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!

Weekly round-up

Monday

This morning, Hannah joined us for another gymnastics session in the school hall. We learned how to do roly-polys, and Hannah set up activity stations which explored different ways of moving, bending and stretching our bodies. This required plenty of turn-taking and patience from our children. Back in the nursery, we were constructing towers with wooden blocks and going on mini-beast hunts in the garden. One of our children found a snail, and wanted to find the rest of its family because they were worried it might be lonely! It is so lovely seeing such empathy in our children.

Tuesday

The children were still talking about the butterflies we released last week, so today we made butterfly pictures. The children carefully painted one side of a butterfly shape, then pressed the paper in two to print the design on the other side. This led to a discussion about symmetry, and we looked for other symmetrical things in the nursery. We also had fun with a beach-themed area: a tray with sand, number moulds and fish, and on the carpet was a boat with a boating view on the smart board. Outside, the children were enjoying balancing on the river stones and hilltops; they also devised a game where they had to throw beanbags through a hoop. Most excitingly, some of our school leavers went for a visit to Reception class at St Mary's Catholic School. They all behaved impeccably, and loved their trip to "big school". 

Wednesday

We had fun in the sand pit today, with the children digging, building sandcastles and burying treasure. Inside, we were getting creative with paper - Jade showed the children how to make origami animals, and we also made fans (useful on such a hot day!). Other children used the pipe cleaners to make necklaces and spectacles.

Thursday

The children were engrossed in a sorting activity this morning. We gave them a huge range of different objects, and they first sorted them according to category (insects, dinosaurs, fruit, bears, etc.) then according to colour. Some of our children also counted the number of objects in each category. Another very popular activity today was pizza making. We discussed the safety procedures - hygiene, food storage, how to use cooking implements correctly and safely - then the children took turns to make their pizzas: spreading the tomato sauce, cutting the ham/pepperoni and grating the cheese.

Friday

While some children continued with our pizza making activity today, at the sand table there was lots of imaginative play going on. Some children used the kitchen to make sand "birthday cakes", using shells and cars for candles. Many skills were at play here - co-operation, counting, and using positional and mathematical language. And, most importantly, it was a lot of fun! We hope all our children have a fantastic half-term holiday. See you all in a week's time!

Weekly round-up

Monday

Our first butterfly emerged from its chrysalis today! We showed the children an educational video on the interactive whiteboard, which showed the process in slow motion. The children were fascinated and can't wait for the other butterflies to emerge. One of our children brought in a bottle of frozen water this morning and the children decided to observe how long it took to melt - we made predictions, just like real scientists. We were all very surprised that it didn't fully melt until 2pm. We were excited to have our first gymnastics class this morning. Hannah from Active 1st will be coming every Monday to help the children develop their balance and movement skills. If today's session is anything to go by, it's going to be a highlight of the week. Continuing the focus on physical development, in the afternoon we did some Sticky Kids activities with the children - they did bending and stretching, followed by a cool down.  

Tuesday

It was a hectic morning today, as Tempest Photography were in to take the photos of our "graduates". While waiting to have their photos taken, the children made the most of the lovely weather by playing in the garden. We introduced some of our new resources that have been paid for by the HALO grant from East Sussex County Council - river stones, hill tops and balance tracks. As well as being insanely popular with the kids, these resources develop a whole range of skills: balance, core strength, concentration, perseverance, problem solving and turn taking. Later on, the children decided to make their own maps and go searching for treasure. We talked about the points of the compass and different landmarks that we might put on a map. And we now have seven butterflies! It will soon be time to set them free, but in the meantime we put fruit in for them and enjoyed watching them eat.

Wednesday

Three more butterflies hatched overnight, meaning that all our chrysalises were now empty. Nearly time to let them go... There were many different activities in the garden today: we explored different ways of moving down the slide and created obstacle courses using the slides and the stepping stones; the children were also using the balance bikes to move about the space, showing excellent turn-taking and an awareness of safety by using the helmets. There was also a police chase using the ride-on cars, and we discussed how the police help us if we are in trouble. And Becky planted up our new planters with beans and poppies, and the children wrote labels for the plants. We are looking forward to observing the plants growing over the coming weeks. 

Thursday

We continued to develop our garden area today, with the children planting strawberries. They enjoyed digging the holes and giving the young plants plenty of water, and we discussed what plants need in order to grow. And, talking of growth, today was the day that we released our butterflies! The children all sat round quietly and held out their hands, waiting to see if the butterflies would land on them. A few were lucky enough to have a "butterfly kiss" before the butterflies fluttered off Their imaginations were so fired by what they had seen that we created a mini-beast small world so they could recreate it. The children have adored seeing the amazing transformation of the tiny caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, and we will definitely be repeating this activity next year. 

Friday

Our butterfly display looked very empty this morning! Fortunately, there were plenty of other things to entertain the children. Some of them were constructing "castles for kings" using the magnetic shapes, which led to a discussion about the forthcoming Royal wedding. Later, they worked together to build one giant castle - great teamwork! Some other children developed an imaginative role-play about mermaids in the sea, using props and dressing up outfits to support the play. Others spent time in the quiet area, sharing books together and using descriptive languate to each other about what they saw.