The Red House Nursery

Red House Biscuits

September 12th, 2008

Activity for children aged 2 years and above.

Equipment needed: Large bowl, large spoon, rolling pin, house cutter or other cutters and baking tray. We try to get the children counting the utensils and as well as naming them, helping with association and numeracy development.

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 oz of self raising flour,
  • 2 and half oz of margarine,
  • 2 oz of caster sugar
  • and 1 egg.

Mix flour margarine and sugar together, beat the egg and pour in, knead the mixture to make dough. Probably the children’s favourite part feeling dough mixture between their fingers. At the same timed watching and time copying other children and their nursery carers. At this point the nursery are asking the children how it feels encouraging the exploration of texture and feeling as well as developing their communication skills. It is then amusing to observe how they then try to teach each other and suggest they know what they are doing. You’ll probably notice them telling you what to do at home!

Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 2 cm then use your cutter to make the biscuits. The rolling of the dough involves a bit more focus and concentration from the children, however we find it amazing how the attitude of the children changes into a more focussed, artistic approach from the previous step in the messy making of the dough.

Grease a baking tray and place the biscuits on it, put the biscuits in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes on a heat of 350 degrees. The greasing of the tray and placing of the biscuits is something the children do themselves, always very proud and excited at what they have made and you can see this by how they point out to each other which biscuits are theirs. The placing in the oven of course done by the our Red House Carers.

Leave the biscuits to cool. The most frustrating part for our children, as you can guarantee they want to eat them immediately!

Throughout your activity you can talk about different things, shape, smell, weight, colour, texture. This will encourage your child to become engaged and involved in the activity.

This will help to further their development in a variety of ways; they will begin to make comparisons between quantities, show an awareness of similarities in the environment and understand that tools and equipment have to be used safely.

We hope you enjoy seeing how your child has learned to bake with their friends at the Red House.

An alternative activity can be carried out for children under 2 years, as they have a shorter attention span, but with the same fun outcome in seeing how your child has developed with their friends at the Red House.

Play dough – Use play dough in the same way using rolling pins cutters etc. Babies can manipulate the play dough and also use the tools. Some parents have told us their babies pass the play dough to them as way of asking them to be involved. This is all part of what we observe between their friends and carers while they are attending our nursery.

The exercise will help your baby to have a strong exploratory impulse and reach out and hold objects.

Fruit Tasting Session

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 2-5 years old.

This is one we know all parents like to get involved in themselves!

Equipment needed: melon, lemon, strawberries, kiwi, orange, cover for eyes, knife (keep this out of reach of the child), bowls, paper and pens.

Show children all the fruits and talk about colour and texture. Chop the fruit up and cover your child’s eyes. Let them taste the fruits and guess by tasting, touching and smelling what each fruit is. At the end of the activity draw a picture of your favourite fruit. Parents tell us their children encourage them to be involved in the activity and often want to cover their eyes up which makes it more of a game. At the Red House we see friends watching each other take turns and asking to be the next one to have a go!

This activity will help children to respond to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.

Seek to make sense of what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.

Talk about personal intentions, describing what they were trying to do.


September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-2 years old.

Equipment needed: corn flour, water, food colouring and rice.

Discover mark making by using gloop, mix corn flour and water together to make a sticky mixture. Let babies play with it then add food colouring to change colour and rice to add texture. Babies can touch and make marks with the gloop. This is messy but simple exercise to see how your baby really does want to explore their environment. At The Red House, we see children copying each other’s movements and exploration while at the same time developing their own.

This activity will help babies to respond to what they see, smell touch and feel.

Cutting out and Sticking

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 2-5 years old.

Equipment needed: magazines, papers, card, scissors and glue.

Use magazines, papers to cut out pictures and writing to create a collage picture. Glue your cut outs onto the card. Talk about shape and size during this activity. It really is amazing to see the pride children take when creating their collages. If another member of staff passes a room and asks what they are doing we often see a whole table of individuals wanting to show off their work. Friends talk to each other about what they are making and it is fun to see them copying each other for example if one of them makes a triangle they all want to!

This activity will help develop their skills by using one – handed tools and equipment, helps with physical development and creativity.

Understand that tools have to be used safely.

Practise and develop what they can do.


September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-2 years old.

Equipment needed: paint, card and a pen.

Paint babies hands and feet and watch them explore them. Babies will reach out to touch their hands and feet. Use a piece of card to print baby’s hands and feet on as a reminder of your activity. This is a popular activity at the Red House and visiting parents often tell us how cute the hand and feet prints are on our collages. We have seen babies crawling to their painted handprints which are blue tacked to the wall, offering their hand up to match the print they have made. This really shows how they are developing and I am sure you will take pleasure from observing this yourselves.

This activity will help your baby to watch and explore hands and feet and works towards their physical development.

Building Towers

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-2 years old.

Equipment needed: small bricks, containers

Play with bricks talking about colours and build towers for babies to knock over. Encourage babies to build towers themselves. Use containers to put bricks in and out.

This activity will help children learn by observation about actions and their effects.

Create interest in pushing and pulling things, and begin to build structures.

In this activity children are starting to build up knowledge and understanding of the world.

Everyday Mathematics

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-5 years old.

Equipment needed: everyday objects

Use everyday activities to encourage children to count and calculate. Count stairs when going up or down them, count how many cups are needed for teatime, count how many girls for tea and how many boys.

This activity will help children to notice changes in groupings of objects, working towards helping with problem solving, reasoning and numeracy.

Say some counting names randomly.

Use own methods to work out a problem.

Children don’t get the counting right straight away, but encouragement goes along way in helping them associate with quantities. We even see some of the very young children following the counting rhyme, pitch and tone by trying to copy some of the older children.

Role Play

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 2-5 years old.

Equipment needed: chair, empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, towels, brushes, mirror hairdryer, paper, pens and telephone.

Create a role play area as hairdressers, book appointments and write them into a book taking turns, then wash each others hair and style. Talk about different colours cuts etc.

This activity will help children use language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feeling, experiences and thoughts.

Know information can be relayed in the form of print.

Examine the marks they make and make.

Taking turns with you being the customer and hairdresser with you child is exactly what they do with their friends at the Red House. You won’t be able to help smiling when they tell you you’re doing it wrong!

All of this is helping with communication, language and literacy.

Singing session

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-2 years old.

Equipment needed: none needed for this activity

We all finding singing fun at the Red House. Of course we sing lots of nursery rhymes, however we also find children asking to sing parts of songs they’ve heard on the radio at home or in the car.

Sing songs and talk about the body eyes, nose, and mouth etc. Point to facial features encouraging babies to point to theirs too. Song ideas include row, row, row your boat, this little piggy and round and round the garden.

This activity will help babies to make sounds with their voices in social interaction.

Understand simple meanings conveyed in speech.

Listen to familiar sounds, words or finger plays.

In singing songs we are helping children with communication, language and literacy.

Body Talk

September 9th, 2008

Activity for children 0-5 years old.

Equipment needed: mirrors, pencil crayons and paper.

Sit with your child and talk about different features of your bodies, use the mirrors to explain about different features and expressions we use. Talk about how you feel and ask your child how they feel, pull different faces and say what makes you happy, sad, excited, angry, cry, laugh etc. Finish activity by drawing a picture of how you feel.

Help them to show their particular characteristics, preferences and interests and find comfort in touch and in the human face.

This activity will help to develop an understanding and awareness of themselves and helpswith personal, social and emotional development. You may find your child has picked up new words and names while they’ve been with us at the Red House.