Our focus in circle time today was "What I like about me" - we read the book of the same name, then thought about all the things we like about ourselves. At the craft table, the children were presented with a variety of materials for some open-ended creativity; elsewhere, we explored what patterns we could make in sand using a variety of tools.
Some children requested a "dinosaur village" today - instead of setting it up for them, we invited the children to create one themselves. They had a fantastic time creating their village, starting out with an empty cardboard box and decorating it with tissue paper. In another child-initiated activity, we made play dough and used it to set up a pancake restaurant. The children had a lot of fun thinking up different toppings for our delicious "pancakes".
We thought about other cultures today at nursery - the children listened carefully to "All Kinds of Beliefs" during story time, and we showed them a CBeebies programme about the Chinese New Year (something we will be focusing on in the days leading up to this festival). Other activities today included working on the children's numeracy using our Numicon resources, and turning the quiet area into a house for the children.
We had a "loose parts" station at nursery today - "loose parts" are materials that can be combined, redesigned, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways (e.g. fabric, buttons, balls, twigs, seeds, shells, flowers, stones...). Research has shown that children playing with loose parts are using more creativity and imagination and developing more skill and competence than they would playing with most modern plastic toys.
The home corner was converted into a Chinese restaurant today, and the children enjoyed writing the menu, placing their orders and "eating" their food (even if the noodles were really made of wool!). In circle time we talked more about Chinese New Year, and listened to some traditional Chinese music. Later, we tried our hands at writing Chinese characters with a brush.