Since we have come back from summer holidays we have all settled back in well. We are getting to know our friends and our teachers and they are betting to know us. Our teachers have made special drawings, called mind maps, for each of us for all of the things that interest us and use this to develop our learning experiences. Our friend, H, is very interested in spiders and their webs, some of us made some spiders and webs with H and we all practised our counting together using the spiders legs! We have made a 'my family' board and have brought in a photo of us with our families. We have asked our friends who the people are in their photos. We then made pictures of our house and drew pictures of our family members.
Other things we have been doing are bathing the babies in lots of bubbles, wrapping them up in a towel and dressing them. We have also had fun blowing bubbles through a straw and making so many that we filled a whole tub with them and making our water different colours. We have had little balls in water, left them there and watched them grow bigger each day. Lots of us have been practising our balancing skills outside on the bikes and the scooters. We have been very safety conscious and have been keen to wear our safety helmets to keep our heads from getting bumped if we fall off. Finally for now, we are very excited to be busily creating a potion table outside so hat we can make lots of different potions so that we can explore more different smells and textures.
We are all settling back into our nursery routine. For some of us who are new to nursery, we are learning how much fun nursery can be, meeting new friends and if we become tired we can lie down in the snuggle tent amongst the blankets and cushions and have a rest. We have made a family and home board - we brought in photos of our families and have put them on the wall and have been telling each other who is in the photos.
This week, we picked some of the herb, Rosemary, from our garden and added it to our playdoh. It was an unusual smell and quite strong but we all liked it ad pretended to make cakes and bread with it. We explored what 'cornflour' is which has a different feel to the flour we use when we make cakes. The cornflour was soft and silky but when we added water it became sticky and lumpy at first and kept changing when we added more water, we moved it around with a stick.
We also put some orbi balls in our water tray and watched them expand over a week. We have loved feeling all these different textures.
Elmers have enjoyed their return to nursery after the half term break and we are now making the most of the last few weeks until the summer holidays.
We have enjoyed learning about making healthy salads and have talked about the fruit and vegetables that taste particularly yummy at this time of the year. In the next week we will be learning to make healthy sandwiches, wraps and rolls.
We are learning the song ‘Tommy Thumb’ – as well as it being a very jolly song to sing, it helps us with our mark making, counting and learning basic alliteration and rhyming.’
We continue to practise our ‘Sticks up High’ song where we tap out a rhythm and dance with our ‘sticks up high and sticks down low’!
The older children who will be moving up in September to Caterpillars continue to join up with the Caterpillar end for small amounts of time to help them prepare for the transition. This is a very exciting time of year.
We are celebrating the season of summer – we have been painting pictures of the beach using sand and cutting the sea and sun. Soon we will make beach hut pictures using lolly pop sticks. Our favourite activity recently has been making lolly pop puppets.
In the outside area we have been learning to throw balls through hula hoops – this is great fun. It helps with turn taking and physical exercise.
We are developing the outside area and we will be painting our own paper weights to use on the outside mark making table. If you have a lovely (small) stone in your garden that we could decorate please can you bring one in. Thank you so much.
This term we have been doing lots of exiting things…
One of our children had a new puppy and this lead to many discussions on pets we have at home or pets we would like to have.
Lisa brought in her 3 pugs, Jo brought in her rabbit and Yuliya brought in her hamster.
We converted the home corner into a vets, purchased a vet game for the children’s tablet and read lots of stories about how to care for animals. Next term we are hoping to have some mini beasts and reptiles visit us.
We celebrated the royal wedding by having a huge party on the Friday before it and we made lots of fun art and crafts like crowns and baking “wedding” carrot cupcakes. We made crowns, talked about the union jack flag and had a party. We also learnt to sing “God save the Queen”.
We have been looking at oral health as part of the further money received from the healthy living grant. We have been showing the children how to care for their teeth and how to brush them properly. We will be handing out 3 minute sand timers along with a children’s teeth leaflet from the oral health foundation.
Next term we will be having a summer salad workshop for the parents to make a healthy salad for their Childs lunch that day.
We are looking forward to using the new school obstacle course as the children love to explore the school grounds playing on the big field, visiting the secret garden and using the school playground.
The nursery garden is coming along very well and we are looking forward to all the vegetables being ready to pick in June. As well as courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots we have been selling strawberry plants and peas which has become very popular with the parents.
We have also been looking at British values and how we can incorporate them even more into our play and activities. A huge display has been put up for the parents to see how we embed the British values in the nursery.
An E-safety display for the parents was put up also as children’s safety online is becoming more of a concern in our growing ICT world.
Over the past few weeks we celebrated the royal wedding making crowns, party flags, and carrot cakes. We played musical statues and other party games. We had a wonderful party day.
We continued our vet role-play and our animal topic. We had lots of stories about Mog and the vet, Dog’s Spotty Day and others. We are learning about our friend's new puppy and the new things he is learning to do, for a puppy this is called 'training'. We are also learning about another friends's new fish. We have some new ICT games to compliment our learning, the games teach us how to look after animals and pets and what they need from us. The teachers brought in photos of their pets at home and so did the children. Yuliya brought in her pet hamster which we were very careful with as it was so small. He was called Snowflake.
We have been learning how to rhyme, practicing our number recognition in our group times. Outside we planted our courgettes and we still have strawberry plants for sale if anyone would like to buy some!
We have been colour mixing, making masks, counting monkeys and enjoyed singing 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed.
It has been a very exciting time in Elmers. We are beginning to focus on preparing the children who will be going to Caterpillars in September for the move up to the other room.
Each child is spending a short amount of time with Caterpillars as taster sessions. We have also introduced small group sessions for the older children in our group. This is where we take the children from the Elmer’s room, we do focused teaching helping them to recognise their own names and this week we have also been reading the hungry caterpillar and talking about different endings to the story.
Our focus on fine motor skills has been cutting and sticking. The children have made “beach scene” pictures.
We are continuing our focus on good dental hygiene and we have learnt some new songs about brushing our teeth. All the children love brushing our giant mouth! They are very good at taking turns and waiting for their turn on the big teeth.
The Elmer children are getting very good at their phonic songs “birthday tea being a firm favourite.
We have been enjoying our growing topic in conjunction with The Hungry Caterpillar story which we have been using props for. We made beautiful butterflies, mixing the colours blue and yellow to make green. We are looking at mini beasts; making bees, ladybirds, spiders etc.
We are practising our counting by clapping, counting spots on our ladybirds and spiders legs!
We have planted some potatoes! Our tulips have flowered and all of our plants grew over the Easter Holiday, especially the strawberry plants that we have so many of that we potted them up, took some home, sold some and put the profits to buying more vegetable and flower seeds to plant! We are learning about growing and business at the same time!
We have planted a herb garden and are going to plant some tomatoes, courgettes, carrots, peas and cucumbers which we can't wait to harvest and eat later in our cooking activities. We have enjoyed the recent sunshine, as well as jumping in the rain puddles to make lots of splashes. Please can our families remember to put a good layer of sun-cream on us on the warm days.
We have been teeth-tastic the last few weeks! We have been learning fun new songs, all about how we should wash our teeth and why we need to clear our teeth twice a day. We even have a giant set of teeth to practice brushing. We use special 'toothpaste' and take turns to brush the teeth clean. We have been reading a Peppa Pig story all about going to the dentist and the princess who lost a tooth.
Thank you to all of those of you who have brought in wellies for your children to wear on our daily ' Welly Walks'. Soon the weather will be good enough that we will all be able to go on our walks without wellies!! For those of the Elmer children who will be going up to Caterpillars in September, we are focusing on games and activities to help them with name recognition (children's own), shapes and numbers from 1-5.
With all the children we are working on their fine motor skills by practising cutting at gluing and sticking. it is all very messy and lots of fun. We really enjoyed painting butterflies - putting dots on one side of the paper, then folding it over and getting a mirror image!
Our favourite activity is the 'Slime tub'. Blue slushy slime we squeeze between our fingers - it makes us all laugh!
The recent cold weather and snow brought the Caterpillar children a great deal of fun last week. We even brought the snow inside and made snowmen! We found an ice moon in the playground and discovered that the ice melted when our warm fingers touched it. We also found out that the ice makes our fingers very cold when we play with it!
We were very busy making our Mother’s Day cards and Easter cards – the Mother’s Day cards were sent home, we hope you admired them! Easter cards will be given out nearer the end of term.
The story we are focusing on at the moment is the Three Little Pigs. We have made our own pigs by drawing circles and adding triangle ears. We have used puppets to enable the children to reinact the story for themselves. There has been much fun ‘huffing’ and ‘puffing’ and blowing houses down! In our tuff box we have the three types of houses the pigs built – straw, wood and brick.
We have also been learning that the letter ‘p’ is for the word ‘pigs’ and learning about the number 3. We have been learning how to take three from larger groups and talking about the concept of ‘more and less’. We have been learning how to match the correct numerals and numbers.
Over the last two weeks we have been making our activities weather related – talking to the children about the change of season from winter to spring. We had a great time last week watching the snow, even if we didn’t get enough to make a snowman!
As we are now in March we have been thinking aout spring. We have made a spring themed ‘tuff box’ and filled it with chicks, lambs, feathers and eggs. The eggs were painted by the children using special pearlised paint and they enjoyed getting very messy covering them in a marbled effect!
To go with the tuff box we have been talking in Group Time about baby animals who are born at this time of year and what we can see in the fields and woods if we go out walking. We read a story that told us the names of baby animals and their corresponding grown up, so now we know that foals grow into horses as well as that lambs become sheep.
We have been very busy in our arts and craft area and we hope all the mummies liked their Mother’s Day cards that were sent home. Now we are beginning to make our Easter cards. The children may come home with paints spots as although we have been putting on our aprons we have been using a paint splattering technique to decorate our cards and some paint has splattered quite far! It is a little messy but a huge amount of fun.
Our favourite counting song is currently ‘Five sizzling sausages’ - we sing this in Group Time and it is very noisy as the children love to go ‘pop’ and ‘bang’, whilst all taking turns to be sausages sizzling in the pan. We also make playdough sausages and sing it when playing with the playdough. The children count out the five, then four, then three, then two then one sausages.
Another activity we are enjoying is a game to help develop further our speech and language. We go ‘fishing’ to find the correct picture card associated with the action – for example we will ask the children to ‘fish’ the picture showing somebody running or washing or eating. We carry out this activity in small groups and it is also very good at helping our children practise turn taking and patience.
Finally, our new arrival in the role play area has been a huge hit – we have a new kitchen including a fridge freezer and microwave. It is clear from the play that we have observed the children’s role play has been enriched by the kitchen and it has been a pleasure to watch them use the resources so imaginatively and collectively.
This week we have been talking about eggs. Looking at the different patterns and talking about oval shapes. We discovered which animals and insects came out of eggs. The children told us that dinosaurs and snakes came from eggs. We made a dinosaur swamp picture and patterned eggs in baskets.
For our Personal Social and Emotional Development, we looked at emotions and spoke about what makes us happy, sad and cross. We also made puppets. To practice our maths skills we estimated and measured, and we had fun measuring each others heads. Outside we noticed our tulip bulbs were starting to grow and we found our first daffodils. We also welcomed some new friends to our group.
This week in Elmers, all the children have settled back in well from their short break, we have some new faces joining us too and they've settled in so well.
This week we have started on our mothers day gifts......shhhhhhh....we think you'll love them. We have also been thinking about Easter and some more surprises.
We've tried to get out everyday and brave the cold...so please remember to wrap your children up in this weather.
We have also been learning some new songs to enhance our personal, social and emotional learning...taking turns, sharing, looking after others .
For the past few weeks we have been focusing on ‘Going on a bear hunt’ and ‘the gingerbread man’. First we read the books with the children so they were familiar with the story and characters.
The bear hunt story is an amazing, language enriched story that involves the characters to go through shinny long grass, sticky mud, splosh through rivers, stumble through forests, getting very cold going through a snowstorm and finally getting to a dark gloomy cave with a bear hiding in it. The children find this story so much fun.
The gingerbread man is about a family who bake a gingerbread man and he runs off before they can eat him. He encounters various animals on his escape and has the repeated refrain “Run, run as fast as you can you cant catch me I’m the gingerbread man’ which the children love to say during the story.
We made gingerbread men for a display board and made gingerbread biscuits to take home.
We made a big collage of the bear hunt which then sparked the children’s interest in weather. We made snow and put dinosaurs, letters and sparkles in ice. We made our fingers warm and then put them onto the ice to see if it would melt it. But what it ended up doing instead, was making us very cold!
We explored sounds of musical instruments, making sounds like rain and thunder. The plastic shakers and the drums were the best at making those sounds.
This lead on to the children making a weather chart which we now do everyday. Last week we had some sunshine, some wind and lots of rain.
We hope you all had a very happy Christmas and New Year break with your children. We had a busy last few weeks of term leading up to the Christmas Holidays with lots of exciting activities that brought together traditions from different countries and reflected the diverse background of our nursery children. The children visited the school to watch the Reception Children's nativity play (and saw their old friends there!). They wrapped up the presents they had worked so hard to make for their friends and families using sticky tape, which was very tricky. We hope you liked your presents. The children had a Christmas party and also a visit from Father Christmas and his elves! The children also had a puppet show, sang Christmas songs with actions and learned the traditional party games - musical chairs, musical statues and musical bumps!
As the weather drew colder we talked of snow and ice and were lucky enough one day to watch the snow falling and then go outside a make a real snowman which was very exciting indeed! Inside the nursery we could see the snowflakes on the windows and everywhere looked like a magical ice kingdom. Inside our snow castle nursery we experimented with ice moulds and learnt how the set the creatures free that were frozen in the ice, by melting the ice with salt and warm water.
Celebrating the feast of Mikolaj
To celebrate the Polish community within our nursery we marked the feast of Mikolaj last week and the children were visited by a surprise guest.
The children were gathered together and were told that there was going to be an exciting visitor coming to the nursery that morning. They were then told about the feast of Mikolaj, which is a Polish tradition where, just like Father Christmas, Mikolaj visits the homes of children in the night and leaves a small gift, not in their stockings, but instead in their shoes.
After being told about this tradition the children took off their shoes and ‘went to sleep’. Whilst they lay sleeping Mikolaj and two helper elves quietly crept in and placed a small gift in each shoe. When the children woke up they were very excited to see Mikolaj and his elves and even more excited to find gifts in their shoe.
To show their thanks for the gifts the children sang ‘Jingle Bells’ to their festive visitors. To add to the excitement the Elves then sang a traditional polish carol ‘Przybiezeli do Betlejem pasterze ‘(Shepherds came to Bethlehem). To end the visit the children danced along to Christmas tunes with Mikolaj and the Elves, before they had to leave.
We have turned our play area into a Christmas Shop! We selected toys we would like to buy, we wrote out our numbers 1-5 to price the toys for sale. We then added shopping baskets, tills and money. We looked at how many coins each item cost. We then counted them out to the shopt keeper. We were very good at turn taking!
We practiced or cutting skills, cutting out things we would like from Father Christmas and toys that we think our friends and family would like.
We have made a fantastic collage snowman and designed our own snowmen. We have also made decorations for our winter display.
We have also been learning our new Christmas Sticky Kids dancing action songs and rhymes.
It is very cold when we go outside to play. We are all practicing putting on our coats without any help and we are doing very well, finding our sleeves and learning how to do our zips up.
Elmers have been enjoying getting ready for winter. As it has become cold and frosty, we are wrapping up warmly with thick coats, hats, scarfs and gloves. It is funy learanig how to put our mittens on and getting our fingers in all of the correct holes!
To help keep warm we have been doing warm-up exercise when we go outside. We put on our Sticky Kids CD and our favourite songs are ‘Let’s Go Walking’, ‘Let’s go driving in a car’ and ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’. It is great fun doing these outside as we can see our breath in the cold air.
The end of Autumn and the beginning of winter has meant that we have begun preparations for Christmas. We shall be making Christmas cards, calendars and decorating pine cones. It has been a lot of fun painting our hands, sticking and making – lots of fun and quite, quite messy!!
This is also the time of year that we learn Christmas songs. We have joined up with the Caterpillars to learn ‘Jingle Bells’ with actions. We love dancing to these songs and next week we are very excited to be learning ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’.
Our activity theme for the coming week is Drs and Hospitals. We will be looking after our poorly teddy bear patients and applying plasters to dolls cuts and grazes.
Our favourite story this week has been ‘Dear Zoo’. The children gleefully call out the names of the animals in the pictures but can never remember ‘camel’! Our favourite new game this week was learning to move around the room (and floor!) in different ways. We crawled, hopped, wriggled, slithered and rolled.
Finally, we are going to talk over the next few weeks about traditions that our friends and families have at this time of year. Please share any stories with us that you have.