The Friendly Giant at Portland House

Recently while the Bluebell children were playing outside, one of the children found a HUGE footprint in the mud. From this the staff members helped the children's imaginations and creative thinking run wild, forming a story about a BIG FRIENDLY GIANT who visits the Portland House garden. Read on to hear all about their adventures....

One day while playing in the garden Calum found some footprints “look Anne I’ve found some giant footprints!” he shouted. Other children in the group and Anne rushed to inspect them, “Maybe we should see if we can find the giant” Anne suggested. The group of children were immediately involved following Anne excitedly through the wooded area of the garden. They searched for signs of the giant, finding large twigs “these could be the giant’s knife and fork” said Jacob. We noticed an owl hanging in the tree and decided to ask the owl if he had seen the giant “I will be the owls voice” Jacob announced. “Have you seen the giant Mr owl?” we ask. “Yes in the Poppies shed” replied Jacob in the voice of the owl. Anne and the children hurried over to the shed and put their ears against the shed door. Anne made some snoring noises and the children shrieked and ran over to the little wooden play house, with Anne following closely behind. Everyone squeezed inside and Aaron kicked the stone away from the door and slammed it shut. All the children were highly engaged in the fantasy story and someone suggested that the giant might want to eat the children. We chanted “Fee Fi Fo Fum” in loud voices, pretending to be giants and entering into the story scene. Anne asked the children if they thought it would be a good idea to make a tasty stew for the giant, to stop him eating the children “yes lets go” says Calum. The children busied themselves around the garden collecting leaves, sticks, stones and mud, then mixed them all together in a large metal colander. Ella and Ben fetched water from the tap and added it to the stew to make gravy. The children left the stew to cook on a large tyre. The interest in the story of the giant escalated over the next week, children being so engrossed in the story that they shared their excitement and fantasy with family members at home.

The very next week as children went hunting through the wooded area of the garden they were surprised and amazed to find a giant cup and saucer, a piece of toast with a giant sized bite out of it and more important a letter from the giant. “Thank you for the lovely stew and next time can you make me a dinosaur stew as it’s my favourite” read the message. The letter was signed from your friendly giant. The children were delighted to hear that the giant was friendly and perhaps didn’t want to eat children after all. The group of children began preparing a feast of dinosaur stew for their new friend in the large metal colander. Each day when the children came into Bluebells they were still talking about the friendly giant and asking if they could do more giant things. At circle time we talked about the giant in the Jack and the beanstalk story. We decided to see if we could grow a beanstalk for our friendly giant. Some of the children used compost to fill the giant’s teacup and then planted runner beans, pushing them down into the soil. Others dug trenches in the vegetable plot and planted broad beans “let’s see which will grow first” says Anne. We brought the giant cup and saucer inside to watch it more closely. Using a variety of construction materials some of the children created their own images of the giant to display around the teacup

During a focused group discussion Natalie asked the children about the friendly giant in the garden. They all used their imaginations to bring him to life and describe what he looked like and from there we used our creative skills to create him for this display.

Links to the Early Years Foundation Stage Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making Relationships, Self- confidence and Self-awareness Communication and Language: Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking Literacy: Reading Mathematics: Shape, Space and Measure Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials, Being Imaginative

Characteristics of effective learning Playing and Exploring: Finding out and exploring: Engaging in open ended activity, showing particular interests Being willing to have a go: initiating activities Active Learning: Being involved and concentrating: Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time, showing high levels of fascination and energy, paying attention to detail Creating and Thinking Critically :Having their own ideas: Thinking of ideas.

Start your child's learning journey today