Monday, December 9, 2013

Guest blog post from our fantastic TRT  
Cath who helped  create an exciting water play experience!

A quick Introduction for those of you who have not meet me, I am Cath and I have been doing relief teaching at il nido on and off over this year. And for those that have not worked or been to il Nido it is a great place to be – they really encourage children to explore, lead the play experience, express who they are, learn in a way that works for them, they are challenged, supported and there is always fun! Whenever I turn up I can’t wait to have a look around and see what is happening, often I don’t know what something is and frequently it changes from one child to the next what a creation could be! There have been water fountains, secret gardens, superhero caves, musical explorations; marble runs made from recycled material and so much more. It is engaging, inviting, exciting and you never know what is going to happen next! For an educator this is a great place to be!

-Cath Aimers 

So down to business! If you heard giggles of glee on Wednesday the 27th of November this might just be why.

In Australia 37 Degree days …. means… hats, sunscreen, shade and water play… what to do…how to make it interesting and fun?!

After setting up a few things around the yard it was decided that a hanging sprinkler would be perfect for the kids to run through and play with! Charmaine helped work out some resources and it was time to create! After starting with an old plastic tube and putting some holes in using a screw driver we hung the tube up under the shade shelter and realised that too much was pouring out the end and not enough through the small holes. With team work Sarah another staff member worked out that blu tack would plug one end. By this stage the children were getting involved as they arrived for the day and were watching team work being modeled by the staff, they naturally started asking questions and helping with the hose and cutting the rope to hold it up.

It took quite a while to get it just right, a few different children helped problem solve of how to get the water to run through, after taping the connections, lowering the rope, raising the hose and removing the spray hose connection it was ready!

The children spent a lot of time running through, catching water with their buckets, washing items, wetting their hats, trying to use their mouths to catch the rain. In this play experience children used many different skills all at once from team work to negotiation, problem solving and sharing. A great sensory experience, it made sure children were cool, they were learning through play and it was such a joy and wonder to watch. I think I even saw a few staff run through too.

Written by Cath Aimers (TRT).

Monday, November 18, 2013

More mechanical play worlds!

Maybe I should have added this post onto 'From Trash to Treasure', but this is so much more.....
 Crates are our most valuable resource! They have been turned into towers, engines, cars, machines, baby beds, chairs, teenage mutant ninja turtle houses and so much more.

We use them to intertwine hoses and add funnels to create a water machine or for children to explore gravity!

This was part of a bicycle that we found on the side of the road . The wheels were added to our climbing frame . There is a handle which is part of the inner rubber tubing of the stationary bike.  Keep watching for what we do with the rest of the bike!

Stay tuned!
 We hope to add interactive parts to our bicycle and create a mechanical tree!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


You know what they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure! And that's just what we found with these old fans that were on the side of the road looking for a home...

So we collected them, pulled them off their bases, and held them up to the wind to see if they would spin...AND THEY DID! So, we decorated them to emphasize the spinning action and hung them up.  

With our 'spinners' (as the kids called them),     we had created a point of interest in the yard that captured the passing wind, and the interest and eye of those around them.  What a great way to recycle old materials into new things. BUT! We weren't finished there, we still had some parts to recycle...

This stand will be perfect for attaching a microphone for all of our live performances. 

And this casing will work beautifully as a sifter in our sandpit. 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Building a wall!

 Building a brick wall! 
 yes, we used cement!
  As part of our inquiry of ' How things grow" a child said
"houses grow"  which led us to look at how houses are built . we built clay house making clay bricks and realised, wow! building takes a long time. We then decided to create a wall with real bricks and cement . We mixed cement .gathered all our bricks( left over pavers) and set about building a wall.

The Children were so engaged in mixing the cement and carefully pl;acing bricks making sure they were straight and that they had enough cement to hold it down.

 It took negotiation, co-operation and team work to get our wall up.

Here it stands!

Bubbles and more!

Bubbles and more!

We have been exploring ' How Things Grow' and here have a look at how to make bubbles grow..
 Step 1: trays of water 
Step 2: add detergent
Step 3: provide plastic tubes
Step 4: make it irresistible
Step 5: we added rose petals and food dye to make different coloured bubbles.

And let the blowing begin! My bubbles are bigger!

The children were engaged for hours and our pictures tell the story!

 Making it inviting !

 At group time we also looked at how else we could grow the bubbles!

Happy bubble growing!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Natural Play Materials.


    A Natural Outdoor Physical Environment

We're encouraging a natural look and feel to our outdoor environment by providing lots of wood, earthy colours and natural materials wherever possible. 

                    We use our crates with wooden planks and old palettes as garden stands.     
     We use wooden off cuts, logs, rope and material to set up this open ended play experience. 
                                    The see-saw we created from a log, a plank and some hay. 

                            Our music wall with bamboo, wood, and chimes to create soft wooden sounds. 

Our beautiful tree house - it's growing!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Flower Shop!

Flowers for sale!
 We set up a flower shop. We used our existing hay bales to poke the flowers in . Luckily we found a box of flowers in hard rubbish as so we had a whole lot of flowers to use . Some were large arrangements other just single stems. 
We had so much fun sorting the flowers by colour. Apparently the red ones are expensive.
There was a whole  new inventive system of pricing.

 Trays of sand also helped us arrange the flowers for sale .

Baskets and bags were needed to purchase the flowers.

Looking at a magazine with flowers arranged beautifully might lead us into providing a flower arranging experience for our children.

 And of course we needed a sign! we also found that taking the heads of the plastic flowers encouraged children to make their own arrangements by choosing what flowers they could poke onto the stems.

Happy Shopping!