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Monthly Archives: November 2016

  • School Events Calendar 2016 (December)

    Start decorating those Christmas trees and hanging your glitzy stockings, Christmas time is near. The old year is drawing to an end and it's that special time to reflect on all we've achieved over the year. There are so many fantastic ways to incorporate all learning areas of the EYFS and primary curriculum this month, whilst still having lots of festive craft fun!

    Have a read of our latest festive mark making and fine motor skill article here. Find lots more Festive learning ideas for your setting within our Christmas season articles.

    For every yearly event visit our Bcreativetolearn Pinterest Boards, full of preschool activity inspirations in all learning/ topic areas.

    We look forward to keeping you informed on all the days of interest each month, so you never miss out!

    Have a look at the fun things you can look forward to -  help children in understanding the world more by celebrating each special day at a time:

     National Tree Week 1st 4th Dec It’s the UK’s biggest celebration of trees annually which kick starts the winter tree planting season. You could plant seeds outdoors with the children and make finger print paintings of trees. Want to find out more or get involved with events happening in your area? Contact the Tree Council for more details. treecouncil.org.uk
     International Tree Dressing Day 3rd - 4th Dec Now is the time all around the world to begin dressing the Christmas trees, as we near this special family time. Have you got a Christmas tree for your learning setting yet? How about a ‘decorate-yourself’ cardboard Christmas tree? They come with baubles which the children can paint or stick their own patterns on. This will give you days of decorating fun!  You could also make small 3D take-home plastic Christmas trees.

    Click here to view how the EYFS 3D trees are made!

    Christmas Trees for your learning setting!
      International Aviation Day  7th Dec Today is a day to celebrate all our planes and those who operate them! We’ve come a long way since the Wright brothers first successfully made the first powered air-crafts in 1903. Incorporate it into a transport topic and make a plane! You could make lollipop stick planes. You could also incorporate maths and cut out shapes and get the children to piece together a plane, example here. For transport stencils, sponges and stickers have a look at our new catalogue here. icao.int
    Human Rights Day 10th Dec The UN general assembly believes that having human rights “is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. Teach children that beautiful and simple motto of ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’. This falls nicely into the PSED topic. Use confidence and team building activities in class today to re-enforce the valuable lessons; such as being kind to others, working together and ‘look what we made together’ outcomes. un.org
    International Animal Rights Day 10th Dec More 7 more children these days are expressing their love of animals and are opting to support the protection of animals throughout the world. Give this day an animal theme in your learning setting.  Some ideas:

    1. Find out children’s favourite animals.
    2. Sing an animal song, i.e. The Animal Boogie.
    3. Play letter game such as, 'what is the first letter of tiger?' ..Use images and phonics.
    4. Use animal stencils in an art session.
    The Festival of winter Walks 17th Dec - 8th Jan Ramblers charity set this event 25 years ago to encourage people to walk and explore Britain’s beautiful landscapes. Oh and she's a beauty indeed this green island of ours called Britain.

    For more info regarding group walks, routes & health walks visit the Ramblers website.

    Winter Solstice (Yule) & 'Burning of the Clocks' (Brighton lantern festival) 21st Dec It’s that time of the year again, the shortest day in the whole year for the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere it will be the longest Summer Solstice day of the year. Every year Same Sky (Brighton’s community arts group) gather the people of Brighton & Hove to make paper and willow lanterns throughout the city in a procession which ends at the beach in memory and gratitude for the end of the year. This event is called the Burning of the Clocks.

    Here are some Christmas/ winter crafting ideas:

    Christmas Eve 24th Dec UK Bank Holiday 

    This is the time when children hand up their stockings ready for Santa ( St Nicholas) to fill them with sweet gifts!

    Christmas Day - UK Bank holiday 25th Dec Christmas came from the old saying ‘Christ’s Mass’ an annual celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. It’s now a religious and cultural festival celebrated throughout the world.
    Boxing Day 26th Dec UK Bank Holiday

    A day to recover from Christmas meals and spend more time with family and loved ones.

    New Years Eve (Hogmanay) 31st Dec It is the last evening we reflect on the year we’ve had and say goodbye to 2016 and welcome the new year of 2017 with fireworks! Prepare children for the New Year’s celebrations before the end of term with fireworks craft activities that can be found in our British Values Pinterest board . You can also pre-buy cracker snaps and cracker hats,  which are handy for Christmas parties as well as New Years. Get a hold of 2017 blank calendars for your learning setting... Children will love creating their own take-home calendars!
  • Early Years Christmas Learning Ideas

    Give your early years mark making, literacy and writing activities the Christmas touch! We all love the festive time of the year, but we still need to be following that EYFS curriculum and continue to assist in the development of our little one’s skills.

    Mark making is a great skill to practice which leads to the development of writing skills. Some children will use it to enhance their fine motor skills, where as for others it will help them start forming letters and numbers.



    Add a Festive feel to Mark Making…

    Christmas_mark_making_activity_with_silver_card_Bcreative Christmas sensory and mark making activity for EYFS.



    All you need is an A4 tray or larger – it does not need to be of a large depth – although this may make it less messy! Get a piece of silver card or mirror board and place shiny side up. Then pour over a layer of sand – we have used coloured sand but play-pit sand would work as well. Make sure the layer is not too thick or the shapes will not hold.

    Then sprinkle over some glitter to give it a sparkly feel.

    Then you just need to mark make. The silver card when revealed give a great contrast making the marks easy to see and exciting for the children to see.

    Want a more festive feel why not download our festive shapes PDF’s , print them out and see if the children can create their own version in the glitter sand tray!


    Here is an easy to read list of what we used!

    Materials you will need:


    Differentiation ideas:

    • Repeat the phonic sounds as the letter is formed. (phonics, literacy, writing)
    • Create marks and then count and talk about numbers. (numeracy)
    • Draw self portraits and then talk about what parts of the face can be seen in mirror card. (PSED, self exploration)
    • Use the sand tray in story telling sessions, drawing characters being mentioned. (literacy, communication)

    Give it a go and let us know how it goes – did you do anything different, how did the children enjoy it?

    We would love to hear from you either here or on our facebook page.


    We Three Kings of Orient are…

    BCreative_Christmas_crown_making_activity BCreative Christmas crown making activity for nativity story/ literacy in EYFS and KS1.

    What about crown making as a great festive craft?

    Yes we know you can buy them ready to go – try here! But what about examining patterns and encouraging scissor work by making your own?


    Take some large sheets of gold or silver card and cut into wide strips.

    Then draw a repeating pattern for the top edge of the crown. The pattern can be zig zigs, waves or really rather random.

    Some students will be able to draw their own but for some you may need to pencil draw the pattern and get them to draw over it.

    Then let the cutting begin. Cutting a long strip is great practice and children will love to see the pattern they achieve – does it match what they drew?

    For younger students why not use the double handled scissors, you can help them learn to use scissors and for those more capable why not try crazy scissors for a double pattern effect.

    Once you have cut the pattern, wrap around the child’s head and fix with tape  - you have a King or Queen!


    But all Kings and Queens need some bling, so now is the time to decorate it.  Some great things to use are..


    Materials you will need:


    Not only for Christmas, this craft can be adapted for so much more:

    • British Values - use in discussions & history relating to royalty.
    • Once upon a time ( literacy) - talking about stories with princes and princesses.


    You can find lots more Ideas on our Pinterest boards making learning fun and creative whilst covering all areas of learning!

    Follow Economy of Brighton BCreative's board Mark Making Activities on Pinterest.

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