Tooo many lovely nursery rhymes and too little time! Another theme filled with so many different ideas and opportunities to create lovely provocations for the children… I was given a very special book that was great inspiration and provided a great selection of well known and not so well known nursery rhymes to share with the children.

This year I made a set of nursery rhyme felt characters for the felt board – the children loved them and I’d often overhear them singing the nursery rhymes and enacting the rhymes amongst themselves.

On the table we had a few small provocations of various nursery rhymes – the children had great fun playing with these during the week. Towards the end of the week I created a sensory basin filled with the items together with large shred sawdust – they adored this!

On the other side of the classroom a “little miss muffit” play scene with picnic basket, cushion and of course spider on elasticated thread hanging from the ceiling! The children had an absolute ball with the spider – every time they pulled it it would shoot up into the air – too much fun!

A great week filled with so many creative play based activities and loads of fun!



sea colouring 01

sea colouring 02

sea colouring 03

sea colouring 04

sea colouring 05

sea emergent reading 01

sea emergent reading 02

sea emergent reading 03

sea emergent reading 04

sea emergent numbers

sea line trace 01

sea line trace 02

sea line trace 03

sea line trace 04

sea path

sea shape silhouettes black

sea shape silhouettes colour



I don’t know about any one else but we have a number of very dedicated oceanographers at play school! I love our sea theme and can’t get enough of the delight, interest and observation the little ones show in exploring the ocean and it’s creatures…

Of course for sensory displays we have water, shells, sand and … water! And lots of it! I have a wonderful collection of beautiful shells that I let the children handle and play with in and out of the water.

They will spend ages pouring the water out of shells and comparing all the different sizes and types. Swishing, sploshing and splashing…

More water, boats and sea creatures…

Of course it would not be the ocean without the beach…

There are so many wonderful ideas to put out on the tables to inspire creative thinking… and some simple ideas for emergent counting the children just cant resist!

Evolving collaborative artwork left on the walls for the week have the children adding their own creative touches as the mood takes them…

Discussion is endless and sensory opportunities everywhere!



This is a super easy project that generates lots of interest and can be adapted to suit your themes at school. I’l set it up for the children with traditional felt clothes or make my own items to suit what we are discussing.

Items we used: wood off cuts; screws; thin rope

The pictures are pretty self explanatory. We made a basic frame and then 2 sides with holes for the rope. Some sanding and varnishing if need be will finish it off. I’ve found that not only do the children concentrate on “hanging” up the washing which is great for fine motor, but they will also sort, discuss and order their items with each other and themselves. (The pics below were adapted for a valentine theme with pink and red feathers and hearts). I’ve also included a miniature “clothes” templates below to print and cut from paper or felt.


clothing template free download



I found a little “tree/branch” on a base in the second hand shop a few months ago and turned it into a “who is here to play today” tree. The tree would be pretty easy to make – just finding a nicely shaped branch and fixing it onto a base, light sand and varnish would do the trick. For the picture discs I printed and laminated a picture of everyone and fixed them to wooden curtain rings from the hardware shop.

Every morning the children never loose excitement to go and find their picture and hang it on the tree! During circle time its a great tool to use to count how many friends are at school, discuss who is not at school and why and generally get everyone participating. Even the quietest child is happy to find their picture and join in the discussion and action.

I even find the children playing with the tree during the morning – identifying all their friends and chatting away to each other – turning it into a great social tool and even a fine motor exercise!



Practicing motor skills with other children and having interested adults participate are great learning opportunities for children. Patient husband made a set of simple obstacle materials for the children to use for their movement. They were easy to make and provide the children with a great opportunity to explore and discuss all the different things they can do with them. Even though the children figured out the original movements intended for them they even invented a few of their own creative uses and had a great time experimenting and eventually making their own obstacle courses.

Items we used: piece of wood cut into various sizes; drill and screws; sander.

Once the various pieces of wood were cut to size we just drilled all the bits together and sanded. We made 2 x balance beams and 2 x hoop holders. They are sturdy and provide a great platform for the children to create their own creative obstacle courses!


free movement card resources 01 

free movement card resources 02 

free movement card resources 03



My middle son has a great collection of marbles that I sometimes use in activities – depending on the ages attending! I got together a collection of plastic tubs, bottles, spoons, containers, baskets, ice trays – you name it – and left everything out for the children to explore. I don’t have to tell you how much they enjoyed it – they spent absolutely ages sorting through the marbles! Filling, counting, pouring, rolling…After a while they started noticing all the different sizes, colours and patterns and this sparked off a whole new train of conversation and delight…

The pictures say it all – great for fine motor, manipulation, numeracy etc.