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Christmas Countdown!

Christmas Countdown!

 So this is it already! The countdown to Christmas. Starting as always with Children in Need day. I'm sure it didn't escape anyone's notice that everyone has been in pyjamas all week and despite what some people thought it wasn't because we comfy and warm in them, although that was a bonus! It was because children come on different days and some would have missed out if we hadn't done it all week. Well that's our excuse and we are sticking to it! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that took part, made cakes and bought cakes all for a very good cause and I will let you know how much we raised in our next blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babies

So what have we been up to this week. The babies have been learning to experiment with  various sounds and textures as they play while exploring with the cars in the sand. They enjoyed the feel of the sand and the crunch as the wheels went through it leaving interesting tyre tracks which one of the other children were quick to notice and repeated the pattern themselves.

They made a life size drawing of themselves and a keyperson drew in the face and asked them where the eyes etc were and they found it harder to show on the drawing than they did  on themselves so next time the staff are going to use the dolls to help to reinforce this activity.

The children are learning about books and are starting to point at familiar objects in them and make the noise of the object for example when one of the babies saw a fish they pointed to it and made a fish noise.

They also made a beautiful poppy collage with sponges and apple prints which have been on display outside baby room. The children were encouraged to pick up their objects between their thumb and forefinger and make marks to create their masterpieces, they really enjoyed doing this and went back to this activity several times.

Jungle

Jungle room continued with the poppy theme and children in need and made a lovely red coloured gloop for the children to get stuck in to or should I say stuck to!  They had enormous fun stirring in the powder paint to change the colour and watch it drip from their fingers .

We also had some boxes that were donated and the children made them into baby cots , houses and the favourite was a boat which they were happy to sit in during story time and while listening to stick man which has been a huge success and is helping them to learn about emotions and some parents have bought the book for children to enjoy at home and some children came in wearing stick man pyjamas for children in need which looked amazing.  They are continuing to make a stick man display on the wall which looks brilliant and well worth a look.

They have started practising their Christmas songs for the nativity and will be bringing words home to practice at home with you so don't be surprised if they start to sing songs all around the house at all hours !

 

 Another brilliant activity for children is floor drawing. They love to lay on the floor and roll around exploring their own space so we put a large roll of paper on the floor and crayons in their hand and they were happy to explore their gross motor skills by making giant marks on the paper.

Castle

The role play area has been turned into a post office this week for the children to be able to give meaning to their mark making and extend their knowledge of the world by sending letters and cards to each other and post them in the post box. I'm sure you know yourself how excited they are to receive their own letters especially from their friends. They will also be able to write their letter to the Father Christmas himself with support from the staff and we are hoping to get a reply and even a visit!

They made patterns with drawings of fairy lights and found the missing numbers on them and have made a Christmas bag to put all their Christmas bits and pieces in and decorated it. One of the first things to go in it will be their Christmas stockings made with a colour of their choosing and they will be encouraged to write their own name on it.

In true Christmas style the room is starting to sparkle and the messy play is no exception with  beautiful sparkles lighting up the shaving foam and the nursery is alive with the children singing as they practice their nativity which we all very excited about as I'm sure you are too.

Thank you again for all your help with children in need and we are all looking forward to Christmas jumper day on 15th December. More information on that coming soon.

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Autumn and Bonfires!

Babies

We have been celebrating bonfire night and fireworks this week and for our baby room that involved some wonderful sensory experiences with brightly coloured paints and coloured lights.

They also continued with their autumn theme and hid pictures under leaves in trays for the babies to scrunch through and find and different sized pumpkins for them to explore introducing new words to describe the objects  and one of the babies decided to go one better and plonked themselves in the middle of the tray and scrunched the leaves up in their hands making full use of exploring this sensory experience. This also promotes relationships with their peers and one child showed when comforting a child that wasn't so keen on the experience by saying ' its ok I'm here' which brought a lump to all our throats!

So going back to the coloured lights the staff made a dark tent and shone different coloured lights onto the ceiling and walls which fascinated the babies and they were reaching out to touch the lights and some of them soon learned to find the button that turned them on and off on the baby nightlight.

Castle

The children experimented with different coloured blobs of paint and used straws to blow the paint around the paper making a whooshing sound like fireworks. They then folded to the paper to make an explosion of colour.

They showed an interest in shape and space by making arrangements with objects and beginning to use the mathematical names for the shapes as they formed a picture .

Blobs of paint was added to gloop for messy play and the children had great fun swirling it around and mixing it up to create multi coloured patterns that looked like fireworks.

The children made their own giant collage on the wall with black paper and chalk and they were able to add what they wanted to it to create their own wall and they talked about fireworks and the safety of fireworks . They then hung coloured ribbons all around it to complete the wall in the role play area.

They made their own firework display out of pipe cleaners showing their imagination and creativity and sharing tools showing good relationships with their peers.

The children also made shaving foam pictures with blobs of paint in to help them explore art and design using different materials .

Lastly they made some poppy pictures out of handprints and sponge painting using red, black and green paint to experiment with and mix the colours.

Jungle

Jungle room have been concentrating on the beautiful story of stick man this week.  The children were asked to bring in twigs to make their own stick man and were told the story using props, which they loved.

They made their own stickman puppets using sticks and decorated them to take home so that they have their very own stick man.

The children did a puppet show with support of the staff using lolly sticks and pictures of the animals that helped the stick man find his way home which they loved joining in with , they also measured their sticks and put them in order of size with help.

The children absolutely love this book and it is a lovely heartwarming story to read to your children .

The children were able to make their own music to go with the story and some freestyle dancing was going on, they even made house for their stickmen and one child made him a bed out of a box.

 

 

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Dancing Babies

Babies

The babies have enjoyed lots of music and dancing this week. In fact so have I! We all had amazing fun dancing round the room with ribbons and scarves and at sleep time imagine our surprise when one of our babies started to do the actions and  sounds to the Agadoo song , in fact we were so surprised that we asked his parents at picking up time who weren't surprised at all and said that mum dances to it round the kitchen at home which we thought was brilliant!

They had fun playing with cooked pasta and enjoyed squelching it between their fingers and mixing the different colours  between the bowls and learning to use their fingers to pull it apart.

There was also lots of role play going on with the dollies as babies, they were trying to dress them and put nappies on them and rock them to sleep mimicking the staff.

The signs of the week were please and thank you so if your babies look as if they are blowing kisses  at you they could be saying please or they could just be blowing kisses!

 

 

 

Jungle

 

Jungle room has looked like just that this week they did mud painting which has formed the base for their investigation table which has acorns, moss, bark conkers and all things autumnal. The children loved exploring the different textures and smells and said the conker shells were ouchy!

They have made a beautiful tree display with handprint hedgehogs , leaf prints and conker rolling by mixing different shades of yellows, oranges and browns giving the room a warm welcoming feeling.

And it hasn't stopped there if you look in the water tray you will find leaves and conkers there as well so they can experiment to see which sinks and floats which they found absolutely fascinating and enjoyed screwing up the soggy leaves in their hands and comparing the textures to the dry crispy leaves teaching them to understand the world around them.

 

 

Castle

Continuing the autumn theme castle room have turned their whole room into an enchanted wood. The role play area is covered in leaves and twigs and pretend spider webs and pine cones not to mention acorns which we found a child carrying around in their sock as they didn't want to relinquish them! They made sorting activities out of the various leaves and there is a leaf chart on the wall where they can match their leaves.

We made a train out of the chairs and sang a song of their choice at every station although they were happy just taking turns being the driver and making the engine noises faster and slower  using their arm movements to match the speed of the  train. They extended this activity themselves and went away to the drawing area and made tickets for the train and started to sell them to their friends for pretend money.

You may also be receiving a clay hedgehog  made by their own fair hands, they loved moulding the clay to make the shapes they wanted and then stuck a varied amount of small twigs to create the spikes, but I have to say they look amazing and you will receive them when they have dried.

You also might like to look at the family tree that is growing nicely at the back of the classroom with all your wonderful pictures on.

Until next week.

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Superhero Autumn!

snail.jpg

Babies

Well this week I walked into babies and to my surprise they were all dressed up like miniature adults. They were in fact learning to dress and undress themselves only in their enthusiasm they had piled all the clothes on at once and I had trouble finding out who was underneath!

Another favourite game of theirs this week was playing peek a boo under a blanket where they all stood round waiting their turn and after a ready steady go prompt they hid under the blanket and pulled it off again laughing hysterically this was until one of the babies realised I was using their comforter and then I had to return it rather quickly and use one of our blankets instead.

They have been learning to kick a ball and I have found out they are very good at dribbling in more ways than one! One little girl let out shrieks of delight as she dribbled the small soft ball across the floor , sometimes it was more luck than judgement but she was absolutely thrilled.

As I mentioned last week  some of our babies were learning to walk up and down the steps in baby garden and guess what! This week two of our babies have mastered it. So to sum up if over the weekend your baby starts to dress up in your clothes or hides under the blanket you know who to blame!

 

Jungle

As autumn has come among us we are teaching the children about the seasons and their changing environment and they have been collecting leaves and conkers and bark and made a show and tell table of them looking at the variation of colours and shapes. They then used these to do leaf painting and prints to decorate their classroom which is now looking very autumnal with rich beautiful colours.

One of our amazing grandads in jungle room made us a latches and catches  board which has light switches and real lights and all sorts of doors and fascinating gadgets on  and is really fun to learn about technology on. When it was installed the children all gathered round  and pulled and pressed and explored the board and were particularly impressed with the on and off light switch as was I , I have to say! Thank you grandad.

Our toddlers have also been practising being budding architects and engineers by making wonderful creations out of boxes. These can be seen on display outside jungle room. The children had greatb fun learning to put the boxes together and decorate them in colours of their choice, they really are a sight to be beheld. When talking about their creations we found out that one was  a castle, another one was a car , but my favourite comment was ' I'm making boxes'! Brilliant, and so was the model that she had made.

 

Castle

You may have noticed castle room has followed the childrens interests of superhero play this week . Even the home corner was turned in to a superhero headquarters and to get to it they had to climb through spider webs made of string and try not to touch the string. This really captured the children's imagination and soon we had children coming in dressed as superheros , play dough made of superhero colours which I've been reliably informed by a pre-schooler are red, blue and green apparently, they even made their own superhero characters and hid them in the sand and then challenged each other to find them and then measure them using number blocks.

And finally the giant snail was named ! I had the  great privilege of being invited to pick the name out of a bowl complete with drumroll and the name that was picked was Richard! So now we have two Richards in Castle room so I think we will have to shorten it to Ricki! The snail that is not the member of staff! Talking of the member of staff he has created  a water wall outside which is taking shape  nicely and is the beginning of what we hope will be a very successful outdoor project

The sign of the week was stop this week so apologies again if your little ones practice this all weekend .

 

 

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Ice Creams and Lollies

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Babies

Babies have been kindly donated a play kitchen this week by one of our old parents. When it was first put in the baby room they all eyed it warily as if it was going to do something on its own. When however they realised that it wasn't going to move across the room to them they all started to approach it and it wasn't long before with the key persons support they were pretending to make cups of tea and cook and even started to pretend to feed each other mimicking the staff much to their amusement.

Bubbles of all sorts of sizes were the order of the week, the more the merrier and the bigger the better and the children delighted in watching them float and saying the word 'pop' as they poked them with their fingers and they disappeared into thin air.

They had great fun with the plastic balls rolling them around and trying to hold them in their tiny hands without dropping them, one child managed to pick up three until she dropped one and then dropped another one when picking that up and so it went on but the look of pride on her face when she finally had all three in her arms again was priceless until she got distracted by the soft play and dropped all three on the journey to explore the mountainous soft steps and crawl throught the long never ending tunnels.

 

 

Jungle Room

Jungle have been making play doh on sticks this week and the children have been pretending they are ice creams and lollys. Like ice creams and lollies they fell off their sticks quite quickly to the childrens amusement so they soon turned them into ball like creatures that rolled around the table and sausages for the home corner so the next day we extended this activity by providing pots and pans and utensils for the play dough and the result was lots more sausages and quite a lot of pizza!

Music and dance has been a big part of their physical learning this week and they were having lots of fun dancing to music with balloons and started to imitate the balloons with floaty movements to the music and that was just the staff! The children copied their movements and we soon had a musical follow my leader game going on which all enjoyed.

 

 

Castle Room

Castle have turned their home corner into the bears cottage this week for the story of Goldilocks. I was even invited in there for some porridge in mummy bears bowl. I was told daddy bears bowl was too big for me! They had great fun acting out the story and were able to remember it and retell it. We then had a puppet show in there through the cottage window which captivated the others.

The tuft tray was turned into the bear hunt with lots of grass and twigs and water for them to slosh through and hidden in the greenery were small bears which they had great fun finding.

They have been experimenting by painting with different objects such as bottle tops and used various colours to decorate their bear faces some took the bottle tops off to do this and others kept the tops on so that they could use the plastic bottle to hold it and use it as a stamp.

Their favourite game this week is Honey bear which they are asking to play every day, for those of you that don't know how to play it the children sit in a circle and one child pretends to be the bear asleep in the middle and by his side he has a jar of honey. A child is chosen to creep into the middle and take the honey and then the bear wakes up and has to guess who has the honey behind their back. This is all done to a repetitive rhyme which Im sure the children will share with you if you ask them and then you wont be able to get it out of your head either! This activity promotes good listening, turn taking and good waiting skills and most of all its fun so why not try it at home.

 

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Snowman in September!

Baby Room

Well that's another week gone I have no idea where the time goes! This week baby room have been exploring their senses and they filled a tuft tray with foam for the children to make tracks with the cars in and experience the texture , however one baby decided to go that bit further and tried to roll in it ending up looking like a snowman much to his hilarity and was quite happy to pose for photos for his parents to see later showing how clever he was.

Animals have played a big part in baby room this week as well as parts of the body. They had toy animals in the sand and the babies took great delight in mimicking the sounds and crunching them around in the malleable sand as well as making handprints and feeling the sand trickle through their hands.

They have been looking at themselves in the mirror and pulling faces and kissing themselves and starting to recognise that when they move their image moves although they don't quite understand when another baby sits in front of them why they can no longer see themselves so they are quite keen to crawl to the front of the queue again!

Our toddlers have been practising their physical skills in the garden and are very proud off the fact that they are mastering the art of climbing steps with support and have also claimed the boxes from our shopping this week for their soft play.

This combined with experimenting with wooden blocks, stacking them, pushing them over, watching them fall, enjoying the noise when they fall over and of course being able to pick one up off of the floor without  tumbling over themselves has led to a full and productive week of learning.

Jungle

Jungle have been continuing their all about me theme to promote self- esteem and confidence in our little ones.

They have been making puzzle faces of themselves and their friends and are learning to recognise each other in the process and guessing which feature belongs to who and having fun mixing them up.

They continue to learn signing and the sign this week is 'good morning ' which we have been practising right across the nursery and if we were in any doubt if the children were learning it one of our children signed more at the dinner table this week with a very proud grin on her face.

Continuing the all about me theme Jungle room have been decorating people shapes to look like themselves and their friends and have been making lots of handprints and comparing shapes and sizes and learning to be kind to each other. One of our older children gave his most precious possession of a train to one of our new children when they were playing without any prompting showing they are beginning to share and turn take which as we all know is one of the hardest things to do when you are two years old!

The paper plate portraits are going on display this week and I have to say we have some very talented budding artists some of the likenesses are brilliant and the children will get the opportunity to  spot themselves on the wall.

They have also been very energetic this week in Jungle room and have been using the soft play indoors to make obstacle courses as well as our natural resources outside and I believe their has been the odd gruffalo hunt going on in the garden led by Richard according to one of our parents that works quite close and said her and her colleagues love listening to the fun the children are having out there!

Castle Room

Castle have had a very messy week the most recent of which was glupe in the tuft tray which they delighted in picking up over again and watching it drip off of their fingers in amazement.

They have also been measuring their feet by painting them and walking side by side on large paper and comparing their sizes so if you picked your child up last week and their feet were a funny colour I apologise. Added to this they did some friendship colour mixing where they painted their hands with different primary colours and then rubbed them together to see what different colour they made.

They have been experimenting with all sorts of fragrances in the playdough and the paint again this week and one of the most fascinating experiments they did this week was to put different fragrances in the paint let the children paint with them and then smell the paint and the results were the paint with herbs in was described as smelling like trees and chocolate, with parsley in was described as white chocolate (there seems to be a pattern forming here!) however one child described the smell of cinnamon as marmite and chocolate, and the garlic as smelling like a car! Oh and chocolate of course!

And we made a very funny looking hat using a colander and pipe cleaners. They enjoyed choosing different coloured pipe cleaners and using their fine manipulative skills to thread them through the holes of the colander, when it was finished they proclaimed it a funny hat.

They were told the story of goldilocks and the three bears in a very animated rendition using props with the children's help pretending to mix the porridge in the different sized bowls and finishing with a music session with instruments teaching the children to play them loudly and softly and singing loudly and softly to explore the range of their voices leading to just a whisper and finishing with one of their favourite songs, 'walking through the jungle'

That's about it for this week.

Have a good weekend.

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