The buzz buzz buzz of spring, the scoop of ice cream, the awe of ponds and rush hour rockets (Week beginning 13th April 2015)…

The Chimps have been basking in all the glorious sunshine and it’s just as well since their song of the week was all about bumble bees. They practiced their buzz, buzz, buzzes and are even learning the Makaton for bee. You may notice in the blog photos that your little ones are a tad dusty and this was largely due to their sensory flour activity with black paper. Some of the Chimps were keen on scrunching and ripping their paper while others were very attentive to all the flour particles circling round their heads. They also used flour to make moon dough (flour and oil) which can be moulded like play dough, but is also crumbly…if your child is partial to crumbling. Since it has been a bit toastier this week, what better time to fill pots and pans with water and practice emptying, pouring, and well, ‘good drinking’ as it so happened. They even used lids to transfer water to various containers (thinking outside the pot, as it were). Of course no pot and pan activity would be complete without a jamming session and the Chimps, naturally, borrowed Gillian’s wooden spoons to bang and clang out a few tunes. Now, we know there isn’t much hair between all of your little Chimps but that didn’t stop them from playing with hairbrushes and bristly things and even copying adults in brushing their own downy do’s. In the book area the Chimps were treated to the story of Snuggle Bunny with the aid of their puppet basket and practiced their gentle hands and snuggly snoodles. They love that bunny. Awwww.

Ice cream shop. You might think that an activity involving brightly coloured shaving foam, colourful and sprinkly things, and real ice cream cones would be far too tempting for the Howlers to resist taking a bite or cheeky taste of. But you’d be wrong. The Howlers’ role playing skills definitely get top marks as they created their own “ice cream” sensations using coloured rice, lentils, beans, pipe cleaners and glitter. Anyway they marvelled at their mastery of a new skill rather than chomping down on their faux treats. The children carried on with their practicing of kitchen skills as they demonstrated a strong sense of sequencing in their daily task of preparing food and then sitting down at the table with others. Dare I say, there was a bit of table babble between the Howlers that us grown-ups weren’t privy to as they ate their imaginary meals. The team wondered if they were talking about them in kiddie code. Hmmm…. With all the sun we’ve been enjoying this week, it’s hard not to imagine having a beach role play or small world somewhere in the nursery and this week that place was the Howlers. The children explored shells, beach stones, and fish (not real fish, play fish in case you’re worried). Since “Hooray for Fish” is such a classic story in the room, the Howlers had no trouble in identifying the various patterns on their beach fish. Unfortunately, while they are present in the book, there were no eye or elephant fish this time around, though the children were keeping an eye out for them in the shoal. Speaking of fish, the Howlers had a go at designing their own using paper plates, googly eyes and sequins. We do hope you’ll give them a good home in those paper fish tanks of yours.

Full of the spirit of spring, the Baboons ventured to St. Anne’s for a leisurely frolic with nature, picking up petals and leaves along the way. They also ventured to the pond which was not only full of fish but tadpoles. The Baboons have since become very keen to learn all about frogs and frogs the theme has suspiciously been making its way into play since their trip. Using their park petals, the children created pictures – commenting on the colours they found and the textures they felt. In the dance room the children have been counting drum beats and tapping out rhythms. In the small world tray little soldiers in training had the tiring task of running an intricate obstacle course created by Jodie and Caz (they spent a lot of time on that well done ladies). Baboons put the little people through their paces as they jumped over tires, climbed rock walls, waded through a muddy stream, and swung along the monkey bars. The Baboons run a tough course I must say. Some of them even made the little guys line up before starting. I say. The Baboons knew only too well what they were doing, of course, because they all had their own obstacle course to get through in the garden including practicing throwing balls into buckets from various distances. No one is exempt from a workout at this nursery. Mike, the persona doll, visited to tell the Baboons all about his trip to Thailand, which worked out very nicely because some of the Baboons have been on holidays of their own and were keen to share their stories with him, too. In the sand tray, Baboons have been using various materials and utensils, including play dough cutters and pencils, to create shapes, pictures, and even letters. The children also created an extra snack time treat for themselves this week as they made their own salsa dips, which apparently weren’t ready for serving until it passed the smelling test. An eye for details, a nose for ingredients.

It’s all been very green in the Gorilla room and the chattiest group of them all spent the week talking about this wonderful season that is, safe to say, now in full bloom. A few of the Gorillas even noted their names were rather flowery and the group enjoyed time-lapsed videos of flowers blossoming. Indeed flowers and planting was all the rage this week since the Gorillas opened their very own garden shop in the role play area. There was mud everywhere. Their hands have been a darker shade of brown every day as they dug into their soil, transferred plants and blooms and tended to their ever needy vegetation. The Gorillas have also spent time labelling various flowers, both foreign and domestic, and describing the flowers they often see in the area. We’ll have them identifying genus species in no time and your trips to St. Anne’s will never be the same. The children have been very excited about their newly spruced up vegetable patch and are keen to see their seeds sprout into the images that are now posted on the vegetable patch board. It’s not all been plants and soil, though. In the dance room, Cristina has led the team in some vigorous ball skill training with an impressive array of movements such as balancing balls on their heads, behind their backs, standing on them with one foot and balancing them in one hand. Phew – we are tired just remembering it. At the construction table the Gorillas have been building all manner of public transportation, including rockets. Can you imagine a rocket during rush hour? A trip to Mars has never been so appealing.