The week began with lots of work in the outdoor area, sweeping, raking, digging etc to get ready for planting. The mud kitchen has been well used with children stirring, mixing and spooning their mud creations in the saucepans, bowls and jugs. We put some new compost into the sand tray as an alternative to sand and the children used it to fill buckets and make ‘pies’ and ‘cakes.’ We have also continued our self portraits where the children have painted some lovely pictures of themselves by looking in the mirror and painting what they see. On Tuesday the big model elephant came into Squirrels and there was a lot of excitement as we set about transforming him into Elmer. We cut out lots of colours in tissue paper and pasted it on with paintbrushes and PVA glue. He now looks amazing in his new patchwork coat. We read a story about Elmer in which he changed his patchwork body into grey just like all the other elephants. He did this by squeezing all the juice out of some berries and rolling his body all over it! On Wednesday we had lots of boxes in all sizes to play with and we made the biggest one into a house with a door. We tried to see how many children would fit into the box and we found we could get more in when they stood up than if they were sitting down. We put some numbers on the outside of the box and made some windows and then we needed a letter box so that the postman could call. The house was used throughout the day both inside and outside. An obstacle course was made all around the garden and this kept the children involved for a long time. The children are very motivated when they are so involved with their activities, creating and thinking critically as they try different ideas. On Thursday we had sports with Leo and we also made a chart showing what we would like to grow in our garden this year. The children would particularly like to grow bananas and grapes for snack! We hope to grow tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes and beans as well as some flowers and herbs. On Friday we played some games on the computer and built towers with wooden blocks, big and small. We used the play dough to make cakes and other foods and we played the dinosaur colour game. We have been practising sounds by playing games and looking at letters.
We have been very lucky again with the weather this week and the children have spent a lot of time outside in the garden. On Monday we played ‘parties’, using leaves for food and waffle bricks for games. One child built a bridge with the waffle bricks and drove his car round it. This lead to talking about the importance of road safety and how green means go and red means stop. Later on we played the ‘car’ game where we were the cars and we had to watch for the colours to change and move accordingly.We had a visit from Travis the cockerel who was very big but very tame. Later on that morning some fluffy hens came to visit and next week we are hoping to see some new born chicks. On Tuesday we played games with the carpet shapes in the garden and we continued our story of Ringo the Flamingo. We took turns to visit the role play hairdressers where we had our hair styled and our make up and nails done. We were even able to dress up in some special clothes. On Wednesday a small group came up with some lists of instructions for staff to be ‘good’. This was great practise for handwriting skills and lots of children are now writing their own names on their pictures. We made a start on spring cleaning the garden ready for sowing our seeds and plants. We swept up loads of leaves and put them in bags and boxes for the compost heap. Eight children have visited Tesco this week and some of them were able to use the scan and shop facility which proved very popular. One group bought a selection of new fruits to try for snack and the others bought some Cheerios cereal. On Thursday we started to build a water wall with the plastic bottles and lots of children got involved in looking for different size bottles and suggesting positions to place them (lots of positional language). By Friday we had read the story of Ringo the Flamingo several times and the children were able to help tell the story. Some also put on a puppet show for their friends, using the animal finger puppets. We have been looking at shapes around us and we searched for shapes in the coloured and scented rice. We are also looking at ourselves and painting self portraits. Don’t forget to look out for them on the wall in Squirrels room. See you next week for lots more learning through play.
This week lots of children have brought in their favourite story books in celebration of national book week. We have read all sorts of stories from the Gruffalo books to Thomas the tank engine, stories about ballerinas, cars, teddy bears and all sorts. The weather has been better so we have made full use of the garden. On Monday and Tuesday a group of children played a pretend horse game outside where they built an enclosure and some fences for jumping over. We have been playing shops throughout the week and we created a book shop where we were able to sort through books and choose one to buy. This later turned into a library where we had to be very quiet and listen to stories. Outside we have played games with the coloured hoops, matching beanbag colour to hoop colour, placing ourselves in the correct colour hoop and rolling and skipping with hoops. We have made obstacle courses, played lots of ball games and ridden trikes, scooters and balance bike. We played lots of group games such as the car game and What’s the time Mr Wolf. Some children made a ‘garage’ where they pretended to repair cars using a variety of tools. We even managed afternoon snack, picnic style outside on 2 occasions. The children continue to enjoy sports with Leo on Thursday mornings, this week taking turns on the space hoppers, catching balls in a cup and balancing games. Some of us have made a display called ‘I can write my name’ and others enjoyed practicing letters and shapes in the flour tray (some got a little carried away and used the flour to turn themselves white)! This is something you could easily do at home. All you need is a small amount of flour on a tray or table and encourage your child to draw shapes with their index finger or they may like to use a small paintbrush to make patterns. Whatever you do this weekend have fun and see you next week