The Buttercups room - Activities

Buttercups Activities

Whilst your child is in our care they will be provided with a range of different activities such as:


Creative play

As they enjoy the colours, and the feeling of being in control of the marks they can create with fingers, brushes, and other mark making equipment they are also learning to:


  • Identify colours.

  • How to control the marks made on the paper by varying the angle of the mark making equipment, the pressure and the direction.

  • That feeling which cannot be expressed in words can find other acceptable outlets.

  • Explore and experiment with a range of media using their bodies.

  • Use imagination to be creative.

  • Use hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

  • Develop first writing skills.


Other creative play we offer are:



Clay is a messy material but it is not dirty. It is made of rock softened by rain and, because it is a mineral, cannot go bad. It gives children the opportunity to enjoy a messy experience in a safe and controlled situation.



As they select, cut up, arrange and stick the collage materials, children are learning:


  • To exercise choice.

  • To handle a range of materials

  • To make decisions of their own in an open-ended situation with no structure imposed from outside.

  • Use physical skills


Play dough


  • As they knead, stretch and pummel the dough, children learn about volume and quantity, especially if they are involved in the mixing. They also begin to understand the mathematical concept of conservation as they find that the same piece of dough can become a ball, a long ‘snake’, a flat sheet and then a ball again.

  • They can also explore their senses further by adding different smells, colours and textures.


Messy play

Includes cornflour, shaving foam, flour, pasta etc. The children can explore their senses through creative thoughts and respond to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.


Sand and water

Most children enjoy playing with sand and water and like other natural materials, sand and water can be very soothing. Sand can be shaped and moulded; it gives scope for children’s creativity. Play with water is very relaxing and eases tension. It also allows children to explore a substance in a scientific way through gathering information about it by feeling, pouring, weighing, smelling, listening and looking.  Practice in tipping and pouring water from one container to another develops muscular strength and hand eye co-ordination. As they play with sand and water the children are learning:


  • What this particular material will or will not do.

  • The physical skills of moulding.

  • To use their imagination.

  • To explore scientific experiments

  • To introduce problem solving and reasoning.

As they use a range of containers to mould sand into shapes, children develop ideas of matching, volume and symmetry, all necessary for later mathematical understanding.


Sound and music

Children’s natural pleasure in rhythm is picked up and extended in nurseries by opportunities to:


  • Experiment individually with sound making equipment, both bought and home-made.

  • Listen to songs and musical instruments.

  • Join together to sing songs and learn rhymes.

  • Move in response to music.


Even children who do not seem to be joining in songs, poems and action rhymes in the group may be listening and learning.


Small world

For much of the time, young children’s lives are under the control of other people. But when they organise small scale – train/ road layouts, dolls houses, farms etc, the children are in charge for once. This gives them the opportunity:


  • To make choices.

  • To plan, organise and take charge.

  • To use language to share plans and ideas with one another.

  • As they encounter them in a miniature, to think about road systems and road safety.

Play of this sort gives children the chance to create worlds of their own in which they can act out their present understanding of the real world.


The book corner

The first thing children learn in the book corner, with the help of the adults, is that books are fun - a source of stories, rhymes, pictures and games with words.


Children learn other things too as they enjoy books:

  • That words and print have meaning.

  • That stories can help them think about their own lives, and other people’s.

  • That books can provide information, answering their questions about the world and about how things work.

  • How to handle books.


Construction play

As they play with constructing resources the children are also building up mathematical vocabulary. They learn about how many blocks they need or shapes they will need to fit together and how long their road is or how tall their tower. When they make estimations in this way, children are strengthening their understanding of number.

They also develop fine motor skills in order to fix toys together in order to make a construction and use imagination to construct with a purpose in mind and to try out different techniques safely.

Other forms of construction play are:


Games and puzzles

Children develop mathematical skills as they:


  • Recognise and copy sequences

  • Learn to match written numbers with numbers of objects

  • See that some things and quantities are the same as, more then, less then others.

Puzzles offer a chance to develop pre-reading skills too. Before children can successfully deal with letters and words when learning to read, they need to be able to:


  • Recognise and remember shapes which are identical to one another and those which are almost the same but not quite.


Physical play 

Pre-schools offer children the chance to test and develop physical skills on safe climbing equipment, age appropriate toys and educational games. As children enjoy these, they also develop:


  • A better sense of overall control and balance.

  • Judgement of direction, speed and distance.

  • Strength and stamina.

  • Understanding of spatial relationships as they move around, through, beside things.

  • Use movement to express feelings

  • Experiment with different ways of moving.

  • To observe effects of activities on their bodies.


Make believe/imaginative play

 As the children play in our imaginative area they have the chance to:


  • Act out aspects of their own lives and engage in role-play based on first hand experiences.

  • Try out how it might feel to be someone of a different age, sex, culture. To develop ideas and fantasies as a group in co-operative play.

  • Play co-operatively as part of a group.

  • Begin to make-believe and use their imagination and creativity.