The weather has been amazing the past week or so and we are truly making the most of it. Every morning the door is opened wide and the children choose to be outside for a good 90% of the day. I am having a battle at the moment over sun hats which I seem to be loosing. 
We enjoyed lots of mark making today whilst we were outside. 
I offered some buckets and paintbrushes to start with, adding a small amount of water in to the bottom of each bucket.

Before long the little ones found different things to paint. Little “B” quickly noticed that the water made a nice dark mark on the patio and so dipped the brush in the water and made another mark. I took a brush and painted a “B” for her name. He then made another mark from the letter, across the patio.
She repeated this several times in different areas of the patio. Dipping the brush and painting marks.

She offered a brush to Little “M” and made marks on the floor as if to show her what to do. Little “B” is a very loving and caring 17 month old girl, who loves to help look after younger children.

Little “L” and I looked at how we could make marks using other items. We had lots of fun making foot prints around the patio, comparing the size of her prints to mine. Using mathematical language such as “larger” and “smaller”.  We wet our feet and then counted how many prints we could make before our feet became to dry and the prints stopped. We counted to 12 on one occasion.
Little “L” noticed how fast the prints were drying because it was a “Hot day and the sun is out!”

Little “L” looked closely at the prints and pointed out things that were similar and other things that were different. Here she noticed that my print was drying and that the toes had gone!

She then had a little go at writing the letters that she knows. She knows some letters from her name and some letters from her friends names.

A little later, we looked at painting over chalk numbers and our names. She often starts with the last number or letter on the row. When painting over her chalk name, she started with the last and worked backwards. We are going to spend some time looking at working from left to right.


  • To offer the children with the resources to explore making marks in the garden. Encouraging number and letters with older children in the setting.
  • To use larger controlled movements to form shapes, numbers and letters.
  • Model the use of mathematical language. Talk about the sizes, shapes and make comparisons.
Offer more outdoor water mark making activities. Use the chalk to create letters and numbers but also maybe make little “chalk pathways” for the children to follow with the paintbrush. Give the pathways a clear start and finish point staring from the left and moving to the right to help encourage the idea that English is written and read, left to right.
Offer chalk for the children to make their own marks on the patio. Offer other things to experiment with such as watercolour paints, home made chalk paint.


    Little “B” spent a lot of the day coming back to this activity. She learnt to understand the process of wetting her brush and then using it till it stopped making marks. Repeating this process over and over. She showed curiosity in the way the water changed the colour of the floor and also how it started to change back again as it dried. She used her senses to explore. Feeling the water, putting the brush in her mouth, painting her toes and stepping on the wet patches with her dry feet. She was fascinated by this activity and showed a strong focus and concentration.
    Little “M” is 13 months and is very much at the exploring with her mouth stage, She enjoyed sucking water out of the brushes more than mark making, but once she made a mark she soon worked out how to make more. She returned to this several times over the day and even tried to do it with a dry brush and an empty bucket.
    Little “L” is keen to learn to write more Letters and especially her name. This sort of activity is something she gets a lot of enjoyment from and pride when she realises she can write and recognise some letters. She Was particularly fascinated and engaged in the footprint making. She noticed lots of things such as the size of each of our footprints. Picking out the toddlers prints, my prints and her own prints. Noticing that the dogs prints were different to ours. She counted how many foot prints she could make and then asked me to see how many I could make.

    Today’s play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
    • Physical Development
    • Literacy
    • Mathematics

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