Activities for playgroup

Rudolph box craft

As many of you may have already seen at ACT Playgroups we have started our Christmas celebrations. Christmas is a time for family and loved ones to come together and spend time with one another. Christmas has many different meanings to many different families and there are many different ways to celebrate. One of our favorite ways to celebrate is creating Christmas craft.

Below you will find a step-by-step process to make your own Rudolph the reindeer box.

Materials:

  • Cardboard box
  • 1x brown paper
  • 1x black paper
  • 1x white paper
  • 1x red paper
  • 2x sticks (for antlers)
  • Glue stick
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Baubles

Step 1:

Draw the shapes for the head, face, eyes, and nose using the colored paper then cut the shapes out.

Step 2:

Glue the shapes to the side of the box to make the reindeer’s face by overlapping the paper shapes.

Step 3:

Cut two holes in the top of the box on either side of the reindeer’s face for the antlers. Then get your sticks and slide them into the hole, and secure with sticky tape.

Step 4:

Finally, decorate your reindeer! I used Christmas ribbons tied into bows at the base of the antlers and baubles. You can use whatever you like to decorate your reindeer at home, maybe some tinsel or even paint.

Please share your Rudolph the red nose reindeer with us!

Composting

 Composting is a great opportunity to show our children not to be wasteful. Our family has done a simple DIY compost at home and my son has really gotten into the composting groove.

Here are some ideas to help you start.

You don’t have to buy the expensive composting kits, you can do it yourself with a few cheap alternatives, such as:

  • Have a small container inside with a lid to put all of the house materials, such as vegetable peels, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells etc. Take this out to the compost bin at regular intervals, especially in the warmer months.
  • For outside you can use many things, I used a green bag with the bottom removed but you could have a purpose-built bin or you could even use the thicker cardboard boxes (they are not too hardy and will last better in summer)

In terms of positioning the outside bin, you will need to place it on a little bit of gravel or rocks to allow for runoff if it rains. It does not need to have a lid, just add a layer of soil every time you add any composting materials and it should be placed in an area as far from the house as possible as it can smell a bit.

Then add a layer of ripped up paper and soil from your garden. The soil from the garden adds earthworms and microorganisms that you need in order for the compost to break down.

You can also collect plant materials from the yard such as leaves, twigs etc. Be careful not to add any diseased plant material as the disease may spread into the compost. Keep adding small amounts of ripped paper from time to time.

Always add a layer of soil from your garden each time you add the waste as this keeps the compost from smelling too bad and attracting the wrong sort of pests.

Once my son understood about composting he wanted to help by emptying the inside bin and adding the soil and paper.

The key to composting is not to add any meat or dairy products as these attract the wrong sort of animals.

When the bin is just over half full, start another bin and let the old one “ferment.” Make sure it has a good layer of soil on top.

After about 6 months you can check to see if the materials have broken down, it should smell like earth and not decay. You can then remove the green bag and get your gloves and spade and add it to your garden and watch your plants grow.

My son loves to watch the plants grow knowing he helped them to thrive.

 

Nature walks with children

Take Playgroup families on a nature walk around the outside area of your playgroup, the local community or park. 
Children will be amazed by all the nature treasures they will find along the way.

You will need:

  • To plan ahead and arrange for each child to bring their own container to place their treasures in
  • To print off a nature checklist for the children to look for on their walk. The children can add objects to their containers or tick them off on their checklist if they find a particular object – for example…

PLAY BASED ACTIVITY NATURE WALK CHECKLIST

  • sand
  • flower
  • pebbles
  • shells
  • Bird
  • Crayon or pencil
  • Plastic spade for digging up worms, twigs and leaves (show the children digging without harming the natural environment)
  • Make your own binoculars (Make pretend binoculars from paper towel or toilet rolls)
  • Imagination

What to do:

Set out on your Nature Walk, look for insects and worms, sand, pebbles, flowers, shells and birds; make it fun, relaxing, talk about the things you see. When the children arrive back to Playgroup they can make a collage with their findings, or pop them in a special shoebox as treasure.