Dried pasta, porridge oats, uncooked rice, squidgy playdough!
No, not the ingredients to a somewhat suspect light supper, but four firm favourite ingredients for a spot of sensory exploration among the little Reception learners at Sunnyside School.
Little learners everywhere will naturally gravitate toward sensory activities. These can include: sand, water, dough, shaving foam, gloop, compost, jelly, paint, pasta, rice, oats, shells, stones and seaweed.
Apart from contributing to brain and fine motor development in crucial ways, being presented with the opportunity to cover oneself in jelly whilst participating in a sensory activity, is just too good an opportunity to miss for most little learners!
In the last few days the little Sunnysiders have enjoyed exploring the dried pasta, rice and porridge oats provided in the Tuff Tray outside. It has sparked some wonderful tea shop role play as well as the creation of a variety of delightful and unusual little learner recipes!
As the little learners transport the dried ingredients all round the garden during their role play games, a large proportion of pasta, rice and oats has travelled to all the four corners of the garden and everywhere else in between!
Whilst this makes for a tricky clean up operation (try sweeping a ton of oats and rice out of the grass at the end of a busy day) it has greatly benefited the resident Wood Pigeon in the garden, who has taking full of advantage of all the spillages by conducting his own clean up operation after the little learners have returned to the classroom.
Subsequently, said Pigeon has become a very large Pigeon indeed, and it was Mrs Crayon who observed him this morning (after he'd eaten a breakfast of dried pasta and playdough) furiously flapping about the garden in an attempt to get airborne. In spite of all his efforts, the poor exhausted chap only managed a few brief moments in the air before crashing into the garden's cherry tree, sending a cloud of leaves, feathers and cherries to an altitude significantly higher than he was able to reach .
After a good o'l chuckle to herself, the cogs and wheels inside Mrs Crayon's head started to whir, as a pigeon-type rhyme began to formulate in her mind. So, when she got home that night she penned the following.
THE PIGEON IN OUR GARDEN
The Pigeon in our garden (although gentle, calm and quiet,)
Has grown to huge proportions from a most unhealthy diet.
He eats up all the pasta that's fallen to the ground,
All the porridge oats, the grains of rice, and any playdough that he's found.
That Pigeon is in our garden eating every single day,
And now he's so enormous that he cannot fly away!
The poor pigeon in our garden (once so gentle calm and quiet)
Is feeling mighty grumpy since we've put him on a diet.
We sweep up all the pasta that's fallen to the ground,
All the porridge oats, the grains of rice, till nothing can be found!
Now the Pigeon in our garden just mopes about and cries,
But he's showing signs of shrinking to a normal Pigeon size!