"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!
The Wendy House Conservation activities
World Tiger Day…
World Orangutan Day…
Fun and games whilst out and about!
News from the Rooms...
With the weather starting off so nicely this month, we found relief from the hot sun cooling off with water and ice cube messy play. Lisa added boats to float on top of the water and fish to swim beneath the surface. Laurence had great fun splashing the boats into the ice cubes, he giggled as it got the others wet. Touching the cold ice and hearing the noise as it hit the side led the Bluebells on to seeing what else they could tap the cubes on to make a noise. Cora found tapping ice on the table made a sound but then also left a puddle. Sen however liked carrying the ice cubes around the room and remembering how cold they are, kept dropping them on the floor.
Whilst visiting the Conservation cabin the Bluebells saw two tractors in the field next door, this caused great excitement for all the children where we watched intently as the tractor collected hay bales and placed them on to it’s trailer. Lily and Edward listened so carefully as they were told about what the tractors were doing, the colours they could see and the sounds of the engine. The Bluebell’s all sat as a group while Lisa read ‘That’s not my tractor’,feeling the different textures as they each had a go at turning the pages.
Time in the soft play room encouraged the Bluebells to get physical, climbing on the different soft shapes and moving around the various obstacles. The children demonstrated a good range of movements as they slalomed through the shapes. The ball pit caused much enjoyment when Edward began to take the balls individually out of the ball pit, noticing a difference in sizes and colours, with the yellow balls being his favourite.
Bluebells at the Conservation Cabin
‘World Tiger Day’ was a roaring success in the Bluebell room with the children creating paintings using small sponges. The Bluebells perfected their pincer grip and were very excited to see the paint on the paper, noticing the marks they had made. In the cabin Lisa read ‘Roar’,a tale of a tiger finding his loudest roar in the jungle. The Bluebells looked at the colours on the page and the cabin was full of cute little roars!
‘World Elephant Day’ filled the cabin with loud stomps as we took the small world elephants to the cabin to play in the cracks on the ground and in the soil, stomping as we went. Painting our hands to make elephants was a great sensory experience, where we could make a fist and squelch the grey paint between our fingers.
Finally, ‘World Orangutan Day’ brought out our cheeky side as we used puppets to sing ‘Five Little Monkeys’ - all mimicking the monkeys by waving our hands and opening our mouths as Lisa sung through the puppets. Looking through jungle stories we sat and pointed at the orange fur of the organutans.
Can we please ask that the Bluebell’s blue home diaries are used to inform us of all the lovely activities the children enjoy away from Nursery. Even just a few lines can really help us to plan our activities based on the children’s experiences and therefore more current and relevant to each individual baby.
Throughout August the Poppies have been immersed in various water activities. This interest was started after Spencer visited some colourful fish one weekend. Annie set up an interactive fish display where we could feel the water, sand, rocks, fish and different sea textures. Iola really enjoyed finding sand at the bottom of the tray, moving it through her fingers. We discussed the colours of the fish and the Poppies followed simple instructions when asked to find the different creatures and materials.
The Poppies also had great fun mixing paint and water, creating a superb colourful textured experience using their hands to create scaly fish prints – Sophia particularly enjoyed this, smiling happily throughout!
A firm favourite, both at home and at Nursery, has been paddling in water, which has been great fun and kept us cool on the hot sunny days. We created our own splash park in the garden with a paddling pool and hose. It was so much fun and the Poppies laughed and smiled throughout, giggling as we got wet and seeing our friends splash around. We then demonstrated how we could make marks with the paintbrushes and water on the pavement. The children enjoyed seeing the marks appear and then looked on in shock as they slowly disappeared! Monty enjoyed making small dots for his marks where as Violet preferred long lines.
Continuing our water theme, Angus made a trip to feed the ducks away from Nursery so that’s just what we did at Nursery and we set off to see if the ducks had returned to our pond. Unfortunately they had moved on but Ivy, luckily enough, found a feather that sparked us to experiment with different textures we could feel around us. The Nature Maze really supported this activity as the Poppies could walk through and hold out their hands to feel everything around us. Sadly some of us got to see what a stinging nettle felt like, but luckily we had dock leaves standing by so all was well!
Poppies at the Conservation Cabin
‘World Tiger Day’ captured the amazement of the Poppies by the bright orange and bold black strips of their fur and moving stealth-like through the long grass!
‘World Elephant Day’ saw the Poppies read about these amazing creatures through bright and bold stories, and of course the ‘Mr Large’ stories were a massive hit! The Poppies especially liked the part where they could make elephant noises as the pages were turned, waving their arms as imaginary trunks.
Finally, ‘World Organutan Day’ sparked all our little monkey’s imaginations, helped by the bold colours and furry puppets they could interact with. Annie and Sophie created an orange explosion with paint, tissue paper and card where the Poppies could make their own organutan to display proudly in the Poppy room.
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. It has been lovely to see the Poppies enjoy our conservation activities.
We started the month off in London after Sebastian went on a family trip. Speaking with Sebastian he showed great excitement sharing his tale of a boat he sailed on down the river Thames! With this in mind Amanda saw it only fitting that she set up a river trail with the sights of London along the way. Sebastian would tell everyone “I saw that” as the landmarks were passed and described.
The splashing of the water mesmerised the Daisies, which led on to a discussion about where water comes from and how we use it. Sharon taught us the life cycle of water from sea to rain and all the goodness it brings. With this in mind we marched straight over to the Allotment to make sure our plants were well fed with water. Amelie highlighted another effect of water, a thunderstorm, as she heard the noise and the bright lights one evening and wanted to share this with her friends. The Daisies recreated this with a musical instrument session at the conservation cabin with Lisa, using sticks and grass to make different sounds and singing ‘I hear thunder’. All the children joined in and contributed with their very own unique sounds and instruments.
Zoe added a level of excitement when she came in full of tales of her trip to Newmarket races. Zoe was animated when talking about the “Big horses running”, telling us she saw black and brown ones. The best thing about her day was the picnic she had with her family. The Daisies recreated Zoe’s trip to the races by holding races of their own in the garden and then having a gentler walk through the Nature Maze. We finished the day off with a delightful summer picnic outside our cabin, talking about the fun and games we had enjoyed.
The conservation cabin has been a haven for the Daisies these last few weeks with them all investing their time in creating a tent and camp fire. Each day they work alongside each other and Amanda to conduct their own safety checks, making sure the ropes are tight and the area around hasn’t been tampered with. The children would spend lots of time huddled together, especially during the rainy days, and sharing stories and tales of time spent in the cabin and with their families. These tents and dens are great places for encouraging communication amongst their peers, and in small groups, and it has been lovely for them to converse and develop good listening skills.
Daisies at the Conservation Cabin
Bringing awareness to tigers, elephants and orangutans allowed the Daisies to fully submerge themselves in these wonderful creatures. Amanda spoke about where they live natively and how they spend their typical days. Ella was drawn to the vibrant colours of the tigers and organutans, where as Oliver and Charlie liked the size of the elephants and their long trunks. The Daisies made their own artwork for each awareness day to display proudly.
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 say a sad farewell to Myah-Jasmine who is leaving to start a new adventure and wish her lots of love and luck. We also have Elodie who is leaving to join the Sunflower room – we hope you have lots of fun!
August for the Sunflower’s centred largely on our awareness days for elephants, tigers and organutans. Our time in the cabin and in Wendy Wood afforded us the space to mimic these majestic animals as we moved liked them, voiced the sounds they make and even created masks so we could look like them. The Sunflowers were immensely proud of their masks, especially for the tigers as they learnt first hand how tigers camouflage themselves to find their food. The Sunflowers enjoyed hiding patiently in long grass as they played ‘spot the tiger’. We loved creeping stealth like through the grass and sneaking up on our friends to give them a surprise!
We also created some amazing displays to showcase our understanding of these animals and the places they call home. Tina sat with us all and held the animal puppets as we watched a presentation about the facts of each animal, “Did you know…?” was repeated throughout the Nursery, as the Sunflowers would share their facts – such a lovely way to raise their awareness of endangered animals and how we can all help to keep them safe for many more years.
As we continued to be blessed with glorious sunshine, the Sunflowers continued to ensure that the local wildlife was well watered also making ‘cooling dens’ in our maze for them to get some shade. Once the cooler temperature came, along with the rain, the children were shown how rainwater helps everything around us. Our water butt was filling up in the allotment and the produce was looking green and healthy. The birds were flying overhead as they weren’t too hot to fly and the grass looked greener. Harrison was keen to conserve this and would encourage his peers to join him in collecting rainwater in pots and pans to store, as “The animals will still need water when the rain has stopped”.
Marielle and Harrison watched a rocket launch at home and were very impressed with how the rocket made its journey to space. Bringing this enthusiasm into the Sunflower room, the children created their own rockets and spoke amongst themselves on how it should look and how it should work. Jack made a very good point “Astronauts fly rockets” which led the children to find out more about the people who wear “Really big white suits”! Learning about astronauts showed the Sunflowers space and all its glory, talking about planets their names, size and colours, all the stars and how dark it is. Rhys commented “Our planet is Earth and it has green and blue on it”.
Sunflowers at the Conservation Cabin
At the conservation cabin the Sunflowers thought that the bug hotel needed a sign so using the toolkit they practised first on planks of wood, holding nails and gently tapping a hammer on top. Once they had passed Lesley’s safety course they all took turns tapping a nail to make a sign for the hotel. Using the tools allowed the children to practise turn taking, sharing the hammer, and of course developing their hand eye co-ordination. The children displayed excellent understanding of safety such as ensuring they were wearing safety goggles and that they can recall the rules when asked.
The Sunflowers also had the task of finding the perfect place to move our night vision camera to capture the wildlife we miss when we are not here. Luckily enough we saw glimpses of a fox, a muntjac and a rabbit. We are hoping as the seasons change and the nights draw in earlier we will get more traffic through our maze and capture the children’s imaginations and understanding of the wildlife that we share the grounds, maze and Wendy Wood with.
We offer a very warm welcome to Elodie who joins us from the Daisy room – we hope you are looking forward to all the fun and games we have planned!