"The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky" Margaret McMillan

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September Newsletter 2018

Teddy Bears Picnic

During August we held our annual Teddy Bears Picnic where the children enjoyed bringing in their favourite cuddly toys from home to join in the fun and games. This year we were lucky enough to have dry weather and picnic in our beautiful grounds, where all the children participated in lots of exciting teddy bear themed games. The Bluebell’s loved feeling for the bear in our hidden sensory boxes, whilst the Poppies liked exploring the whole picnic and showing it to their bears. The Daisies demonstrated great turn-taking skills as they filled the big teddy bear’s tummy with balls. The Sunflowers laughed so loud when they played a parachute game with their bears, seeing how high they could soar into the sky!

Our Teddy Bears Picnic would not have been complete without a jolly sing song under the trees and a lovely feast!

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Fun and games whilst out and about

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News from the Rooms...

Bluebells

The Bluebells have enjoyed being out and about this month soaking up the sunshine with some of us visiting the beach and others having time in the garden. Emily enjoyed a trip to the seaside with her big brother George and her Mummy and Daddy, whilst Jonah and Betty loved to play with sand and water at home. Charlotte used these interests to plan an activity where the children looked at different seaside objects such as coral reefs and shells. The children enjoyed feeling the textures and shapes; Leah liked to pass the objects round so that all of her friends could enjoy the sensory experience. With the excitement of the different textures, Hayley decided to make some play dough and provided the children with a variety of tools to make prints in the dough. Jonah liked pushing it down with his hands, looking at the marks that appeared when he pulled them away. As the children enjoyed the sensory and tactile experiences so much we decided to create sea picture scenes using glue and sticking lots of colourful shapes.

Also this month, Duncan and Emily enjoyed a train ride with their families so we provided the children with paint and trains for the Bluebells to make large-scale prints. The children enjoyed looking at the long lines they had made and pointed at the different coloured tracks, as well as trying to avoid each other as they moved the trains along the paper. With the children’s developing fine motor movements, we continued to encourage their use of the pincer grip by using the latch boards. The Bluebells happily opened and closed the latches and locks and were very pleased with themselves as the doors opened and revealed the pictures behind.

This month Emily celebrated her first birthday so she enjoyed a picnic tea with all of her friends whilst wearing an elephant themed party hat, as it was also ‘World Elephant Day’. The children sat together enjoying a group singing session and looking at the animal touch and feel books, moving their fingers over the elephant’s large ears and pointing at their long trunks. Lucie loved stroking the soft pages, as she turned them carefully one by one to find the next animal.

The Bluebells have also spent time creating a jungle wall in the room to celebrate ‘World Orangutan Day’. They enjoyed ripping up different coloured crepe and tissue paper and sticking it down to create various rainforest animals. The children used the glue spreaders to apply glue to the paper but found their hands much more effective tools! As they created their animals, Hayley modelled their sounds and showed the children pictures of them from books. The children watched in fascination, especially when hearing the “ROOOOOAAAR” of the lion and the orangutan’s “Oo aa oo aa”. Emily was particularly excited by the sound of a lion and giggled lots when she heard it. Hayley involved all the children when singing ‘Down in the Jungle’ with all the children banging their instruments and making their own music - what a lot of noisy fun!

We say a big hello to Alexander, Toby and Rufus who are starting their Nursery journey with us, we hope you have an amazing experience here at The Wendy House.

Poppies

This month we have seen the Poppies enjoying taking part in a variety of sports. Milo watched football with his Daddy at home and then went out into the garden to kick his very own ball around and Claudia’s Daddy plays cricket so she went to cheer him on. This encouraged the children to get physical using their hands and feet to kick and throw balls around the garden. The children laughed as they chased the balls, demonstrating great balance whilst avoiding obstacles and developing their throwing and kicking technique. Oscar enjoyed using his hands to feel the balls so we decided to combine his favourite activity of painting with the balls. The Poppies smiled as they dipped the balls in the paint and, in a sweeping motion, rolled the ball across the paper. Finlay caused a lot of excitement as he picked up the paint-covered ball and dropped it straight onto the paper, creating some wonderful splashes and splodges on his picture.

Also this month, the children have been on train adventures so what better way to focus on this growing interest than by using the meadow and logs to make our own train. The children joined the ‘carriages’ and made room for everyone. It was lovely to see them showing concern for their friends and ensuring all the Poppies had their place on the ‘Wendy Wildlife Express’. All of the children took turns to be the driver and shout “All Aboard”! During the train journey we looked for the birds and squirrels high in the trees and the buzzy bees. When our journey came to an end we sat and talked about the ride and all the exciting things we had seen.

During a weekend Duncan went to see birds of prey so we provided the children with pictures and posters of different birds to look at. The Poppies were then encouraged to point at the colours of the birds and distinguishing between the different colours displayed. We even tried to lie quietly and use the binoculars to spot the birds but on this occasion our energetic Poppies had other plans – one to revisit at a later date! After looking intently at the birds we decided to use the children’s interest to create finger painting birds. The children selected their own choice of colours and used their fingers to spread the paint across the paper, creating some interesting patterns and shapes, while using the pictures books as a guide. Once complete we asked the Poppies to point out their bird’s wings, beaks and tail feathers to help them to give meaning to their creations.

With the children’s interest firmly on making marks using their hands, we provided them with the aqua draw pens and a spray bottle, which Poppy was very excited about! She giggled as her hand was sprayed with water so she could make marks. This then led to the children using their hands to manipulate salt dough, with Ralph showing interest in using cutters and he particularly liked the star, which he repeated the name of continually whilst engrossed in the activity.

Also during August, we have been sharing information with the children on two very special and unique animals – the Elephant and Orangutan, on their respective awareness days. In keeping with our conservation themes at the cabin, we had a great time introducing the children to various books and stories about each and focused how the animals move and where they live and what they like to eat. The Poppies loved mimicking the adults moving around the trees waving their imaginary arm trunks and stomping. The Poppies all giggled whilst they leaped and hopped around shouting “Oo aa oo aa” just like the orangutans! Even at such a young age giving the children a basic understanding and knowledge of these beautiful animals helps to ensure they grow up caring about all creatures that share our wonderful world.

We say a big hello to Joshua who is starting his Wendy House Journey with us, we hope you feel very welcome and enjoy your new Nursery adventures. We have to say a sad goodbye to Parker who makes the trip down the staircase to join the Daisies – we’ll see you on the way to the garden Parker.

Daisies

We have been blessed with more sunshine during August, which has been well received by our Daisies as they continue to thrive and absorb the exciting and varied activities on offer in our lovely meadow. It certainly is a highlight of the children’s day. The Daisies have loved investigating their surroundings, looking at the wildlife and bugs they can see in there. This has been fantastic for the children’s developing curiosity in the natural world and they have begun to utilise tools such as binoculars and magnifying glasses to aid their search and look closer at different creatures. Thomas was keen to start the search discussions by telling his friends “We found spiders in the meadow yesterday”. The children excitedly followed this interest as they enthusiastically looked under the logs and in the grass for bugs and high in the trees for birds (and bears)! Over in the Daisy room the interest on bugs continued with the children wanting to create their own insects using different tools or getting messy with using their hands, with Evie C delighted in telling her friends “I’m making a lady bird”. Allison talked about the colourful bugs to extend the children’s learning by discussing their bright colours and counting the number of spots they had. We then provided the children with coloured bowls and the sorting objects observing how they play collaboratively as a group and whether they could categorise the colours into the correct bowls. Eira said “Green bowls need green teddies” when she picked it up and put it in. This activity was moved into the garden as the children enjoyed a wonderful colour hunt, looking at all the various objects and naming the different colours, some from memory, which was very impressive!

Other fun activities that the children have taken part in with their families are trips to the beach. Anouk has spent some time with her Nan and cousins at the beach so we decided to make our own beach scenes. The children chose shaving foam and sand, smearing it across the paper. Benedict and Evie T covered their hands in foam and enjoyed feeling it on their fingertips, talking about the softness and the smell, whilst Katie described the texture of the foam as “Wet”. Other items were added such as fish and sea creatures as the Daisies recalled what they might see at the beach and what live beneath the foamy waves. The children really enjoyed the sensory experience of this activity and it generated lots of lively discussion and expression from the Daisies. Continuing along the sensory path, we made scented play dough. The children helped to prepare the ingredients and mixed it together, adding some herbs and spices for a different scented experience.

We were delighted to be able to develop the Daisies awareness of tigers, elephants and orangutans as we celebrated each during their respective awareness days. These activities allowed the Daisies to fully immerse themselves in these wonderful creatures. We looked at information books and stories, focusing on each animal’s natural habitat, how they like to spend their days and what food they like to eat. The children were drawn to the vibrant colours of the tigers and organutans and the elephant’s long trunk and big ears were a constant talking point. Some lovely activities that help the children develop a growing appreciation for all the amazing animals and creatures that we share the world with.

We give a warm hello to Parker who joins us from the Poppy room - we hope you will continue to have lots of fun in the Daisy room.

Sunflowers

What a busy month August has been, with many of the children continuing to enjoy the summer sunshine with days out at the seaside. Anna enjoyed a trip to the beach with her family and on her return to Nursery kicked off lots of lively and excited discussions about the different things the children do when at the seaside. The children decided to create their own beach scenes documenting the fun and games they have by the sea. We also made collages of towels and umbrellas “To keep them shaded in the hot sun”. Nina stuck coloured shapes to her umbrella and shared with everyone “It stops the sun” and Esme responded, “We need an umbrella to do the shade”. This led the children on to discussing that the “Sun is hot and we need to stay cool”. The children showed a very good understanding of sun safety, discussing hats, sun lotion and staying in the shade. Megan continued the weather-themed conversation by recalling, “Sometimes when it’s hot we get thunder”. We all love a good story and it was suggested that we see what ‘Winnie the Witch’ likes to get up to when she goes to the beach. The children sat as a large group and listened with great interest. Zoe said “Winnie is taking her towel” and Evelyn remembered “She took an umbrella too’.

A lot of Sunflowers have also enjoyed baking at home so we decided to make some bread, in the shape of kites following recent trips to a nearby kite festival. Each child got involved in mixing the ingredients together with Harrison saying, “It feels sticky”. Asher was very excited, telling everyone “We can eat it once it’s cooked”. Whilst it was baking the Nursery was filled with the smell of freshly baked bread with Anna particularly enjoying the smell saying “It smells yummy”. The Sunflowers were very lucky to be able to take their bread home and share it with their families. The smell of the bread sparked discussions about what other things you could add to the dough so Emily provided the children with a variety of herbs and spices to smell, taste and feel. Esme said “They are very smelly” and Anna described the texture of the spices saying “They feel like sand”.

Daisy enjoyed a trip to Ely Pride and saw lots of emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulances and fire engines. This sparked lots of interest in people who help us, and the vehicles they drive, so the children all spent time painting their own using a range of colourful paints, describing meaning to the marks they made. Over in the cabin the children spent time rolling emergency vehicles down ramps they had made, working together as they were learning about angles and how things move “The wheels are turning round” said Elijah as he rolled his fire engine down the ramp, with Anna adding ‘”Fire engines have big wheels to make them move”.

This month the children also spent time celebrating ‘World Elephant Day’. The Sunflowers enjoyed moving like elephants during a music and movement session, being careful not to stomp on their friend’s feet! To further develop the Sunflowers movements Leanne provided a variety of colourful powder paints for the children to mix into water, and the Sunflowers used brushes and rollers to create their own giant colourful elephant on the pavement. “Elephants like water” said Daisy as she painted.

We also celebrated ‘World Orangutan Day’. The Sunflowers all busied themselves using various media to create their own rainforest display, which prompted lots of conversations about where the animals live, what they eat and how they move. Henry F said, “In the trees the monkeys find bananas to eat” with Digby adding, “We eat bananas too”! As the Sunflowers created their artwork they spent time talking about the detailed features of different animals, closely noting any differences, “They have long arms” said Megan as she painted an orangutan using her hand “They swing in the trees with them” said Zoey in reply.

It was lovely to see the children’s natural curiosity develop in these animals, learning more about how they live, where they live and what they like to spend their time doing. The children share stories and ideas with such enthusiasm and it’s so lovely to listen to their caring thoughts about helping to ensure all animals and creatures can enjoy the world as much as we do.

We say a sad farewell to Esme, Zoey, Harrison who are starting their new adventures at school - we will all miss you dearly and hope you will have a fantastic time.