We hope you are all well and coping with the current lockdown! As we celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week this week, please remember it is important parents look after themselves in order to support their children. We totally appreciate how hard it must be for many of you balancing working from home and home educating your school aged children, sometimes with a little one around – we are glad we are able to continue to support you where we can.
We can recommend a great book if you need a little lift, it is great for yourselves as much as your children – The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy – we have a copy here and are happy to lend out to anyone who would like to take a look!
Awards! With the 2020 National Nursery World Awards being postponed due to the pandemic they were finally held virtually on Thursday 4th February and we are proud to say that we were runners up for the Pre-school of the Year award and received a High Commendation for our outreach work with vulnerable groups. We are so proud of our team and all that they do and thank you to all our parents who have sent in such lovely comments!
End of day feedback: As we are keeping face to face feedback at the end of each day to a minimum due to the pandemic, we wish to ensure that this does not deflect from our partnership working. Please do let us know if you would like a telephone call to discuss anything further with us and/or if you could feed in to your child’s learning record on FAMLY this will be really appreciated. Please share any ‘wow’ moments or fun things that you are doing particularly at the weekend.
To further support communication between nursery and home, Sasha has created simple activity sheets if you feel you would find these helpful? They will be sent home with the children each week. These lead to conversations between our practitioners and the children as to what the children did at the weekend and also around how they are feeling. We have trialled this initially with some of our children and they really enjoyed sharing their activity sheets to ourselves and their peers, talking about what they did at the weekend. We then made a display board and throughout the week the children referred back to these leading to more conversation. For our parents who are currently keeping their children at home, we do hope you are finding the home learning activities Sasha is sending home helpful. We have received really good feedback from most parents but if we have not heard from you, please do get in touch if we can support further if needed.
Dates for diaries:
Half term week is 15-20th February.
World Book Day Thursday 4th March – We will send out further information on FAMLY but for this date we would love for you to send your children in dressed as their favourite book character!
Please can all children’s clothes, coats, shoes and wellies be labelled with their names to save them being mixed up with other children’s. Many thanks. Rachel, Lynn and the Fit N Fun Kids Team!
We have had a busy month in Under Twos. We started the month exploring sounds. We listened to our sounds CD, our animal sounds lotto, and our musical CDs and with instruments. We listened to the sounds outside in the garden and made our own ‘cup telephones’ and megaphones to encourage making silly sounds and projecting our voices. The children made lots of animal artwork for our ‘Animal Sounds’ display using techniques like hand printing and gluing. We enjoyed identifying lots of animal sounds by matching up pictures and animal figure toys.
We spent a week looking at the book ‘Owl Babies’ and the children played with the story sack props and made lots of owl artwork. They used lots of different materials for printing, painting, gluing and sticking different natural objects, providing different textures and colours.
Following our children’s interests brought us onto our topic of ‘Transport’. The children have been using wheelbarrows and trolleys to transport objects around inside and outside. They have been very engaged with filling and emptying containers, particularly the filling and emptying of Dumper Trucks with cones and logs and natural objects. They have been rolling vehicles down bamboo ramps and catching them in baskets. They have been very engaged in playing with the road sets and cars, the crane and the train set. They have thoroughly enjoyed filling and emptying different sized and shaped buckets in the sand trays. They have been joining in with the singing and actions to lots of songs like ‘Big Red Tractor’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’.
As always, please get in touch if there is anything you need.
Belinda, Abi and the team!
Kelly, Room Leader
The first week into the new year we concentrated on settling the children back in with lots of child led activities, so the children chose what art they wanted to do, what small world they wanted to explore thus giving the children a chance to talk about their Christmas with their families and of course some of the presents they had received.
For the second week back, we based our activities on balls as the children did a lot of rolling with soft play equipment and played with cars in pairs and rolled them to each other, also a lot of our new children particularly enjoy playing with balls in the garden. We explored all the different things we could do with them such as rolling, throwing, bouncing, kicking in pairs and in groups. We rolled balls in paint to print with and used balls in our parachute play. We sorted balls and provided balls of different sizes to explore.
From the last couple of weeks we noticed some of our children needed a little more help with colour and shape recognition so this is what we based our theme on. We provided the children with shape cutters to paint with, we drew giant sized shapes in the garden to jump in and out of, we provided shape puzzles to problem solve with and lots of shape and colour sorting. We also did a shape hunt in the garden which the children loved, they all had to close their eyes and count to 10 whilst the shapes were being hidden, then went to find them.
Bears was our next theme as a few of our children took a real interest in the ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ story. So, we looked at the different types of bears there are, looked on the map so see where the different bears came from and looked at the differences between the bears. We made and decorated bears in our craft activities and when in the soft-play room and garden, we re-enacted the story using our imaginations which the children really enjoyed!
As you can see we have had a very busy month! However, we still like to hear about what adventures your children get up to at the weekends, even if it’s just a walk! So please feel free to add any info and even pictures on FAMLY.
Lastly can wellies, coats, lunch pots and drinking bottles please be labelled with your children’s names as it really helps us on our busy days.
Kelly and team!
Pre-School and Explorers
Sasha, Deputy Manager | Charlene, Early Years Practitioner
This month pre-school have had a busy time experimenting with the super powers needed for learning. We initially began using our ‘Miss Super Chooser’ and ‘Super Explorer Man’ powers, to explore both pre-school rooms, following the children’s interests. The children thought about what props and powers they needed and used their own ideas and problem solving skills to create masks, capes and magical powers. Our role play area then became a superhero rescue centre, where the children worked hard to share different scenarios and to work out what they would need to rescue and help others, they went on many different adventures, from going on a rocket to the moon, to flying out to sea to recue someone on a boat. Their exploring skills were also used to investigate the cold weather, how ice is formed and also why it melts as it gets warmer, this created a lot of interest amongst the group!
The children then used their ‘Mr Agent Ideas’ and ‘Link and Learn Hero’ skills to investigate and make links in their learning. Interests led us to explore how our bodies feel when we exercise and experiment with moving in different ways, using our problem solving skills to construct the marble run and begin to link the initial sounds in our names to the correct letters. The children showed an interest in cause and effect activities, so they had the challenge of making gloop and exploring how the texture changes, they used their own ideas adding trucks, cars, spoons etc. to the gloop, experimenting with the marks this made.
The following week we used our ‘Fantastic Focus’ skills, this enabled the children to practice the skill of persevering with activities of interest until it is complete to their satisfaction. The Fantastic Focus superheroes enjoyed taking part in group games, identifying and representing numbers within the environment and following their own lines of inquiry such as experimenting with magnets and magnetic materials. The children then became an ‘I know Agent’ and ‘Have a go Hero’, we focused on the story ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, exploring the characters emotions throughout and having a go at retelling the story ourselves. The children were challenged to create props for each of the animals, so the giant could have his clothes back e.g. creating a sail for a boat so the giant could have his shirt back or designing a house for a mouse, so the giant could have his boot. This enabled the children to challenge themselves to have a go at following through with their ideas and interests, focusing on the process of developing an object for a purpose and then evaluating its use.
Finally, the children used their ‘Keep it up Captain’ and ‘Achieving Iron Man’ superpowers, to use their perseverance skills and to enable them to take pride in their achievements. We looked at the story of ‘Zog’ and how he keeps on trying even when things are challenging until he succeeds and wins his golden star. The children followed their interests making their own ‘stars’, designing ‘Zog’ a certificate on the paint programme on the computer and thinking of things they would like to learn about, practice or achieve.