People who help us

The children had a very exciting visit this week from two Police Community Support Officers, who came to the nursery in their police car! The officers talked to the children about the role of the police and explained to the children that it was safe to approach a police officer in an emergency or if they were lost. They had brought a range of police hats with them, and the children enjoyed getting to try them on. The children were then delighted to be able to climb inside the police car, and to see the flashing lights and hear the siren. Later, we talked about other people in the community that help us - the children were able to think of lots of different occupations that help people, such as doctors, nurses, fire fighters and teachers.

Preparations for our nursery Nativity began in earnest this week, with the children visiting St Mary’s Church to practise their songs. You may have noticed them singing them at home too! We also began work on our Christmas display, which is a Christmas tree made from the children’s hand prints, and have started making our TOP SECRET Christmas crafts that the children will present to you at the end of term. Shhhh!

Do try this at home!

Sometimes it can be hard to think of new things to do with your children. To help you get out of the park/playdough/iPad rut, we will be posting regular suggestions of activities that you can do with your child at home.

This week, we’re heading into the kitchen for an easy baking activity.

Hedgehog rolls

This is a fun and easy introduction to breadmaking, with an autumnal twist. Children will love making (and eating!) these cute mini hedgehog rolls.

hedgehog rolls.png

Ingredients

500g pack brown bread mix

25g butter

Plain flour (for dusting)

Raisins

Flaked almonds (optional)


Makes 6 rolls. Recipe taken from BBC Good Food.


Method

  1. Make the bread mix with the butter, following the pack instructions. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then knead for 5 minutes.

  2. Cut the dough into six pieces. Dust the surface with a little flour and shape each piece into a ball by rolling it between your hands. Make it hedgehog shaped by pulling one side out a little and squeezing it into a snout.

  3. Put the hedgehogs onto a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Leave to rise for 1 hour.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using kitchen scissors, carefully snip into the dough to make the spikes on the back of the hedgehogs. Press raisins in for the eyes and push a flaked almond into the end of the nose (or use another raisin if you are avoiding nuts).

  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the rolls are risen and golden. The rolls will keep for up to two days in an airtight container.


If you try this activity with your child, please do show us pictures. Maybe your child could even bring one of their rolls in as part of their packed lunch!



Fireworks, Diwali and poppies

It has been a very busy (and colourful!) week at Nursery, with the children celebrating Diwali, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day.

On Monday, the children made Diwali candle holders out of egg boxes - they chose which colours they wanted to use on their egg box, and sprinkled glitter inside to represent the light of the candle. There was more fun with colours on Tuesday, when the children enjoyed making firework explosions with Skittles! This is a great experiment to replicate at home - place your Skittles around the edge of a paper plate, carefully add water and watch the colours dissolve and diffuse into a rainbow explosion. We also had fun making messy firework paintings using spray bottles and forks to spatter the paint over the paper. If you want to try this at home then we recommend going outside!

On Sunday it is the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, so this week we talked to the children about the significance of this day. The children painted their own poppies and decorated poppy biscuits as well. It can be hard to know what to say to your child about Remembrance Day, but if you want to talk with them about it then CBeebies have produced a lovely animation called ‘Poppies’ which can help your child understand why the poppy is a sign of hope and remembrance.

Weekly round-up

Monday

Everyone was pleased to see Hannah back today for another gymnastics session. The children showed great body control as they explored different ways to move across the school hall - hopping, jumping and even doing forward rolls! Back at the nursery, the children enjoyed playing with a wildlife small world set up (with a watering hole for the toys to splash in) while outside other children had fun racing in the ride-ons and camping out in the teepee. 

Tuesday

It was another scorcher today, so the children cooled off in the garden by paddling in our boat. Given the heat, this was naturally a VERY popular activity and the children showed great patience and fantastic turn-taking as they waited to cool their feet off in the water. Inside, out of the sunshine, the children enjoyed making numbers out of play dough, painting and threading, and later on we chilled out with a bit of mindfulness meditation.

Wednesday

The children have been doing Sports Day practice every day this week, and have loved visiting the "big school" to use their field. At the nursery, we continued the sports day theme with a tuff tray painted to look like a running track. The children raced toy people, animals and cars down the track. We introduced the book that is to be next week's focus: "The Gruffalo"! Many of our children are familiar with this text, and we can't wait to explore it further with them next week.

Thursday

Today after Sports Day practice we stayed on the field to play 'Farmer's in the Den', and then we had a race to see who could walk a mile the fastest along the school's new footpath! Once we were back at nursery, we continued the sporty theme by playing a game whereby the children had to throw hoops into tubs. The children showed great team spirit, encouraging and helping each other and challenging themselves by moving further away from the target. 

Friday

The children chilled off today with the ever-popular ice exploration activity, where they melted the ice shapes to see what they could find inside. During Sports Day practice we were balancing bean bags on racquets whilst running - this is really testing the children's hand-eye coordination! In the garden, the children enjoyed doing some free painting, playing with sand and bubbly water, and singing 'Farmer's In The Den'. There was another request to hear "The Gruffalo", so it looks like next week's focus is going to be very popular indeed!

Weekly round-up

Monday

Our story for this week was the wonderful 'Handa's Surprise', so we had fruit-themed activities running every day. Today we introduced the story to the children (using our new Big Book) and supported it with a drop box with linked resources, as well as providing the children with masks and pictures of fruit to colour in and play with. The secret stones that the children so carefully decorated last week were sent home today - have you hidden yours yet? And (just in case you missed it) the World Cup has started and the children have gone football-crazy, so of course we played football today as well.

Tuesday

In story time today, as well as reading 'Handa's Surprise' the children were able to see and handle the tropical fruits mentioned in the story. We put them all together in a basket and tried balancing it on our heads like Handa does in the story. They were so heavy! In our maths corner, we were using Numicon to make numbers bigger than 10 - some really impressive mathematical thinking went on. The children also enjoyed making and decorating gingerbread men again today. They could recall the ingredients that they needed, and remembered the important rules of hygiene and cooking safety.

Wednesday

Today the children had the opportunity to taste the different fruits that appear in 'Handa's Surprise'. The children really loved this activity, using their senses to explore the feel, smell and taste of the different fruits. We took a poll at the end, and the children's favourite fruit from the activity was pineapple. Well done to all the children for being brave and trying something that was out of their comfort zone. Later, we went over to the school playing field to practise for our Sports Day. We have some very competitive children, it turns out!

Thursday

The children were learning about dental hygiene today, with laminated teeth which they had to brush clean of plaque. Elsewhere, some children were enjoying our new princess jigsaw puzzles, while others continued with the Numicon activity we introduced on Tuesday. As it was another glorious day, there was lots of time for play outside; some of our children were thinking about the forthcoming summer holidays and getting some sandcastle-building practice.

Friday

It was a day of high activity today, as we went over to the school field for Sports Day practice as well as using the balance beams and having an Early Movers yoga session. Phew! Becky brought in a special surprise for the children: the different stages of a frog's life cycle, all in the same container! The children loved seeing the frog spawn, tadpoles and froglets (though, fortunately, no fully-grown frogs...) and enjoyed listening to 'Tadpole's Promise' at story time.

Weekly round-up

Monday

The week began with our gymnastics session with Hannah. Today, the children did different activities - circuit training! - to support them in learning to do hand stands. Some of our children showed amazing body control. Keep it up, kids! Our story focus this week is 'The Gingerbread Man' - we read the book after registration, then the children could retell the tale (or develop it) at our small world table using props and puppets. The children also made their own gingerbread men today, which helped them to develop a whole variety of skills: turn taking, teamwork, independence, hygiene, weighing and measuring.

Tuesday

The children were very busy making their Father's Day cards today (we hope you liked them!). We also continued our focus on 'The Gingerbread Man', with more children having fun retelling the tale using the props and puppets and, in our maths area, using the Numicon shapes to match the numbers on the gingerbread men. And, of course, there was lots of excitement about tomorrow's trip to Drusillas!

Wednesday

The sun shone brilliantly today (hooray!) on a terrific day out at Drusillas. After a fun coach trip, the children assembled at Drusilla's learning classrooms for their 'Animal Encounter' session - this involved meeting (and, if you were brave, stroking) a fat-tailed gerbil, a Madagascan hissing cockroach, an ENORMOUS millipede and a chinchilla. The children were braver than the adults, in most cases! Afterwards, there was plenty of time to visit the other animals before descending on the playground and splash pad for serious fun. There were lots of tired and happy children on the coach home, as well as tired and happy grown-ups.

Thursday

Unsurprisingly, the talk at registration this morning was all about yesterday's trip to Drusillas - what we saw and what our favourite animals were (giant anteater, OBVIOUSLY). In our craft area, the children were decorating secret stones (which is quite addictive, so don't be surprised if your child asks to do it at home!). Later, as part of our focus on developing the children's physical activity, we re-enacted the Gingerbread Man story using different actions: wading through water, jumping away from the dog, and so on.

Friday

Now the children are thoroughly familiar with the Gingerbread Man tale, we decided to subvert it by reading them the hilarious story of 'The Stinky Cheese Man' which had the children in stitches! On the carpet, we had a construction focus with the children building things with magnetic shapes, wooden blocks and linking shapes; elsewhere, children were playing memory games with Wendy. And, of course, we continued painting our secret stones because you can never have too many!

Weekly round-up

Monday

There was much excitement this morning when the children first set eyes on our new climbing frame! It was VERY popular (as is to be expected) so we had to impose a limit on how many children used it at any one time. All the children were very mature and waited their turns patiently. When we finally managed to prise them away from the new play area, the children had a great time learning how to do hand stands in their gymnastics session. We were very impressed at how hard they tried when faced with learning such a tricky skill. 

Tuesday

It was all aboard this morning - one of the children got out the train tracks, which resulted in many of the children collaborating to make an enormous track which snaked all over the nursery! Outside, the children used the hilltops and river stones to make an obstacle course; one of our practitioners added road signs, which the children decided to use as protest signs and had a protest march. Down with this sort of thing! Some of the children found a spider and observed its movements, which led to a discussion about spiders' diet and environment. Later, the Tidy Up Song resulted in the children trying out some line dancing (a great way for them to develop their coordination, as well as practise following instructions).

Wednesday

To support our healthy eating theme, today we organised a "cooking" drop box filled with real cooking equipment (a set of scales, a timer, bowls, whisks, spoons, etc.) and flour. The children explored the available resources, using their imaginations, taking turns as there weren't enough implements for everyone. Some made birthday cakes, talking about the ingredients and method; others made pancakes and decided to run a pancake shop. Elsewhere, the children were practising their fine motor skills by drawing with stencils or writing their numbers to 10.

Thursday

All the children were very busy today with our focus craft, which was making dream catchers out of paper plates and ribbons. These tested their fine motor skills, as they needed to thread the ribbons through the holes, as well as bringing out their creativity. The children also enjoyed an exercise class today - regular group physical activity is another focus this term, and our practitioners have recently attended training on how to engage children in more physically active play.

Friday

We were celebrating the birthdays of two of our lovely children today, so at snack time we had some delicious cakes and later we celebrated with more line dancing. The children also made birthday cards, drawing and decorating them with craft materials. What a lovely way to round off the week! 

Let's play!

While everyone else was on holiday, Sam and Wayne were very busy in the nursery garden building our brand new climbing frame! Thanks so much, guys - it looks brilliant. We're also thrilled with the new, bouncy surfacing that's replaced the old mud patch. This new surfacing was paid for using the money we have raised at this year's fundraising events, so thanks to all of you who gave so freely of your time and money to support us.

 Before: a muddy patch with some tired-looking tyres.

Before: a muddy patch with some tired-looking tyres.

 Wayne gets to work.

Wayne gets to work.

 It's taking shape...

It's taking shape...

 Nearly done!

Nearly done!

 The surfacing is down, and the climbing frame is in position. Let's play!

The surfacing is down, and the climbing frame is in position. Let's play!