What's that in the nursery? A BOAT, you say? The children had excellent fun with our "fishing on the ocean" role play - they sat in the boat with fishing rods, while ocean sounds played through the interactive whiteboard and other children looked up facts about whales and dolphins on the nursery iPads. For those children who were not seduced by the call of the sea, there was a fascinating activity involving frozen hands! Not real hands, obviously - our practitioners filled rubber gloves with water, hid little toys, shapes and numbers inside, then froze them overnight. The children had a great time melting and chipping away at the frozen "hands" to discover what was hidden inside; some children recognised that the numbers inside the hands correlated with the number of objects that were frozen. Another popular activity today was festive potion-making - the children loved mixing together glitter and coloured bubbly water, indeed it was so popular that we had to add more containers so everyone could join in!
There were many requests for a repeat of the frozen hands activity today, and we were happy to oblige. The children used warm water in spray bottles to melt the ice; this segued into an activity where we compared how high we could squirt the water into the air! We visited the church for more rehearsals, and the children are getting very confident with their performances. We don't want the children to get bored singing the same songs over and over, however, so we had a fun singalong to different Christmas tunes today using the nursery karaoke machine. The children really worked on their turn-taking skills, as there was a lot of competition for the microphone! We also had fun dancing along to the music, and playing party games like Musical Statues and Sleeping Lions.
The children were being scientists today, as our practitioners set up the infamous Diet Coke/Mentos experiment. This is a great way of investigating cause and effect, and also excellent fun for the children. If you've never tried it at home, we highly recommend it! All the new Nativity costumes have now been bought, and we are taking pictures of the children wearing their costumes in advance of the big show on Monday 18th December. They all look fantastic! Your child's costume should have come home with them this week; feel free to let them wear it around the house to get used to it so they are comfortable on the day of the performance!
While Nursery is all about play, we are also aware that a big part of our job is preparing children for the next step in their educational journey: "Big School". As such, today we've been focusing on helping the older children to practise writing their name independently, which will be a key skill when they enter Reception. All children had the opportunity to work on their numeracy, as we had an activity where we were trying different things with our new Numicon shapes - weighing them, adding them together, and so on. Number is a very abstract concept; Numicon uses patterned shapes that children can physically manipulate and fit together, so that when combining numbers they can physically do and see calculations. It's a great way to get children to internalise mathematical thinking.
In a child-initiated activity, we had a train in the nursery today! We built it with chairs and other pieces of furniture, and the children made train tickets. We also made tickets for the "cinema" (a showing of a Christmas cartoon). The children also had a lot of fun decorating biscuits today - although none of these made it to the bake sale, sadly (they must have looked just too delicious!). The bake sale itself was a roaring success, with almost £100 raised! The money will go towards the Nursery's fundraising total, which is used to improve the facilities for the benefit of all our children. Thank you so much to everybody who baked those delicious cakes and biscuits, and to those of you who came along and gave so generously. You are all superstars!