To help the children learn about Remembrance Day this year, I set up a little playdough activity for them. The dough was brown so that the children could use it as mud and we gave the Royal Legion lots of money this week so that we could take lots of Poppies home with us! These were perfect for the children to use to make a Poppy field and while making their Poppy field they listened to me explaining to them why we think of the soldiers and how they fought to make sure we had a free life.
Little “L” wanted to make some Soldiers to go in the field so I had a rummage in the art cupboard and found some dolly pegs and sharpie markers. It didn’t take long for little “L” and little “J” to make some lovely Soldiers! They asked me to make one injured and said he had to have a bleeding head. So I did that for them. Then they asked for a Dr to help the injured Soldiers. So we made a Dr as well. Little “J” ran off to get the toy ambulance from the car box so that he could take the injured Soldier to the Hospital!
Little”L” asked if there were lady Soldiers and I told her that there were. She made one dolly peg in to her and said she was a Soldier. This made a big change from always being a Princess! She even coloured in her clothes in combat style and not a speck of pink was seen. Another big shock as she loves pink and will use it for every activity! She then continued making her whole family in to Soldiers!
Here is one of the finished Poppy Fields with Soldiers and the Dr!
Little “J” really enjoyed this activity and spent a long time taking his field apart and rebuilding it again!
After we had enjoyed the dough and learnt a bit about Poppies and what they represent, we took a walk to the village memorial. It was lovely to read some of the names and look at the wreaths that had been placed there.
LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXTENDING LEARNING:
- To introduce the children to why we think about our Soldiers on Remembrance Day and what they did for us and still do.
- Look at raising money for Help the Hero’s charity.
- Make more of our own small world characters for playing with.
- Use cars and trucks in more play to help engage little “J” in new things
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Little “L” found the story of the world wars very interesting and wanted to know why people had to fight. This is really hard to explain to young children. It is very hard for an adult to fully understand. She understood that it means we are free to have a good life and that we are not ruled by people who want to make us follow lots of strict rules. She explored and started to understand what she was learning about while playing. She asked for people to add to the dough so that she could act out was I was telling her. We played at the table for a good hour and she was fully engaged for the whole time. She included figures of her family, maybe so that she could try and put herself in the shoes of the Soldiers.
Little “J” was engaged in this activity for short blocks of time. He prefers to play with cars and was back and forth between the table and the cars and garage.Once he could use the Ambulance in the dough to help the injured Soldier, he staid for a much longer period. He used something he was happy and comfortable with to help him engage in something new and challenging for him.
Today’s play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional
- Communication and language
- Understanding the world.