We have continued to focus on the garden again this week; children have continued to plant seeds and have also helped us to weed the borders, water the growing fruit canes and sweep the pathways. We also pruned one of our bushes, with children able to help by carefully using scissors to prune the lower leaves. Whilst gardening we found lots of bugs and enjoyed taking a closer look using our bug viewer pots. Children used our garden bug poster to help them identify their finds; spiders, woodlice, slugs, a snail and even a centipede!
We received a very kind donation of plastic crates and wooden planks mid-week – these have already been put to good use with children using them for balancing, using them as seating for a ‘campfire’ snack, and threading them with small branches to make a dinosaur ‘jungle’. Hopefully we can continue to explore these next week and see what else we can make!
On Wednesday we were happy to welcome ‘Phonics Stars’ into Squirrels; this is a session aimed at pre-school children where they are introduced to letter shapes and sounds during a range of fun activities. We drove lettered cars around letter shaped road maps - helping children to become familiar with the letter shapes. We found textured letters hiding in a dinosaur swamp and had to rescue them using tongs and tweezers – helping develop fine motor skills whilst, again, learning letter shapes. Then we used lettered pegs to match to characters from the story, ‘Some Dogs Do’ – learning how these sounds can be blended together to make words. This session proved very popular and led to us exploring the sounds from our own names during circle-time.
Finally, we explored vegetables! We used these to make our mud kitchen more authentic and to give the children new textures to explore. We also created a ‘floating forest’ – the vegetable tops were put in a tray of water where, hopefully, they will sprout new greenery! A very exciting science project that we can continue to observe next week!
Ideas to continue this week’s fun at home:
The children loved helping with our garden tidy up – why not involve your child in projects at home? They can help sweep, sort out socks when doing the laundry, wash vegetables ready for dinner – the possibilities are endless! Not only do you get a helper, but they get to feel involved in what you’re doing and a sense of pride in their accomplishments.