Lesson Ideas and Activities
Transform your Early Years playground with our Bonfire themed outdoor lessons
Bonfire night is a fascinating occasion for EYFS children to experience.
They get fixated by the awe inspiring fire surrounded by people and families, they watch in amazement as fireworks fly through the night sky creating imaginative patterns as they explode by the stars and they look on with delight as delicious toffee apples get passed around for their taste buds to enjoy.
This inspiring night can truly be utilised to theme the play and learning to further develop early years children and engage them when learning outdoors.
Here we reveal some great bonfire related ideas for your ‘early years’ playground that will engage children through the 7 areas of learning.
PSED and Communication and Language - Create Your Own Bonfire Themed Role Play Area
Teamwork and communication will flourish with this particular task as you encourage the children to work together to make their own large scale bonfire area. Provide children with natural resources including sticks and other materials that are known to be flammable including cardboard boxes and tissue paper.
To add to the effect, use cellophane flames to bring the bonfire to life. Ensure your bonfire is placed nearby to a Playhouse so that you can transform this open-ended resource into an orientated stall to sell role-play foods including jacket potatoes, toffee apples, bonfire toffee and hot chocolate drinks.
As an additional fun task to complete the role-play area, encourage children to create their own model fireworks and sparklers out of materials such as cardboard and pipe cleaners. Let them be as bright and colourful as possible to really spark their creative minds.
Physical Development - Rocket Races
Using children’s abundant energy, create your own rocket race day with each child creating their own special rocket to ride upon.
Playground Markings can come in handy to help create a race area for the children to compete in. Each child must create their own rocket and give it a name, they then must race each other holding the rocket to see who is the fastest.
Include a fun addition to this activity… towards the end of the finish line, encourage children to jump off at the end like a rocket shooting into the sky.
Literacy - Bonfire Reading Den
Den-making is a fun open ended activity that all children enjoy being involved in.
Den Posts are ideal for this particular task as you encourage and help children create a reading den outside. Use blankets, sheets and cushions that are preferably decorated with bonfire themed images to create the den.
Once finished, fill the space with a selection of themed Bonfire stories and books for children to use. Remember, remember the 5th of November…
Alternatively, if you have a Story Telling Circle, you could completely re-decorate the area with a bonfire theme and allow children to read related stories to each other.
Mathematics - Match the Numeral to the object
A simple but effective mathematical activity which includes numeral matching to help children learn 0-20. Print numbers 0-20 and spread them out outside.
Then, collect bonfire related resources such as sticks or if possible, child-made rockets and sparklers that will be used to match with the numbers. Challenge the children to match the correct numeral to the number of resources that you place out each time.
Understanding the World - Share your Bonfire tales
An outdoor Performance Area will come in handy for this particular activity. Encourage the children to stand up and talk to the rest of the class about their own experiences of bonfire night and fireworks.
Also provide them with prompts that help them better understand how bonfire night is celebrated and encourage them to take it in turns to read them out.
Expressive Arts and Design - Do we have any Bonfire artists?
Provide the children with a variety of brushes and different colours of paint to explore painting techniques to create firework pictures and the patterns that they create when they explode.
Mark Making equipment can be utilised or even large sheets of black paper that could be hung up when finished. Add in creative elements such as glitter to really get the children messy and bubbling with enthusiasm.
These are just a few ideas to get your outdoor senses tingling but we'd love to hear yours, so please feel free to tweet them to @PentagonPlayUK or share them on our Facebook Page. We hope your EYFS children have a 5th of November to remember!
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