Winter is coming at nursery this week! We began by making our very own snow, which as well as being a lot of fun also had a mathematical element as the children needed to measure out exact amounts of water to add to the snow mix. After this, the children enjoyed a screening of 'The Snowman' and could then re-enact the story themselves using our small-world set up with laminated characters from the film. Away from the snow play, other children had fun playing with home-made jigsaws made from photographs of all the children at the nursery; elsewhere, in a completely child-initiated role play activity, we created a bus from chairs and a wooden steering wheel. This also lead to some spontaneous singing - the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long!
We continued with our exploration of 'The Snowman' today, helping the children to make their own snowmen by sticking cotton wool onto pre-cut card snowmen shapes - they then decorated them with glitter (naturally!) for a lovely snowy sparkle. Other children got creative at our junk modelling table, using a wide variety of materials to create whatever they liked! This sort of open-ended play is great for stimulating children's imaginations, and is so easy to do at home if (like us) you have an overflowing recycling bin! There was excitement today as we visited St Mary's Church to rehearse our Nativity play. The children loved singing their songs in the church, and are very excited about performing for you in a couple of weeks' time.
The children were helping to develop our Santa's Grotto area today, by wrapping up presents to put under the Christmas tree (good scissor control and fine motor skill practice!). One of the children wanted to play hairdressers, so our practitioners extended this play by adding a phone, till and appointment book. We also had fun dancing and singing along to music on the karaoke machine. In the morning, we had set out an area with the giant coins, but this did not seem to be a popular activity so when one of the children requested to play with the Hexi-snaps we put these out instead. As a team, we think it is so important for the play to be child-initiated; if an activity that we have prepared is not being played with, then we are more than happy to do something else!
We've been looking at 'The Snowman' all week, so today we provided an area with stills and props from the film so the children could reenact the story themselves. At another table, there were prompts laid out to encourage creative play (e.g. "Use your play dough to make presents for Father Christmas", "Use your play dough to make decorations for the Christmas tree") along with a variety of materials. We were also making paper chains, which led to the use of lots of positional language (longer, shorter, taller, smaller). It wasn't all about Christmas today, however, as our practitioners had set up an awesome Dinosaur World table for the children to enjoy, which included literacy and mathematical elements (as well as a brilliantly squishy jelly swamp for the dinosaurs to stomp around in!).
It's December, and we're officially on Christmas countdown! Our practitioners have made a picture advent calendar for each child to take turns opening, and we acted out the Nativity story to enhance the children's understanding of what we are celebrating. There has been a very kind donation of a pram, which meant the toy babies got an outing today; the children had fun dressing and feeding them, then pushing them round in the new pram. We also have a new fishing game, where the children use rods to catch fish - great for their motor skills!