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What is play?


During one of our lectures we looked at play.

What is play?

What does play look like?

What does play mean to you?

What does play mean for children?

Do children always learn through play?

Is play purposeful?

As a group we created a map of play – ‘Play Island’

It shows the key elements that we thought about in regards to play.

Many ideas flowed as we discussed play, starting with key words, we then went on to implement these ideas into a ‘map’.

These ideas include: excitement, enjoyment, inspiration, challenge and exhilaration as well as where play can take place; indoors and outdoors, types of play; fantasy, role play and how play may occur; in solitude or collaboratively.  Many more ideas were always discussed and added to the map.

A picture of the finished ‘Play Island’ map has been uploaded below.

Play Island

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Here is a photograph of an RE display I produced during SE1b

RE display







Here also is a photograph of a Science display I produced during SE1b

Science display

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Combining Art with Music!


Here are some pictures of work my class created when we combined art with music.

We started off by listening to a piece of music and painted how it made us feel on one side of the paper, we then listened to a second piece of music and again painted how this made us feel.

Happy and Sad Music







We then went on to listen to a piece of happy music and painted stones that we had previously collected in ways that made us happy – some children chose animals or insects that make them happy e.g. birds and ladybirds, others chose to paint their stones with colours or shapes that make them feel happy.


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IPC Day – Music


Today we had an IPC day – It was music day!

I earned my IPC badge – I can use my voice expressively and sing in unison.

Music is a fantastic medium for children to learn and develop.


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Working with clay!


Diva Lamps







Today in class we were working with clay to create Diva Lamps!

Learning through dough and clay play in the early years has so many benefits (and it is great fun!)

Clay promotes:

  • Sensory experiences
  • Imagination
  • Gross motor control
  • Manipulative skills
  • Emotional development
  • Language development
  • Understanding possibilities and limitations of clay

Language development for dough and clay:

  • Language of manipulation e.g. push, pull, drop, squeeze, press, elastic, bend, twist, roll, stretch, squash, pinch, flatten, poke, scrape, smooth, smear, break apart
  • Language about length/thickness e.g. longer than, shorter than, the same length as
  • Language of texture: lumpy, grainy, shiny
  • Language of colour and smells

Possible experiences:

  • Experimental play
  • Experimental play using a range of equipment
  • Making and doing
  • Imagining and thinking


Learning Through Play in the Early Years: A Resource Book.

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Today at school we had a science workshop.

We learnt all about wax and even made our own candles!

My pattern went in a spiral shape.  The children had to think about the colours that they wanted to use, there were only 3 colours to choose from; the primary colours, red, blue and yellow, but we managed to create candles using more than just 3 colours … hmm, I wonder how!?  … We mixed them to create other colours! It was so clever and we created some fantastic candles!


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ICT – Story Book


Digital Story Book

During ICT session 2 we created a digital story.

Here is another digital story that I created on the Ipad using Doodlecast Pro with a 7 year old KS1 child.

The child drew the pictures for the story and scripted what was to be said, she set up the story using the Ipad and I spoke the story.

Here is a video of the digital story:


Links to the KS1 ICT curriculum:

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Finding things out

1b – Enter and store information in a variety of forms

1c – Retrieve information that has been stored

Developing ideas and making things happen

2a – To use text, tables, images and sound to develop ideas

2b – How to select from ad add to information they have retrieved for particular purposes

2c – How to plan and give instructions to make things happen

2d – To try things out and explore what happens in real and imaginary situations

Exchanging and sharing information

3a – How to share their ideas by presenting information in a variety of forms

3b – To present their completed work effectively

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Art/ICT – Story Book


We were asked to create a digital artefact for ICT and a short e-book for art.

As a group we decided that we would use our clay characters and printed scenery to create a digital e-book.  After we created our clay models from the art session, we used ICT to turn our models and scenery into a story book.

We took 5 pictures of our models with the background scenery in different positions to create the basis of our story.  We then used an I-pad app called Doodle Cast Pro to turn it into a video story.  Using Doodle Cast Pro we were able to insert our pictures as the background, we could then ‘doodle’ over the top of the pictures, we decided to use this app as we could draw on the pictures and add extra characters to the story.  Once you have completed your story you can then use speech-to-text to record your voice over the top to create the story.

By  creating stories and e-books children are being able to express themselves creatively and imaginatively.  Allowing children to create their own e-books and stories could also allow them a safe media to express their emotions and feelings.

Links to EYFS

Understanding the World: Technology

30-50 months

  • Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control
  • Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones
  • Knows that information can be retrieved from computers

40-60+ months

  • Completes a simple programme on a computer
  • Uses ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software
  • Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.  They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media and materials

30-50  months

  • Explores and learns how sounds can be changed

40-60+ months

  • Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects
  • Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect
  • Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources
  • Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately
  • Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary
  • Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using
  • They safely use and explore a variety of materials, t0ols and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function

Here is a video of our completed Jungle Story.

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Art Session 3 – 10 12 2013


Today we had a session of art we were asked to create a character and a scene to create a page of a story, we got into groups of 4, 2 created the characters of the story whilst 2 created a scene for the story.  As a group we decided that our story would be set in a jungle and the main characters would be a mummy and baby elephant.  Molly and I created the elephants – we used clay, we had to use different media to create the characters, we created a thumb bowl to hold our slip (water and clay – this creates a type of glue for clay).  We had to use our hands to mould the clay to form our models.  Meanwhile Gillian and Ellen used printing paint to create the scene for our story.

There are many different learning opportunities available for children when playing and exploring with clay, these can include benefits for all areas from across the Early Years Foundation Stage,  Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art & Design.

Learning Through Play in the Early Years: A Resource Books states there are many advantages to using clay and that it can provide and promote many learning experiences, these include, sensory experiences making marks and patterns in the clay using hands and tools including textured and patterned tools.  Imagination, creating themed related figures e.g. winter, Christmas and food, children could create food including fruit, vegetables, bread and cake products for the role play corner.  As additional provision for imaginative play with clay different materials could be added for the children to explore with e.g. feathers, leaves, pipe cleaners, play people, pasta, toy cars and lolly sticks.  Gross motor control, manual dexterity and manipulative skills through exploring the clay via pushing, pulling stretching, squeezing, bending and rolling.  Understanding possibilities and limitations and language development, clay and dough is a good way to promote language development, it can be the language of manipulation including, push, pull, squeeze, press, scrape, smooth, stretch and pinch, also language about length and thickness including longer than, shorter than etc.  It could also promote the language of colour, smells and textures.  Adult support could be used to develop language development and imaginative play, children could be encouraged to talk about, discuss and describe the behaviour of the clay/dough, count, sort and order.  Co-operative play, sharing, playing and exploring collaboratively with clay could be another intended learning outcome.  Clay and dough could also be used as a healthy way for children to relieve their frustration and develop self-expression.  Mathematic development could also be incorporated by counting, ordering, matching and sorting, the teaching could also introduce balance scales for the children to balance, compare and weigh.

Here are pictures of our finished creations.







Learning Through Play in the Early Years: A Resource Book.

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ICT – Session 2 – 05 12 2013 Part 2


‘Treasure Catcher’ on Purple Mash.

Firstly I had to create the items that would go into the game and decide what would happen when you collected/moved into those objects.  I had to create the walls and decide where each of the objects would go and how they would move within the game.  Then I had to create the introduction telling the player what to do and how to play the game.

Here are some screen shots from making the game and of the finished product:

Treasure Catcher1Treasure Catcher2Treasure Catcher3Treasure Catcher4Treasure Catcher5Treasure Catcher6

Treasure Catcher7

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