What have we been up to..

June 26, 2015

The highlight of our week was our Teddies Bears picnic on Thursday. We all brought along our furry friends and enjoyed some tasty treats at snack time, we had food that was different shapes and counted out different amounts of each thing. We then played with our teddies in the garden and sang songs with them. We got out the parachute and played “bears bouncing on the bed” the children had a lot of fun trying to bounce their teddies off. We decorated plates to eat our snack on and made teddy ears. We all had a great time, we especially liked the teddy bear crisps. Yum yum!

We’ve also been talking about jobs, about what our Mummies and Daddies do and about what job we would like to do when we grow up. We got a good mix of jobs, from fireman, to a chef to a princess and spiderman! We then spoke about what we would do in our jobs and what we may need. We then dressed up, coloured in pictures and put them up on a new display. The children have been very keen to show you all what they have done.

In the garden this week we’ve been practising a few races and different ways of moving, today I have also been taught how to play “French Cricket”, I wonder if the correct parent can guess if their child taught me this?? I was told that I wasn’t very good at it and kept holding the bat wrong! I clearly need to practise a bit more.

In number group Lulu has been playing with marbles and she managed not to lose any! The marbles have been great to use with the weighing scales and matching quantity to numeral. As it’s something new the children have shown a great interest in them and keen to play with them.

In language group Hayley has been playing with padlocks! Each padlock had a word attached and the children had to find the key with the correct letter on to unlock it. This game was very popular and several children wanted to play it again and again. Turning a key in a padlock is also a great way to encourage fine motor skills, it took some children a while to master this and some padlocks were easier than others.

We’ve been feeding the squirrels and birds that come in to our garden lots of food. Some of you may have seen on facebook that I posted about making a squirrel obstacle course. The children love watching the squirrels in particular and we’d love to make a squirrel obstacle course. If you have anything at home that we could use for this we’d really appreciate it- such as guttering, drainpipes, rope…. We’d also love some help to make this, so if any daddies have some mid week spare time please let us know. We can provide you with snacks and drinks and lots of encouragement :)

We hope you all have a lovely weekend and get a chance to enjoy the sunshine.  Thanks for reading, Lauren.

What we have been up to..

June 19, 2015

It’s Friday already, another week has zoomed past at nursery. Here’s a little about what we have been up to this week…

We’ve been busy making something special for Daddy for Father’s Day, the children have all been keen to give them to their Daddies. We hope all the Daddies have a lovely time on Sunday.

We’ve also been using scissors to cut around shapes and recognising different shapes, as well as following instruction to colour shapes a certain colour. Using scissors is a skill that is quite hard to master and the only way the children can become confident in using them is to practise. We often have scissors out and the children enjoy cutting paper for no particular reason, we often end up with mounds of paper on the floor. This then leads to the excitement of using the dustpan and brush to sweep it all up. I wonder if cleaning up will be as exciting as they get older?!

In the garden this week we made a pattern using things from around the garden, we had a very long piece of paper which we covered with sticky tape and stuck bits down in a pattern. A few shoes got a bit stuck too!

We’ve enjoyed lots of strawberries from our garden this week and there are plenty more to come, they are very yummy and most of the children have had a try. The children really enjoy searching for the ripe fruit and picking their own, there a few “pick your own” places close by which could make a fun trip out.

In language group we have been playing with pegs, pegging the correct letter onto the corresponding picture. The children have really enjoyed this game and have been keen to do it again and again. How about giving your child some pegs and getting them to find items beginning with certain letters to peg to the washing line? We’ve also been using out caterpillar in the garden and the letter cubes.

In number group we’ve been discovering shapes- feeling them and exploring them to learn all about them. We’ve also been seeing how much we have grown, a few of us have grown quite a lot recently and are getting very tall.

Our children who are leaving us for school have been starting their visits this week and have all come back talking about hat they have been up to, the younger children have been intrigued by their stories and their fellow school leavers have enjoyed comparing what they have been up to.

We’ve been making the most of the lovely weather with lots of time in the garden- having tea parties, playing football, building, playing hide and seek and using lots of energy.

This week we have had one confirmed case of chicken pox and another suspected case so please keep an eye out for symptoms. If your child does develop a chicken pox rash then please keep them off until they are well in themselves and all spots are blistered over. Here is a link for the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Chickenpox/Pages/Symptoms.aspx.

We hope you have a lovely weekend and that all Daddies get spoiled.  Thanks, Lauren

Top Tips for reading together

June 18, 2015

Remember that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to read with your child.  Reading should be a fun activity – so relax and take the time to find whatever methods work best for you and your children. Here are some tips you could try:

1. Sometimes stop at key words or phrases and let your child say the word they know is coming next. Children are amazingly able to remember key words and phrases in books that are read over and over. Some young children can recite a whole book! Try an easy experiment. After reading the same book to a child several times, pause at key words or phrases and see if they can fill in the blanks.

2. Point to words as you read them. This can help your child recognise new letters and words, which will help as he or she learns to read. Make clear that it’s ok if they ask you what words mean as you go along.

3. Talk about the story as you read. It’s great to be interactive like this. Ask your child things (like what do they think might happen next, or why did a character do something). Give them a chance to ask questions too – and take time to answer.

4. Read slowly enough for your child to build mental pictures. When children listen to stories, they form pictures in their minds. If you read too fast, you stop your child ‘seeing’ what’s happening. Think carefully about their age and development and read at the best speed.

5. Especially with younger children, focus on the 3 R’s: Rhythm, Rhyme, and Repetition. Try to emphasise these elements in your reading – feel free to stress the first letters of words, slow down so the rhythm flows well, point out where sounds and words repeat. Babies and very young children are more likely to pay attention if you do!

6. Be an actor! Use different voices for different characters – this can be fun and make the story come to life. Try making different characters talk higher or deeper, faster or slower, or in different accents. If you have trouble thinking up voices, ask your child for ideas as to how a certain character might talk – they could even read one character’s lines for you…

7. Let your child turn the pages. This encourages them to get involved in the reading process, and is also a good way for you to monitor how well they are able to follow the story.

8. Ask questions as you read, to give your child a chance to think about what might happen next, or to get a sense of how they are interpreting the action, or what they think of particular characters. Doing this can help your child feel part of the story, not just a ‘sponge’ soaking up words you throw at them. .

9. Especially if you’re reading a ‘chapter’ book, take a minute to make sure you and your child can remember what’s happened earlier. Don’t worry if you burn up ‘valuable reading time’ doing this – making sure everyone is understanding the story is a very good way to get your brains working.

10. Try to finish each day’s reading at an exciting point in the story. Most books are written with this in mind, so you can finish at the end of a chapter – but sometimes you could stop in the middle of a paragraph, just to shake things up a bit (and feel free to jump a page or two if sometimes you feel a section is dragging a bit!)

source: Fatherhood Institute, June 2015


What we have been up to…

June 12, 2015

This week we have been looking at emotions and facial expressions. We made up a story and drew faces to represent how the character would be feeling. This activity encouraged a lot of talk about what makes us happy and sad. After this activity the children wanted to do some more drawing, so we made up another story about a dog going for a walk. We drew pictures of what the dog saw along the way. The children added particular features to their drawings, such as ducks to the pond and a bush to the house. This activity was great to extend their imagination as the children enjoyed suggesting things that the dog may see. How about making up a bed time story with your child and see what you can come up with?

This week we painted our papier mache, we turned them into ladybirds and counted out how many dots we would put on. The children enjoyed seeing the end process to what they had started last week. Although they were a little concerned that we would make a big mess again!

We have also carried on exploring textures this week,w e have done this with a feely bag. The children have to put their hand in a bag and describe what they can feel, answer questions about it and guess what it is. We had some very creative answers as to what could be in the bag!

In the garden we have been doing some big construction with attachable foam tubes and connectors, we built a rocket, a den and a fire engine among many other things. The children work really well together to develop their ideas, even the very small children had a go at attaching the tubes and of course the bigger children were there to help them. 

In the garden this week we also drew a big track on the floor for the children to race cars on, the children added bridges, roundabouts and traffic lights and followed the arrows around the track.

The children had fun in the garden today when it suddenly started raining, they all came in very excited as they had got quite wet!

In number group the children continue to focus on forming numbers and matching quantity to numeral and in language group Hayley has introduced the letter V, although many of the children were already familiar with it.

The children have been very excited to spot the first few red strawberries this week, we are hoping for some more very soon. The children are always eager to help to water the plants and love to observe the changes, we are looking forward to our sunflowers coming out, hopefully that won’t be too long.

Just a reminder, if you still have your child’s Learning Journey at home could you please bring it back as we need to update them all.

We hope you have a lovely weekend and have enjoyed reading about your child’s week.  Lauren

What we have been up to

June 5, 2015

We hope you’ve enjoyed your week, here is a little about ours…

We’ve been taking good care of our plants and vegetables that are growing in the garden. Our strawberries have started to grow and our sunflowers are getting taller. We also have a range of vegetables including cabbages and carrots growing. The children have been helping to water them and checking on them daily to see how much they have changed. We hope to be able to eat some of our “crops” in the next few weeks. Our growing garden encourages the children to care for something and notice what it needs to survive.It also great for them to see how something changes and grows, why not try grow some cress at home? This is something that is very easy to grow and doesn’t take very long at all, plus it can be sprinkled on many different food that the children enjoy.

Some of your children may have come home quite messy the other day, that was because we did some papier mache! The children got stuck in to this, as did Lulu and myself, we both went home covered too! Next week we will be painting our creations to make bugs. The children have been checking on the balloons daily to see if they are dry and have been intrigued that they have gone hard. If you fancy getting very messy at home then a simple paste to make up is flour mixed with water, just be warned it will go everywhere!!!

We enjoyed the sunshine yesterday and went digging for treasure, we found some shiny stones that the pirates had left us and lots of other goodies.We also walked the plank like pirates and had to be careful of sharks.

This week we have been discussing emergencies and in particular the fire service. We have looked through several books and pretended to be fireman our selves, putting out fires and rescuing people. We have also been learning about what we would do if there was a fire at nursery. Why not ask your child and see if they can remember? I love having group discussions with the children, listening to their answers (some sensible, some interesting and some just very random!), it’s great to hear their knowledge and how they respond to one another. They often amaze me with what they know and pick up. We have a lot of non fiction books at nursery, many that are designed for older children and often we will all look through them and talk about what is going on in them. I then love to hear this information repeated by the children to their peers, back to us or to you.

The children have loved playing with our new tactile crocodile on the wall and so far it is still up so my DIY can’t be too bad!

As usual we’ve been busy in language and number group. In language group the children have been looking at the letters in their name and sequencing them in the right order. They have done this with threading, sticking and gluing and magnets. Some children have even been forming short words with the letters. In number group the children have been focusing on writing letters 1-10, they did this in the garden using water and paintbrushes, on our big whiteboards, on aquadraw and using bricks.

The under 2’s have had a great week, dancing with scarves and doing lots of different actions songs, building towers with wooden bricks (and of course knocking them down!), exploring the digging area in the garden, playing with water and playing with containers in the sand.

This Sunday is “Open farm Sunday”, this is where many working farms open their doors to show what goes on at their farm. Click on this link and put in your post code to find farms local to you that are taking part http://www.farmsunday.org/ofs12b/home.eb   As an added bonus most of the time they are free too. This sounds like a great day out to me and I hope some of you manage to get a long to one, if so please send in photos!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about your child’s week. have a lively weekend.