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Last month, we looked at some maths activities to help you develop your EYFS curriculum. This month we have part one of “Understanding the World”, focusing on some cross-curricular work with the help of some creative and expressive activities.

Using dance and drama to help you teach science topics is not only a fun way to introduce new things, but also reinforces the learning by making it kinaesthetic and helps children make connections between different parts of the curriculum and link their accumulating knowledge. It can also enhance personal, social and emotional areas too, as well as building self-confidence, listening and communicating skills.

These activities are aimed at 3-5-year-olds

What’s the weather?

Ask the children to line up on one side of the room and tell them they are going to walk across to the other side but imagining what it would be like in different weather conditions. Model the activity by leading the group. You can have weathers such as rain, snow, ice, very hot and sunny, storms and windy weather and even imagine it as very muddy so your ‘wellies’ get stuck! Get the children to think about the differences each weather would bring and mime crossing the room in different weathers. You might want to work in groups if the weather is very windy to avoid getting blown over. Play some sound effects from YouTube to enhance the sensory experience too.

Solid, liquid, gas!

Put the children into small groups and ask them to hold hands and stand close together, explaining that this is how the molecules in a solid, such as ice, are. Ask the group to walk around as one ‘object’ but try to stay in the same shape, such as a square or a circle. Next, say that they can break the shape but need to stay in one line – what is the difference in how they can move now? Explain that this is how a liquid, such as water, is. Finally, they can all break out of the group and move freely about the room, like a gas, such as steam. You can make it a game by shouting out the different states to see if they can get into the correct pattern.

Mirror, mirror in front of me!

In pairs, get the children to stand opposite each other. One person is the leader and slowly moves different parts of their body such as raising an arm or standing on one leg. Their partner tries to copy them like a mirror, learning about reflections and teamwork as they do.

Who lives here?

Print off some pictures of common habitats such as a garden, a jungle, farmyard, seaside, or an African plain. Show the children the images and ask them to imagine which animals live there. Get the children to move around the room pretending to be those animals. Remember that there are usually no completely right or wrong answers but use some skilful questioning to find out why a giraffe might live in a farmyard for example, – you may get some interesting and ‘logical’ answers based on what the children have seen or heard.

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