Monday, February 3, 2014

Peach blossom trees

What is Chinese New Year without a bit of peach blossom?!
Bee loved making this 'plant' and was so proud of it that she gave it to a sick friend. Needless to say, her friend was most happy and thought it was such a special gift.

Who can play?
Children aged three and above, depending on their age and stage of development.

When on the walk be aware of traffic and stranger danger. 
Sticks can also be sharp and poke people in the eyes, so children need to be observed when using them. 

What do you need?
Empty and clean yoghurt pot/play-dough container
Paper and a pen
Twig (found on a walk)
Pink issue paper 

What did we do?
We took a stroll in our neighbourhood to look for any trees or plants that had blossom on them. We found quite a few. Bee collected a couple of petals in her hand and said she was going to put them in her fairy garden. She commented on how nice they smelt.
Next, we went on a hunt for some sticks/twigs. One of Bee's favourite things to do is collect sticks. She normally gives them her Dad and I for gifts. We have a large vase filled with them near the door... I read somewhere that they are her gifts, as obviously she cannot buy anything herself yet.
Once we got home, we talked about what we had found and seen. 
Next we made the peach blossom tree. This was completed in 6 Steps:

Step 1- Bee placed a handful of dough in a clean pot, ensuring it was pushed right to the bottom. She was a little worried at first, thinking that she wouldn't have any dough left for herself. I assured her that we had more.
Step 2- Bee chose her best twig and pushed it down into the centre of the dough. 
Step 3- We tore the tissue paper up into pieces and screwed them up into small balls.
Step 4- Using the glue, we attached the tissue onto the desired places on the twig. Bee chose to add them to the ends of each section.
Step 5- Bee then wrote her friends name on the paper and glued it to the outside of the pot.
Step 6- Once our Peach blossom tree had dried, we gave ours to a friend, which made her daymade her day as she was sick. You can also use them for decoration on your table, if you are planning a Chinese New Year feast.

What did we learn?
Personal, social and emotional-Developed empathy, pride from finished product and had lots of fun and enjoyment.
Creative-Designed where her flowers should go on the tree. and creating her model with 3D materials, using different tools for different purposes
Mathematical- Spacial awareness when positioning the blossom on the tree.
Knowledge and understanding of the world-Learning about her environment and the trees that are in it. 
Learning about seasons, for example in Spring we get blossom on trees (new life begins after Winter) 
This activity also gave the opportunity for learning about different cultures and festivals.
communication, language and literacy-Writing recognisable letters
Physical-Developing hand eye coordination and fine manipulative development, when pushing the dough into the pot and adding the petals onto the twig.
Isabella also developed her upper arm muscles when pushing the stick into the dough. 

What can be done next?
Make a large sticky picture using twigs and real pettals that were found on a walk.
Make pretend petal soup in a bowl or water tray, for role play outside (I would not recommend eating it though as some plants can be poisonous) 
Add sticks to the play dough box. Children could then add the dough to the sticks to represent peach blossom trees.

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