We were really excited to welcome Karen from St Luke's Church who came and spoke to the children about Harvest. Taking the story of the fishes and loaves, Karen wowed the children with a magic show where she multiplied a drinks bottle again and again and again, illustrating how we can give our surplus 'harvest' to others and how thankful others will be. This led to a discussion about what we're all thankful for, with children drawing these things onto a heart.
With the weather more changeable this week, it has been even more important to ensure that the children are able to be active indoors. Our regular 'Jolly Jo' sports session explored a range of activities this week, including running in and out of cones, matching items to coloured mats and rolling balls down ramps. Within these games the children learn to listen to instructions and to take turns.
Music and movement has also been popular all week. Initially children were simply listening to the music on the I-pod (baby shark... again!) and making up dance moves, but we were soon adding our dancing scarves and ribbons to extend our dance moves, before then adding instruments too. The children were so inspired by their talents that THEY decided they would put on a talent show. We worked together to create a sign for the stage, added microphones, set up a circle of chairs, and then invited our friends to watch the show. Many of the children showcased their singing and dancing - showing great pride in their achievements.
Sensory play continues to be one of our most popular activities at Squirrels. Following on from the oats and rice that we explored last week, this week we explored cooked spaghetti in a tuff tray. The children enjoyed mixing the different colours together, using tweezers to find the hidden bugs, and generally feeling and 'squelching' it! After lunch, we also added scissors to the tray which enabled children to practice their cutting skills in a new way, whilst being encouraging to then compare the lengths of their spaghetti and explore concepts such as longest and shortest.
To appeal to our transporters, we set up 2 different height tuff trays and filled 1 with sand, trucks and diggers. With wooden planks between the trays, we watched as the vehicles were moved between 1 tray and the other. Interestingly, we noted how the children seemed to have a preference playing in the lower tray, showing how important it is that activities are presented at the correct child height.
Building has been particularly popular this week. The train track first inspired children to build, but then we noticed they were adding the wooden blocks too. This building for trains then developed into building vertical towers, enclosing spaces and building 'castles' and 'houses' from the wooden blocks. To help inspire children's ideas, we have added a range of photos of structures from around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Shard, and Sydney Opera House.
Finally, reading stories is always a favourite activity within the setting, and we encourage children to join in with repetitions within the text. This week, however, the children had to make up their own story! During carpet-time, the children were given a tray of story prompts, and were then encouraged to think what could happen next e.g. Gordon the train going to the park, or the super speedy superhero who rescued the dog! This is a wonderful way to encourage imaginative ideas and start to understand how stories develop.
Ideas to continue the learning at home:
Why not try your own storytelling at home - use a favourite teddy or toy as a starting point, and think about an adventure they might have!