Play and learning blend into one activity.
Children hammering shapes onto a cork board to make interesting pictures becomes a geometry lesson, hammering and holding the nail improves dexterity, maths is incorporated by considering shape, sizes and colours.
Playing with little plastic animals becomes a science lesson when learning how to tell animals apart and what they're names are, where they are from and what they eat. Geography is involved when looking on a map to find where elephants are native to. Grouping animals by species and ordering them by size is basic maths. Making up spontanious songs about each animal is both Engligh and music lesson.
Having some spare boxes around after Christmas brings the opportunity to turn them int cars. Using a paper plate for a steering wheel, talking about saftey features like headlights, seat belts, breaks and indicators and building them into the box car. Decorating them with crayons, pipe-cleaner arial, glueing on felt balls. Something like this can stretch into a two or three day long project.
Playing a word and picture matching game can quickly turn into word building with magnetic letters. Sorting cards by sound, grouping the letters to make them easier to find.
Phew, busy day.