About nicolehennessey

Mom to Hunter (born March 2013) and Vivian (born October 2015). I was born and raised in London and can't wait to share everything London has to offer to its mamas!

Natural Paint Brushes

Leaves are great and have many uses. One of the uses can be for crafts. One of the easiest crafts to create are handmade paintbrushes.

These can be made using naturalistic materials such as leaves, twine and twigs. Parents’ will have to help create the brushes, but the painting portion can be left for the children.

To create the paintbrushes, you’ll have to layer the evergreen leaves around the base (which is the stick). Holding everything together, place the twine under your paintbrush. Gently put the paintbrush down and tie the twine around. After they’re knotted, the paint brushes are ready to be used.

ELECT
Social
1.1 Social Interest
1.2 Imitation
Cognitive
4.3 Cause and Effect Exploration
Physical
5.1 Gross Motor- Reaching and Holding
5.2 Fine Motor- Palmer Grasp, Holding and Using Tools
5.3 Senses- Touch: Tactile Exploration

HDLH

Engagement

Expression

Note: These crafts require adult supervision and guidance. Some assistance will be required.

Reference

Learn, Create, Love. (2013). Natural paintbrushes. Copyright 2018. Learnicreatelove. All Rights Reserved. Retrieved from: http://learncreatelove.com/natural-paintbrushes/

Grass Heads

What better way to connect with nature than bringing it indoors? This is a great craft to do with your little ones. Not only can you use recyclable materials, but you’re able to educate and show your children how to connect with nature on a basic level.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

• Old tights or stockings
• Fertilizer
• Grass seed
• Rubber bands
• Googly eyes
• A pot with no holes
• PVA glue

To create these beautiful heads, you’ll have to scoop 2-3 spoonsful of grass seeds into the stockings. Then, fill the stocking full of fertilizer and know the stocking so you don’t lose any of the seeds or dirt.
Once tied, shape the dirt into a head shape (the rounder the better).

Once you’ve created your shape, pinch some of the stockings to create a nose. Twist the elastic around to keep the nose steady (this may take a few tries). After the nose is formed, glue on your googly eyes and place it into a pot. Now you’ve created your very own grass head!

ELECT
Social: 1.1 Social Interest
1.3 Parallel play
Cognitive: 4.3 Cause and Effect Exploration
Physical:5.2 Fine Motor- Tool Use, Pincer Grasp
5.3 Senses- Exploration, Sensory Motor Integration

HDLH
Engagement
Expression

Reference

Red Ted Art. (2018). How to make grass heads.  Copyright © 2018 · Website Design by Jumping Jax. Retrieved from: https://www.redtedart.com/kids-crafts-grass-heads/?cn-reloaded=1&cn-reloaded=1

Nature Based Sensory Bottles

Here’s an activity for the little ones to do! sensory bottles are great for infants. It allows them to explore new elements and create new experiences.

This activity allows them to explore naturalistic materials safely. By putting them in a bottle it removes the choking hazard and makes it safer to explore.

Now, these are fairly easy to make. First, grab any nature related materials you find. Rocks, seas shells, pine needles, these are all inexpensive and easy to find materials.

Once you gather your materials, you can combine these items, or you can put them in separate bottles. The decision is yours to make.

After the bottles are created, you can use them for a variety of things. Sensory bottles, decorations, etc. The decision is yours!

Note: these crafts require adult supervision and guidance. Some assistance will be required.

ELECT

Emotional

  • 2 Self-Regulation

Cognitive

  • 1 Attention Regulation

Physical

  • 1 Gross Motor- Reaching and Holding, Releasing Objects
  • 2 Fine Motor- Palmer Grasp
  • 3 Senses- Touch: Tactile Exploration

HDLH

Engagement

Expression

Well-Being

Reference

Rhythm of Play (2018). Nature inspired sensory bottles. © 2018 Rhythms of Play. Retrieved from: https://rhythmsofplay.com/nature-inspired-sensory-bottles/

Painting with Mud

Kids love to play in the mud, so why not make an activity and let them get down and dirty!

This activity allows you and your kids to interact with nature and get dirty (or not) at the same time.
It’s fairly simple to make. All you need is some mud, water, food colouring, and liquid soap.

First, grab some bowls and scoop some mud into each of them. Squirt 2 tablespoons of food colouring into each bowl. Add a bit of water and soap to make the paint.

There you have it! Muddy paint.

Note: when playing with this paint, use cardstock or thicker paper. Regular paper will most likely rip.

Note: These crafts require adult supervision and guidance. Some assistance will be required.

ELECT

____

Emotional

____

2.2 Self-Regulation

 Cognitive

____

4.5 Spatial Exploration

Physical

____

5.2 Fine Motor- Tool Use, Making a Mark

5.3 Senses-Exploration

HDLH

Engagement

Expression

Well-Being

Reference

Sonnier, A. (2018). Mud paint recipe. Copyright © 2012 Learn Play Imagine. Retrieved from: http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2014/03/mud-paint-recipe.html

Nature Blocks

Baby blocks are a common toy amongst infants. Usually, they have letters or numbers on them. However, these blocks are an easy and creative way to incorporate nature into the home.

The photo shows flowers, but you can put whatever materials you’d like into them. Pinecones, flowers, leaves, whatever can fit will entertain your little one.

So here is what you’ll need in order to make these baby blocks. First, you’ll need some naturalistic materials and some baby food containers. After the containers have been emptied and washed, put your naturalistic materials inside. Snap the lid and then you have your new baby blocks.
These are great and easy to make and will entertain the little ones for a while!

Note: These crafts require adult supervision and guidance. Some assistance will be required.

ELECT
────
Emotional

2.1 Expression of Emotion
────
Communication

3.1 Non-verbal Communication Skills- Simple Turn Taking
────
Cognitive

4.1 Attention Regulation
4.6 Object Permanence
────
Physical

5.1 Gross Motor- Reaching and Holding, Releasing Objects
5.2 Fine Motor- Palmer Grasp
5.3 Senses- Visual: Visual Exploration, Touch: Tactile Exploration

HDLH

Engagement

Reference

Munchkins and Moms (2018). Baby nature blocks. © 2018 Munchkins and Moms. Retrieved from: http://munchkinsandmoms.com/baby-nature-blocks/

Growing Apple Trees

Let’s start connecting to nature by growing some trees. Probably the easiest tree to grow from scratch would be an apple tree. Yes, an apple tree. This is very easy to do.

First, you grab an apple (I would eat it first but save the seeds!) After you’re done with the apple, collect the seeds and put them aside. Before growing your tree, the seeds must dry out. This will take a few days.

Once the seeds are dry, place them in a baggie with a wet paper towel. Leave the seeds in the refrigerator for a month, or until they start to sprout. As your seeds start to sprout, remove the seeds from the fridge and place them in a small cup with soil. The soil must stay moist for the seeds to grow.

As the seeds grow, transfer them into larger pots. We only recommend using one pot per seed, so the sprouts don’t compete for nutrients. When the plant reaches 2 feet, carefully transfer the sprouts outdoors in full sunlight, giving them enough room to grow.

ELECT
Social
1.3 Parallel Play
Communication
3.2 Expressive Language- Vocabulary, Conversation
Cognitive
4.3 Cause and Effect Exploration
Physical
5.2 Fine Motor- Tool use, Pincer Grasp
5.3 Senses- Exploration

HDLH
Belonging
Engagement
Expression
Well-Being

Note: These crafts require adult supervision and guidance. Some assistance will be required.

Reference

Over the Apple Tree. (2013). Grow an apple tree from seeds. Blogger. Retrieved from: http://overtheappletree.blogspot.com/2013/03/grow-apple-tree-from-seeds.html?m=1

How Does Learning Happen

A LITTLE ABOUT HDLH

HDLH is a professional resource guide that is intended to support pedagogy and curriculum development in the early years’ program.

The environment, educator, and family are all interconnected in the child’s development. HDLH works in collaboration with the ELECT Principles in guiding children’s pedagogy and curriculum.

HDLH have goals for the children’s learning, health, and well-being. There are expectations for programs that are aligned with the goals, and there are questions for educators and families for critical thinking and reflection.

THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS

Belonging
• Refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, a community, the natural world (p.7).

Engagement
• Suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged (p.7).

Expression
• May take on many forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication (p.8).

Well-Being
• Addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation (p.7).

Definitions

• Pedagogy: Is the understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy that supports the understanding of learning
• Curriculum: The content of learning in the early year’s settings
• Educators: Those who work with children and families in early year programs

For more information check out: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/howlearninghappens.pdf

Reference

Ministry of Education (2014). How does learning happen: Ontario pedagogy for the early years. © Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/howlearninghappens.pdf

Early Learning for Every Child Today

Introduction

Every child has the right to the best childhood. ELECT is a guide to help support the curriculum and pedagogy in early childhood settings. ELECT complements specific curricular and pedagogical approaches and provides direction for programs that don’t have an explicit curriculum approach. There are different domains of development and they are all interconnected. ELECT helps clarify these developmental markers for each age group and shows the approximate skills they should be learning at each age group. The domains are Social, Emotional, Communication, language, and literacy, Cognitive, and Physical.

Statement of Principles

  • Early child development sets the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health
  • Partnerships with families and communities strengthen the ability of early childhood settings to meet the needs of young children
  • Demonstration of respect for diversity, equity and inclusion are prerequisites for optimal development and learning
  • A planned curriculum supports early learning
  • Play us a means to early learning that capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance
  • Knowledgeable and responsive early childhood practitioners are essential to early childhood settings

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Infants Development
1.1 Social Interest
• Smiling to an adult; Examining objects with others; Observing peers
1.2 Imitation
• Imitating adult behaviour
Toddlers Development
1.1 Social Interest
• Observing and imitating peers; Observing and playing briefly with peers; Engaging in short group activities
1.3 Parallel Play
• Playing in proximity of peers with similar playthings without the exchange of ideas or things

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Infants Development
2.1 Expression of Emotion
• Expressing comfort and discomfort, pleasure or displeasure, anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, joy
2.2 Self-Regulation
• Becoming calm when comforted by familiar adults; Recovering from distress and over-stimulation in a secure relationship
Toddlers Development
2.2. Self-Regulation
• Attention regulation- Focusing attention, making choices and avoiding distractions

COMMUNICATION, LANGUAGE, LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

Infants Development
3.1 Non-Verbal Communication Skills
• Simple Turn Taking- taking turns in simple games
Toddlers Development
3.2. Expressive Languages
• Words- Combining words, using verbs and adjectives; Vocabulary- Increasing vocabulary; Questions- Asking simple “what” and “where” questions

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Infants Development
4.1 Attention Regulation
• Attending, disengaging and returning attention
4.3 Cause and Effect Exploration
• Repeat actions that produce outcomes
4.6 Object Permanence
• Searching for hidden objects and things moved out of sight
Toddlers Development
4.3 Cause and Effect Exploration
• Responding with joy to the predictable outcomes of exploration
4.5 Spatial Problem Solving
• Using tools to push obstacles out of the way

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

Infants Development
5.1 Gross Motor
• Reaching and Holding- reaching towards objects; Releasing Objects- Dropping and throwing objects
5.2 Fine Motor
• Palmer Grasp- Holding objects with whole palm; Holding and Using tools
5.3 Senses
• Visual Exploration- Tracking moving object with eyes; Tactile exploration- Touching, rubbing, squeezing materials
Toddlers Development
5.2 Fine Motor
• Tool Use; Making a Mark- Scribbling expands to lines and shapes; Pincer Grasp- Adapting holding from palmer or pincer grasp
5.3 Senses
• Exploration- Using all senses in exploration; Motor Integration- Coordinating motor skills

For more information check out: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/oelf/continuum/continuum.pdf

Reference

Ministry of Education. (2007). Early learning for every child today. Copyright 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/oelf/continuum/continuum.pdf

Boxing Day Tips to Share

Boxing day is today and sometimes things can get crazy and busy. To keep calm and be more productive, follow these tips when shopping on Boxing day and you’ll be fine!

1. Dress comfortably and practically

2. Shop alone or with ONE friend

3. Have a plan

4. Bring snacks and water

5. Know that sales don’t end on the 26th

6. Calm down and respect others

Paper Plate Christmas Elf

I found this on Pinterest and I thought it would be fun to share!

Supplies

  • Paper Plate x2
  • Kids Washable Paint
  • Cotton Wall Balls
  • Scissors
  • Black Sharpie

Directions

Step 1: To begin, mix the paints to create a skin tone and then paint half of the paper plate a skin coloured shade. Paint the other half of the plate a bright vibrant colour, filtering down the rim of the plate to create a ‘droopy’ hat shape.

Step 2: Add a few cotton wool balls to the hat, with an extra cotton wall ball added to the tip.

Step 3: Add some facial features! We added a big red nose and a pair of eyes, with a smiley face using a red paint and a sharpie. Of course, the Arty Crafty Kids can create their faces however they chose, and they could replace the black dotty eyes for googly eyes!

Step 4: Having mixed our paint on a paper plate, we then reused it to create the must-have Elf Ears!

Step 5: Cut out two ‘Elf Ear’ shapes and secure them onto the Elf with PVA glue, finishing off the Paper Plate Christmas Elf Craft.

Retrieved from: https://www.artycraftykids.com/christmas/paper-plate-christmas-elf-craft/