Today we enjoyed some spontaneous messy play in the garden. It seems like we haven’t done much of this lately, with poorly children and busy days so it was really lovely to be able to go with the flow. It all started with a little pot of buttercups. The preschooler decided they were going to make a magic potion…
We took the pram and the buggy board and went for a little walk to find more magic ingredients. We were careful not to pick any flowers, choosing those that were already on the floor instead, and our haul was quite impressive considering!
Back at home, we set the flowers out on the Tuff Spot with a few pots, spoons, large tweezers (for fine motor skills!) and a little watering can full of water. We also poured some rainbow rice into our sand bowl for magic dust! Our sand bowl was really easy to make:
- mix play sand with paint and PVA glue until it is very thick and gloopy.
- spread as evenly as you can over a plastic bowl, cup or other receptacle.
- leave to dry for a few days.
- carefully peel the sandy mix away and voila! A sandy bowl!
We decided to bring the Jolly phonics set outside too and the morning’s activity became Magic Sounds!
At first the preschooler was keen to just play, and who am I to stop him? He loved using the tweezers to pick up the smaller flowers and rice and the little pots were perfect for making special potions in. He decided to make a ‘water potion’ so I used the opportunity to talk about the sounds in the words he was using. We spread the rainbow rice out on the tray for some mark making.
First, I wrote the intial sounds of the words water, potion, yellow, buttercup, red, special. Then I encouraged the preschooler to have a go himself. He enjoyed using his hands to spread the rice out on the tray and his fingers to make marks.
The preschooler also enjoyed using the material on the tray to make a mess!
And although it was messy, everything the preschooler did was fully explained to me! He spent ages telling me what magic potion he was making and what it was going to do when you drank it. He couldn’t wait for The Big One to come home from school to try it!
The highlight of this session was, for me, the length of time the preschooler spent making marks in the rice. I try to include opportunities for mark making in all of our messy play and have noticed that more and more often, he is wanting to pick up a pencil during other times of the day. He wants to write! With this in mind. we opened the Jolly Phonics work books to have a look.
The preschooler was very excited and wanted to get stuck in straight away, but he did allow me to explain each page to him! We worked through the pages for the ‘s’ sound and made a start on ‘a’ before he decided enough was enough. We have plenty to work through again another day!
The preschooler was able to relate the letters he wrote with a pencil to the letters he drew in the rice and he is noticing letters all the time- on TV, in books, on breakfast cereal boxes… I can literally see books opening before his eyes and it is wonderful!