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Recent Posts

Peter Pan in the Wood
Messy Pumpkin, Noisy Pumpkin!
Our Pumpkin Adventure!
The Holly Bush Shop
To the 'Pumpkin Shop!'
'PJ' Masks!
Nature Walk
Where do feathers come from?
Introducing Forest School
Sensory Play
Celebrating Birthdays
Woodland Trust Award
Camouflaging in the Woods
Windy Weather
Mixing Colours
Preparing for School
Fire in the Forest
Wet Weather Fun!
Exploring shapes!
Spring Chicks
Maths is fun!
Dragon in the Woods
Croft Corner Post Office is Open for the Festive Season!
Remembrance Day Craft!
We are Learning to Use Tools
Pumpkin Soup Extravaganza
Investigating ice
Pitter Patter Raindrops
Edible Paint
Forest School Grows Resourceful and Self-Confident Children
Forest School Nursery Fun
Croft Corner Airport is Open
Exploring Textures
Pumpkin Update & Diwali Celebrations
The Dragon in the Woods

Peter Pan in the Wood

Posted filed under Forest School

This week at forest school one child has shown a particular interest in Peter Pan. We have had a wonderful week, using sweet chestnut leaves to make ‘lost boy’ headbands, using the fire sheet to make sparks to ward off the crocodile and using binoculars to reach for Captain Hook! We will continue to follow this interest (now shared amongst many children!) throughout next week.



Messy Pumpkin, Noisy Pumpkin!

Posted filed under Forest School

Last week the children in The Hive were kind enough to bring the children in The Nest a pumpkin back from the shop! This week the children have been investigating the pumpkin (It's the first time most of us have seen one!) 

One of the children held the pumpkin and spent some time feeling it and rolling it on the floor, before we cut the top off the pumpkin and explored the insides. Some of the children were unsure at first using, one finger to touch the seeds inside. We commented on the feel of the pumpkin as we continued to explore. 

Once we had scraped out the pumpkin we put it on to some paper were the children investigated further. One child decided to have a little taste, but quickly decided it didn't taste very nice!

 Once the children finished exploring the pumpkin, we put the seeds into a bottle. We demonstrated shaking the bottle to see what noise we could hear. The children then spent several minutes, shaking, banging and moving the bottle around independently.



Our Pumpkin Adventure!

Posted filed under The Den

Today the children in The Den walked to the local supermarket to buy some pumpkins! The children helped choose two pumpkins that we would like to take back to nursery. "Can we have this one", "It's very big", "This is heavy!", "Can you help me?", "Lots of pumpkins!"

Once we had chosen our pumpkins we headed over the the checkout to pay. The lady at the check out helped us put the pumpkins into a bag to carry back to nursery and gave us a token to put in the slots near the door!

After all the excitement we had worked up quite an appetite. We wondered where we could find a bench to eat our snack and the children thought that the park would be just the place! We set off to Millhouses Park in search of a bench and soon enough the children chose the perfect place! The children saw and heard lots of things whilst eating their snack "Doggy!", "It's raining!", "I can hear the river!", "Oh an aeroplane!"

After our snack we had just enough time to have a play on the climbing frame before walking back to nursery for our dinner! After dinner some of the children used a peeler to peel the skin off one of our pumpkins, it was very tricky and we had to be very careful and listen to instructions but we were able to peel some of the skin off and feel at the "slimey" pumpkin underneath. Next week we will be decorating our pumpkins in preparation for Halloween where, amongst other things, we will be dressing up! 

 



The Holly Bush Shop

Posted filed under Forest School

In the woods this week the children have discovered a natural den in an open area of a holly bush. The children decided they wanted to use this as a shop! Helping each other, they cleared fallen leaves away using rakes and spades.

They put the leaves into a wheelbarrow to take them away. In the holly bush den there is a fallen branch that the children stood behind. Some children were selling, and the others did the buying! The children used acorns as money and called it 'cornies'! Thursday morning's group decided to sell chocolate cake for 5 cornies! 



To the 'Pumpkin Shop!'

Posted filed under The Hive

This morning we took a trip to 'The Pumpkin Shop' (Sainsbury's). On the way we observed tumbling leaves that had fallen from the tree's. One child noticed crab apples on the ground, "They go crunch under my feet!". Through Millhouse's Park we observed the river and lots of dogs who were out for a walk! Another child noticed that the water was running really fast in the the river.

 

We discussed why that might be and the children concluded that all the extra rain we had last night meanth that there would be more water in the river. Next we arrived on Archer Road and headed for Sainsbury's! We were in the halloween spirit as the children selected some small pumpkin's to take back to nursery.

The children decided that they would like to paint and carve the pumpkin's. We will update you with our creations when they are finished! 

 



'PJ' Masks!

Posted filed under Forest School

On our walk to the woods the children found some huge leaves! They meaured the leaves against each others to see whose was the biggest. One child realised the leaf was bigger than their face! "It's like PJ masks" a child commented. We collected lots of gigantic leaves and used sticks and our fingers to make holes in the leaves for our eyes! 



Nature Walk

Posted filed under The Den

Autumn is well and truly in full swing and the children in The Den have been noticing some of the changes in our environment, from the leaves falling, to the colder weather. Embracing this interest this week we decided to take a stroll through the woods! The children found baskets to take with them to collect things they found on the floor. During the walk up to the woods the children found big piles of crunchy leaves and enjoyed jumping up and down in them, listening to the rustling noise they made. Whilst in the woods the children found lots of things, pinecones, leaves, sticks, conkers - and even a caterpillar. The natural environment sparked lots of conversations and the children were keen to keep exploring to see what else we could see. Here are some of the things the children said during our walk:

"This is a big stick" 

"What's this?"

"Look, acorns!"

"That's a big tree!"

"A white feather"

"What's over there?"

"It's spikey!" 

The children were very gentle with the caterpillar and we decided to bring it back to nursery and watch it transform! We talked with the children about what our caterpillar might like to eat, and gave it lots of crunchy leaves and some apple! Within one day the caterpillar has already started to cocoon. 



Where do feathers come from?

Posted filed under Forest School

The children have been looking closely at the woodland floor to see what the windy weather has left for us. We have found many different types of leaves and seeds and have spent time identifying them. Some of the children made 'woodland catchers' to contain what they had found. One of out groups noticed a white feather on the 'dragons' back. We enquired where the leaf may have come from. The children told us the wind blew it from a... "fox", "hedgehog" and "squirel". We looked at our own skin to see if we have feathers. We also talked about the wind bllowing it from the sky. The children concluded that it must be from an animal in the sky! - More specifically, a bird! 



Introducing Forest School

Posted filed under Forest School

This week the children have an introduction to Forest School, they have met the other children in their group and sharing a story as well as games and snacks. We have all enjoyed getting to know one another. We took avatage of the windy weather by making kites with nappy bags and string. The children were taught how to tie a knot by 'helping the rabbit around the tree and down it's hole.' Next week we will walk to Ecclesall woods and use our sense of touch to explore the environment. 

For any further information about Forest School, please see our Forest School handbook, which you can find under the library tab. 



Sensory Play

Posted filed under The Nest

This week in The Nest the children have been exploring sensory experiences through messy play. We mixed cornflour and water together to make a gloup consistancy and added a few drops of food colouring. The children selected the whiskes to mix all the colours together, and watched as the gloup changed coloures many times! We talked about the different colours we could see and the textures. It wasn't too long before whiskes and forks were discarded and the children used their hands (resulting in a few blue fingers!) The children were interested in the gloup for a period of time and contined to explore the changing consistancy of the cornflour. 

To recreate this at home mix 4 parts cornflour to 1 part water (food coloring optional!) Once dried  it is really easy to wipe down or brush up as it returns to powder form! 



Celebrating Birthdays

Posted filed under The Den

We have two children's birthdays this week, so to celebrate we have been baking some buns! The children enjoyed counting how many eggs we put into the mixure, and helping to weigh out all the ingredents. The children took turns adding the different ingredents into the mixture and giving it a good stir. Everybody listened very carefully and were able to follow the simple instructions in order to make the buns. The children chose whether they wanted to use a little spoon or a big spoon to scoop the mixture into the tin. 

After the buns came out of the oven the children enjoyed choosing how they were going to decorate their buns, it was very exciting deciding what colours and sprinkles to use! 

At lunch time we sang 'happy birthday' and tucked in, the children were very impressed with their baking skills and it made for a very quiet pudding time! 



Woodland Trust Award

Posted filed under Forest School

As part of the Woodlands Trust's Green Trees School Awards, we have been taking part in lots of activities and challenges over the last 12 months. We are so pleased that we have earned the gold award, and you can see the wooden plaque in the foyer at nursery. The trees that we have given away have helped with points towards the award, so thank you for supporting us by nurturing the saplings. We are looking forward to seeing what the platinum challenges will be! 



Camouflaging in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

The rainy weather this week has made the woods a really exciting place to be, we have found lots of puddles to jump in, have taken showers under holly bushes and found shelter under beech umbrellas! the children have seen how our outside environment changes in the rain, noticing that the trees and shrubs are growing and that the leaves on them look fresh, clean and new. Of course we got very muddy - as expected!
 
On our walk the children noticed a small brown insect on a stick the same colour, this prompted a conversation about camouflage and what the children think that could mean. We explained to the children that camouflage helps many animals avoid detection by predators or prey because it allows them to blend in to their natural environments. Camouflage means that colours, designs, or patterns on an animal’s body or the shapes of its body parts are similar to the colours, designs, patterns, or shapes in the background. We were soon noticing black beetles in the dark soil and caterpillars dangling amongst the beech leaves.
 
The children quickly got the idea and began to camouflage themselves, hiding in colours that matched their clothes, they found it hilarious that we just couldn't see them when they were in the green grass with their high visibility vests on!!!
 
 
At home play a game of hide-and-seek. Once everyone has had a turn as seeker, talk about what made it easy or hard to find someone. Ask questions like “Did the colour of the clothes you were wearing make a difference?” and make comments like “I don’t think I would have noticed you except I saw your red shirt sticking out.” Have a go at creating a habitat for a small insect, encourage your child to think about how the insect can stay safe and what it needs. 


Windy Weather

Posted filed under The Nest

As the hot week became cooler, the babies noticed the wind blowing the windmills in the garden. We looked at the leaves on the trees moving in the bresse, and the clouds being blown across the sky. The teachers demonsstrated how to blow the windmills to make them spin. All the children huffed and puffed and were pleased to see the effect this had.

 

We then used our bodies to spin around until we were all dizzy. The children were also given ribbons which they swirled in the air as they moved. Continuing the 'round and round' theme we encouraged the babies to make spiral marks in the sand tray using their fingers and sticks from the garden. 



Mixing Colours

Posted filed under The Den

This week the children in the Toddler Room have really enjoyed painting and mixing colours together! We have experimented with watered down paint in spray bottles. Teachers demonstrated how to use the spray bottles and the children quickly got the hang of it and we're ready to go. We gave the children some simple rules and directions about where they could spray the paint and everybody was able to listen well, taking turns and discussing what we thought might happen when we sprayed white paint on top of the purple paint. The children watched as the white run into the purple and then drip onto the floor, leaving marks and dots on the floor!

One child added paint to the water tray, turning the water purple! Another fetched a bowl and sprayed paint into it "I'm putting it in the bowl!" After a while, and a lot of exploring and experimenting, the children began using their hands and making handprints all around the garden. One child held a container whilst another child sprayed the paint into it, they then investigated the paint they had sprayed into the container before pouring it onto the paper! 



Preparing for School

Posted filed under The Hive

That time of year is apon us again. It’s nearly time for school! Although this is a very exciting time in a child’s life it can also be a nervous and thought provoking one for both parents and children. As teachers it is always a bitter sweet moment – saying goodbye to your little babies at the same time as being in awe of how they have grown over the years. At Croft Corner we like the children to feel as ready as possible for that big jump between nursery and reception. Throughout the year the pre-schoolers have been going on trips to Dobcroft School (one of our biggest feeder schools) to make them feel comfortable and at home in the surroundings. We were lucky enough to be invited to Dobcroft’s Christmas Concert and the Easter Bonnet Parade. Not only did we get to meet some old friends from Croft Corner but the visits helped show the preschoolers what fun things they will get to experience from September. The Reception teachers even came to visit us at nursery to get to meet the children and find out a little bit more about them. 

At nursery we have been preparing for this transition by reading a few stories about starting school, dressing up in old school uniforms and starting a creative project entitled ‘What we learnt along the way’ which is based around the idea of children sharing their most loved memories of nursery. So far all the children are really looking forward to school but are truly excited for the School Leavers Concert and Party which will take place in July. 

 

Transition times can be stressful on all involved in the process so here are our top tips: 

1. Give information to your child. They might be interested to know what the school is called, who else might be going there, what does the uniform look like etc. 

2. Help prepare a timescale for your child so they understand when they will be going to ‘big school’. For e.g. “Well you are 3 now. At your next birthday you will be 4. When we turn 4 years old we go to big school, but that’s not for a while yet”. 

3. Read stories about making new friends or first day of school at home but try not to do it before sleep time as it may cause worry or anxiety. Rather read them together when you have time to discuss any questions or queries that may arise from the stories. 

4. If possible look at pictures of the school, teachers, peers, classrooms at home. This helps the child become familiar with the surroundings and gives them an idea of what they might expect from school. 

5. Try not to use school as a threat. “You are a big boy now. The teachers won’t let you do that/say that/play like that at school. 

6. Try to not let your own anxieties about your child starting school come through to them. Children are very quick to pick up on emotions. Rather try to let your enthusiasm shine through and your child will soon see school through the same eyes.



Fire in the Forest

Posted filed under Forest School

Our forest school children have come such a long way on their forest school journey over the last year. The children are able to set up a safe fire area confidently and discuss the rules about how to keep themselves safe, such as not walking into the fire circle, but instead, walking around the edge. As the children explore they find suitable pieces of bark and lots of sticks to 'feed' our fire. We enjoy the time we spend around the fire, sharing stories and chatting, whilst drinking our hot chocolate.



Wet Weather Fun!

Posted filed under The Nest

The babies have been very interested in the puddles the wet weather has made in the garden, so we put on our splash suits and welly boots and went to the park for a puddle walk!We explored the environment by jumping, splashing and sitting in the puddle. The children really enjoyed singing as they jumped around! We also looked at wriggly worms, who were enjoying the rain as much as we were!

 

 

The children then enjoyed balancing, climbing and sliding in the playground before we returned to nursery for a well earned rest! 



Exploring shapes!

Posted filed under The Den

This week the children have being showing an interest in shapes, choosing a variety of different shape blocks during play. We decided to explore shapes using a light box! We used the sensory blocks, which are all different shapes and colours. We turned off all the lights and switched the light box on. The children chose a variety of ways to explore the light box and the shapes. Some children enjoyed looking through the opaque shapes "I can see you!" one commented. "What's this?" another enqired, turning the shape around and pointing to the coloured sand moving around inside the shape. Other shapes have liqid inside and we watched as it 'swished' around. Another had beads in, which ratled as it was tipped and shaken. One child made a tower using the blocks, balancing them carefully, and others decided to bang them together, we enjoyed the noise that made!

The children really enjoyed exploring with the shapes, as well as the sensory experiences that were provided by the light box and different tacties inside the blocks. This activity also provided an excellent opportunity to talk about the different colours and shapes the children could see, and how we could change them using other blocks and the light box to reflect other colours. We will be continuing to explore the children's interest in shapes in the environment, commenting on shapes we see and encouraging the children to actively talk about the shapes they can see during the course of the day.



Spring Chicks

Posted filed under The Hive

In the hall we have been looking at lifecycles and the care of living things in the environment. After working on the story of 'The Hen' the children made their own life cycle flash cards and acted out the story with their friends. In the group room the children also helped to prepare for the arrival of the chicken eggs, setting up the incubator and carefully placing the eggs inside. We talked about what would happen with the eggs and the children were given the opportunity to observe the eggs daily to see if there were any changes. We counted each day to see how many days it took for the eggs to hatch. We counted up to 21(!) before the first chick arrived, and three followed the next day, some children managed to see a couple of the chicks hatch - it took a long time and we all had to be very patient, but it was worth it!

Once the chicks had arrived we spoke about the changes we saw, and have enjoyed holding the chicks and describing how they feel and look, here are some of the things they said... 

"They are soft"

"Their feet are a bit itchy"

"They're pecking!"

The pre-school children were very caring towards the chicks and spoke about using quiet voices, as not to scare the chicks, and being very gentle when holding them. Some children spoke about what the chicks might eat, and thought the bird food looked a bit funny! The children decided that they didn't think they would like to eat the bird food! When holding the chicks they became a little bit lively and the children commented on what they were doing...

"It's walking on my arm!"

"Look! It's on my knee!"

"It's tickling me!"

The chicks even prompted one child to think about what they might do when they're older. "I want to be a vet, I love the chicks!" they said. 

 



Maths is fun!

Posted filed under The Hive

I just wanted to let you know about a really brilliant game for matching numerals to quantity that I have been playing with our 3 and 4 year olds. The game is really simple as they spin a spinner and it lands on a number between 1- 6 then they have to find a dog with corresponding number of spots. This helps children develop early maths skills like giving one and only one counting word to every item counted. This is called the 1 to 1 principle and is an essential part of learning to count. As is the stable order principle which means that numbers need to be counted in the same order i.e 1,2,3 etc.

Children can also learn to take turns! Once the game has finished, the children turn their dogs over and there are pictures of baskets with bones which they then have to total.

The best bit is that children love playing the game and I am also amazed that even at 4 years old, they can look at the dog and estimate accurately how many of spots there are!



Dragon in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

 

 

The Dragon in the Woods

This short story was created by scribing what our wonderfully talented children said about the dragon in the woods! Story scribing (where you write down exactly what the child says when telling a story) is a really important way to show children that spoken words can be transferred to paper. It helps them to make sense of why writing is important.

“I don’t know why the dragon came here”                          

“What’s happened to his mouth?”                                

“He’s rock hard”                                                   

“He’s got loads of holes, look”                                     

“The moss is not on his back now”                                     

“Is it a triceratops? Maybe that’s the front of his hair”

 

“This is my sleeping ship”

“Maybe this dragons sleeping so much it turned to stone”

“When I touch his eye he doesn’t wake up”

“He’s not sleepy”

“He’s not a sleeping dragon anymore he’s a water dragon”

“Now he’s a fire dragon”

“It could breathe fire at the witch”

“He’s a breathing fire dragon”

“It’s an earth dragon isn’t it?”

“Do you know what an earth dragon is?”

“It’s a log dragon”

“It’s a digging dragon”

 

“He likes me”

“He might be my best friend”

“He likes me”

“He likes me”

 

“He’s a climbing dragon”

“I could climb but me too scared”

“The dragon’s coming after me!”

 “He waked up! Let’s run away, let's run away!"



Croft Corner Post Office is Open for the Festive Season!

Posted filed under The Hive

 

Christmas has been the talk of the nursery over the last few weeks and in the Hall we decided to turn our wicker den into a Post Office. We set up a table, till, presents, weighing scales and some envelopes and let the children explore the area and follow their lead. Soon the Post Office was buzzing with busy hands both working behind the till and some bringing letters and parcels to be weighed and sent. We practiced our writing skills by creating signs for the Post office and  put some real pennies in the till to explore mathematical language and communicating with the ‘customers’.

 

Some children wanted to write letters to their mums and dads, and a few even sent Santa a long gift list. It was lovely to see some of the mark making that spontaneously happened in the post office and the children really engaged imaginatively with the resources, extending play and communicating within different peer groups.

 

Our Post Office has now expanded outside and has taken on the form as a Santa's Grotto. The children have really enjoyed this project and it is wonderful to see mark making happening spontaneously within the nursery environment.

 

Top Tips for Encouraging Mark Making at Home:

  • let your child watch you write. 
  • Make shopping lists
  • Leave clipboards, pens and paper around the house to encourage spontaneous writing.
  • Let children write their name and small captions to give meaning to their mark making.
  • Write letters to family members (everyone loves to recieve a letter)
  • Send Postcards.

 



Remembrance Day Craft!

Posted filed under The Nest

 

After a big interest in mark making and painting, for Remembrance Day we decided to make a giant poppy! We put down paper in a big tuff tray with red paint on plates scattered around. The children had a variety of mark making tools to choose from, such as paint brushes and sponges, however most opted to get stuck in and use their bodies! The children enjoyed painting themselves a little more than the paper(!) nevertheless we ended up with a lot of red paint everywhere! The children explored the paint as they spread it with their fingers, and some became more daring, covering their legs and arms. This activity provided a lot of sensory experiences for the children, as well as exploring with the marks they make. Once the painting had finished, some of the older children in the group were able to sprinkle poppy seeds and glitter over our picture, providing great use of our fine motor skills! This made a lovely finishing touch to our team effort, and the Children were very proud of what they had accomplished, eager to show others as they visited our room. Following this activity, we will be continuing with the theme of getting messy, exploring different tactile media such as flour, gloup, ice, etc. mixing things together and investigating!



We are Learning to Use Tools

Posted filed under Forest School

Over the first half term at Forest School we spent time introduucing the children to different aspects of the woods using their senses, they started a journey in self awareness and began to build trust within their groups of children and adults. Folllowing this the children were ready to move on, being gradually introduced to controlled risk and challenge. So.....

                                            we learned how to use a bow saw!

We spoke to the children about how to use the saw safely using the Forest School method. The children were really enthusiastic to 'have a go' and were brilliant at staying safe and turn taking. It was fantastic to see their astonishment as their wooden disc fell from the log to cries of "look what I did".

As welll as a new experience for the children they were able to practice hand/eye coordination and to work as part of a small team to achieve a shared outcome. The children were interested to learn that their furniture at home may have once started life as a log!!!!!

We were able to boost everyones self esteem with this activity, increasing independence and confidence. (Even our parent volunteers joined in for the 'feel good factor')



Pumpkin Soup Extravaganza

Posted filed under The Hive

In the hall we have had a lovely time celebrating Halloween. Through lengthy conversations about what to dress up as, who's going to which party and who will collect the most sweets - Halloween has definitely been a talking point in our classroom lately. After reading our book of the week “Pumpkin Soup” (By so and so), we thought it would be a great learning experience for the children to get involved in a cooking activity.

We cut open the pumpkin and discovered a wonderful “world of string” (According to George). Some of the children scooped out the pumpkin pulp and seeds whilst others helped peel potatoes and carrots. Using the kitchen equipment was very exciting and the peeler caused quite a stir! After all the prep we mixed the ingredients together and placed it on the stove (teachers did some helping at this stage).

After a lot of waiting we finally got to give the soup a final stir and then we could eat it! The children were excited to eat the soup they had created from scratch and we thought it would make a perfect afternoon snack. The soup went down well, and everyone was very brave to give it a try.

Here is our recipe for pumpkin soup if you would like to try it at home:

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin
  • 1 onion peeled and diced
  • 1 potato peeled and diced
  • 500 ml vegetable stock

Method:

  • Sauté onion and potato in 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Add the pumpkin
  • Add the vegetable stock
  • Boil for 10 minutes
  • Blend together and enjoy!

 

 



Investigating ice

Posted filed under The Den

As the weather is becoming colder and Halloween is nearly here we decided to explore Halloween shaped and coloured ice.

We placed the ice onto a tray and the children explored touching and sliding them around the tray,"cold" one child exclaimed then pointed to the witches hat."Hat, what's that" he asked picking up the mummy shaped ice and a member of staff explains. He drops the ice and little flakes of ice chipped off and a couple of the children pick these up and begin to mark make on the top of the table and in doing so notice that their fingers are turning red from the food colouring. A child joins the group, fetching a shopping basket with him and begins to fill the basket with ice, a peer joins in and when all the ice is in the basket they tip it back onto the tray. Another child uses the lid off a box to mark make on. The ice was steadily melting so after a while we decided to add it to the water tray and continued to explore as the ice turned the water red, which then became fun to fill, empty and squirt water as bottles were added.

The children really enjoyed this activity and it gave them chance to explore textures and talk about the changes that happened as the ice melted as well as using physical dexterity and working out problems - how to squirt the bottles.

We think the children will really enjoy more investigative texture play, we are therefore planning an activity to extend texture play using squirty pump dispensers with a variety of contents to touch, mix and smell.

 

 



Pitter Patter Raindrops

Posted filed under Forest School

We have chosen to spend time at Millhouses Park this week, fishing and puddle jumping! The children have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get wet and soggy taking full advantage of the rainy weather. 

 
Puddle jumping is not only brilliant fun but also a necessary experience for cognitive skills development such as decision making, problem solving and the ability to focus as well as allowing children to collect, process and interpret information from the environment.
 
Get your waterproofs on and have a go, it's a great workout for adults, try adding gllittter or bubble bath to the puddles for added excitement! 


Edible Paint

Posted filed under The Nest

Two of our favourite activities in the baby room are painting and tasting... So we thought- "let's combine the two" resulting in edible paint! 

RECIPE:

2 x cups of cornflour

1 x cup of cold water

4.5 x cups of boiling water.

liquid food colouring.

We let the 'paint' cool, put aprons on, provided paintbrushes and toothbrushes as markmaking tools, and got stuck in for a 'hands on' sensory experience.

We smelt, touched, tasted [!] listened to squelchy sounds, and watched as the colours mixed and changed, resulting in some lovely colourful pictures for the babies to take home.

This activity provided an opportunity for all the children to get involved. They were able to:

* Mark make

* Stir, mix colours and combine materials

* Exercise gross/fine motor skills

As the mixture keeps for a day or so, it is an activity the children can return to- contributing to their deeper level learning.

Following a demonstration, some of the older chidren were able to predict what would happen when different colours were added.

A lovely extension to this tactile experience is natural yogurt mixed wth food colouring. Just don't forget to have a bowl of warm bubbley water to hand-which may prove just a interesting!



Forest School Grows Resourceful and Self-Confident Children

Posted filed under Forest School

We saw Forest School at its best today, children were able to look around and choose woodland resources independently to use for crafts and games. A super use of a stick and ivy vine to make a bow, also sticks, stones and leaves for a game of noughts and crosses! The children are glowing with confidence and self esteem, they are able to turn take and enjoy games together, tapping into their emotional intelligence to recognise their own needs and those of others! Amazing!



Forest School Nursery Fun

Posted filed under Forest School

The wilder weather seems to be behind us and summer has finally arrived! Children have been observing the changes that have been occurring in the woods over the past couple of months such as the bluebells blooming, the new bright green leaves and the variety of insects which the new vegetation has attracted

The sweet chestnut group have continued to enjoy exploring the woodland and this week they found a secret stream! One of the children spotted a tree that had fallen across the stream and suggested that we use it as a bridge to cross the stream. This provided an excellent opportunity for children to develop their gross motor skills as they carefully walked across the tree trunk. The children felt a huge sense of achievement they had crossed the stream encouraging a sense of self confidence and risk taking.

Ecclesall woods provides many opportunities for children to practise their balancing and risk taking skills for example climbing the stumps of the fallen trees and jumping into the little streams and brooks that run thoroughout the woodlands

Even though the weather is getting warmer the temperature under the woodland canopy can be much lower. Therefore, can you please ensure that your child brings a light waterproof coat with them to the woods and to prevent any scratches or midge bites can they wear a light long sleeve top and trousers on their woods day



Croft Corner Airport is Open

Posted filed under The Hive

With the return of the sunny weather this week at Croft Corner we have had lots of talk about holidays! Some children returned from their holiday last week full of tales of adventure; swimming without armbands and flying on an aeroplane!

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We decided to follow this interest and set up an airport in the role play area of the room and explore the theme of transport. This ranged from water train tracks and making tickets in the mark making area to lining up all the chairs in nursery to make a bus which the children decided to do without any adult leading. This picture shows some of our boys making train tracks and tunnels, which encouraged cooperation, mark making and creativity.

With role play at Croft Corner we encourage the children to run with their imagination, extending play by providing resources for them to make their own props which allow them to share their experiences with others. Occasionally the children may start with one theme or storyline and many hours later have developed that into something completely different while being absorbed in their play. Having the room as free flow with the doors open really compliments this play as often children will run in and out getting what they want and taking it outside to enhance what they are doing.

Another way we have followed the theme of transport is using tills so the children can buy tickets they have created for their travels. This allows them to use mathematical language in everyday conversations and begin to build up an idea of how money is used in exchange for things.

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The children have responded enthusiastically to these activities and is evident in the spontaneous play we observe the children doing. Spontaneous play is when a child or group of children are doing an activity or game they have initiated, we then respond to this by providing props or equipment that helps them carry on their activity further.

Every week we look at the children's next steps that we have observed, their interests and our medium term planning to enhance the nursery in all areas and ensure the children are getting a continuous learning experience.

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Exploring Textures

Posted filed under The Den

Now as you know, we like to get the children messy at Croft Corner and this week we have been having lots of fun playing with gloop. If you haven't heard of gloop it’s a mixture of cornflour and water and we added custard powder in for an extra sensory experience.

The children have loved this fun sensory experience and we saw lots of deep level learning! When children are developing, learning through their senses is a very important way for them to learn how things are different. Gloop, for example, will drip and pour like a liquid but you can also form it into a solid ball so it is fascinating to children.

One little boy squealed with delight when a solid ball of gloop could be seen “disappearing” into the tray. Another wanted to feed his dinosaur the gloop and had to do some critical thinking to work out how to get his dinosaur out when we realised it was stuck!

Our flexible routine in the room allows for children to become absorbed in what they are doing and it was so rewarding to see a little boy play with the gloop for over an hour uninterrupted. He was able to become fully immersed in his learning and it was our role as Early Years Practitioners to support and extend his learning (more on how we do that next time!!)

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If you want to try it at home, it’s really easy to make, you just need a bowl and add cornflour with a little water and mix, adding water until you get a smooth consistency. It can get quite messy but unlike paint it is very easy to tidy up! 

Over the coming weeks we will be continuing to introduce the children to different messy play activities. We are always looking for new ideas so if you have any you would like to share then please do. This link has lots of ideas and hopefully we can try them out http://pulptastic.com/15-genius-activities-can-kids/



Pumpkin Update & Diwali Celebrations

Posted filed under The Hive

Over the last week we have been getting into the Halloween spirit and decorating our pumpkin's which we bought last week! (Please see our blog "To the Pumpkin Shop" to see what we got up too!) We have displayed our decorated pumpkin's in The Hive and all the children have enjoyed looking at them!

Don't forget! - The Nest, The Den & The Hive are all dressing up on Halloween! If your child attends nursery on Tuesday the 31th of October they are welcome to join in! 

We would also like to say Happy Diwali everybody! This week we are celebrating the festival of light and doing some Diwali craft! We have also set up a special Diwali table to celebrate! 

 



The Dragon in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

 

The Dragon in the Woods

This short story was created using quotes from our wonderfully talented children during forest school 

“I don’t know why the dragon came here”                          

“What’s happened to his mouth?”                                

“He’s rock hard”                                                   

“He’s got loads of holes, look”                                     

“The moss is not on his back now”                                     

“Is it a triceratops? Maybe that’s the front of his hair”

 

“This is my sleeping ship”

“Maybe this dragons sleeping so much it turned to stone”

“When I touch his eye he doesn’t wake up”

“He’s not sleepy”

“He’s not a sleeping dragon anymore he’s a water dragon”

“Now he’s a fire dragon”

“It could breathe fire at the witch”

“He’s a breathing fire dragon”

“It’s an earth dragon isn’t it?”

“Do you know what an earth dragon is?”

“It’s a log dragon”

“It’s a digging dragon”

 

“He likes me”

“He might be my best friend”

“He likes me”

“He likes me”

 

“He’s a climbing dragon”

“I could climb but me too scared”

“The dragon’s coming after me!”

 “He waked up! Let’s run away, let's run away!"