Hungry caterpillars, super soap, Worrisome Wilf, and passports (12th October 2015)…

This week the Chimps got their chef hats out to make sweet potato bread. They poured, they mixed, they probably sampled, all of their ingredients, exploring the various textures. In the builder’s tray, the little ones have been practicing their scooping and shovelling hands to get all the pasta and spaghetti back into the basket. Since they enjoy the “3 Little Ducks” song so much, their water tray became a duck pond and the Chimps helped complete the song by taking the appropriate number of ducklings out and putting them back. In the group time area, the Chimps have had some rousing renditions of their stories with a story basket session. The focus was on sizes, so their items were either big or small. They also enjoyed hearing The Hungry Caterpillar. Who doesn’t? With all that fruit the caterpillar ate, it was only natural the team extended it to the activity table and the Chimps created fruit collages and added “berries,” “pear,” and “apple” to their vocabulary. Why not, yum, yum?

What a perfect time to talk about the change in weather as we struggle to get those summer babes back into their coats and hats. It may be a bit chilly, but there’s no reason they can’t carry on building sand castles. The Howlers have been honing their fill, tip, and pat techniques as they used buckets and shape moulds in the sand. At the creative table, the Howlers enjoyed vegetable printing, sorting through the selection by name and choosing which prints they wanted on their papers. Exploring sizes, the Howlers separated leaves in the garden into two bowls – big leaves and little leaves. They also learned the Makaton for big and little. At their sensory table was a super soap extravaganza with pom-poms, pipe cleaners and craft sticks. Super soap is much like shaving foam only more dense so it can handle being formed into shapes. It was an instant hit with the Howlers, especially the grownups (what we don’t tell you is these activities are all for us, really). When they weren’t making a foamy mess, the Howlers were preparing some rather tasty pizzas in the role play and cooking areas. They are becoming quite adept and preparing vegetables so there was very little for the adults to do as the children chose their toppings and carried on like culinary masters.

Well, if any of the Baboons were unsure about creepy crawlies, this has been their week to master their fear as they created paper cup spiders using photos of real ones (eeek!) for reference. They all did very well, I must say. Of course, no spider would be happy without a home, and the Baboons did not neglect to ensure their spiders had a place to rest their hats, if spiders wore hats. Using cotton batting, twine, glue, and glitter, the children decorated sparkly spiderwebs, which we’re sure the arachnids simply adored. It’s been feeling particularly crisp in the mornings this week, which can only mean autumn has truly taken residence. The Baboons have enjoyed a Reggio Emilia inspired autumn sensory table complete with pinecones, colourful leaves, and other natural materials. Thank you to one of our lovely parents who brought a fabulous array of leaves and berries for the children to explore. Things have been very quiet in the bat cave as the Baboons tiptoed through with their hardhats and torch lights to observe the sleeping creatures without disturbing them. Their group time focus this week was saying hello and thank you in all the languages of children in the room. Alexandra, our newest Baboon practitioner, has even been teaching the Baboons a few Romanian keywords and songs. Jodie’s shadow puppet story this week, after a trip to the library with a few of the Baboons, was Worrisome Wilf. It’s all about a boy who doesn’t want to go to bed because he’s afraid of all the fantastical things he thinks up, like ninjas with snails on their backs and werewolves that ride skateboards. I suppose I couldn’t go to bed with those things in my head either. I’d be laughing too much. In the end, Wilf realized there was nothing to be frightened of. Phew.

Well our jet setting Gorillas put their world travellers’ experience to good effect as they booked holidays all over the world in their role play travel agency. As they sat in the aeroplane, they talked about all the places they wanted to visit. They’ve been looking at maps and globes to pinpoint countries they’ve been to, as well as mark where they currently are. Even noting down places outside of England that some of their favourite grownups are from *coughAmericacough*. Their languages focus has also been on travel so they’ve been learning how to say country names in Spanish and Italian (not at the same time because that would be strange). As they identified countries on the map, they also talked about how they would most likely get there. The pirates of the group couldn’t resist offering ship as an option. The Gorillas have demonstrated some excellent interpretive skills as they drew self-portraits in front of a mirror. Some of them were very true to life, leaving no detail behind, while others took a more creative approach and added costumes and objects. Their letter/phonic of the week was “Ii” and the children took the lesson out to the garden as they tried to search for objects with that sound in the word. I…i…immmpressive!