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.
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.
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.
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.
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.