do. I showed her that the biggest circle was the pigs’ body, and then I asked if she could find the pigs head. I was pleasantly surprised when she gave me the next biggest circle.

I told toddler girl what each circle represented and she decided where they would go on the pigs’ body.

When I gave her a ‘body part’, she would match it to her own body part. “Pig nose… girl nose” She made me giggle when I gave her the pigs’ tail. She looked at me and then round at her bottom. She looked confused for a minute. “Pig tail… no girl tail”

After we had finished the activity Toddler girl came running over to me with a silk scarf, She held it up to me “ Girl tail” Laughing I tied it around her waist and she ran around the room wiggling her tail J

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