Kings and queens, seedlings, and cardboard. Week beginning 14th March 2016…

Our little princes and princesses in the Gibbons have had their coronations this week in their castle role play. All but their sceptres were missing in the royal proceedings, but they didn’t seem bothered, even when they had to build their own castle wall. The castle also boasted a rather fancy turret with a slide as they all had a turn standing at the top and waving to the crowd with their personally decorated crowns. When they weren’t lording it up they were racing to the finish line for Sports Relief as they made their own Olympic medals from balls of newspaper. They also identified different sports objects such as balls and bats. With all this activity, the little ones had a nice and relaxing yoga session, practicing their bridges, feet touching, and for the older ones, copying the adults’ movements.

The Baboons have been so serious about their plant growing that they even became flowers during their music and movement activities this week. In the dance room they started off as small seedlings, gradually growing roots, then a stalk and eventually flowering. The activity focused not only on their ability to follow direction but also building up their vocabulary of size (tall, small) and growing (roots, seed, petals, buds, stalk). And all these clever little beans took their knowledge to their own little garden in the role play area, watering the plants and making “multicolour” flowers. Speaking of making flowers, the Baboons tried their hand at origami and, after decorating their paper, folded them up into paper flowers. The Baboon group will be responsible for our herbs and this week they planted coriander. Mmmmmm…

This week, the Gorillas have been working on restraint as they’ve started planting runner beans and trying their very hardest to resist temptation and not have a poke and a prod. The Gorillas will be responsible for taking care of our vegetables so we thought we’d start them off slow. They’ll be pros come May. With all this planting, they’ve been learning about the growth cycle and what plants need to survive. Last week’s dinosaur diorama was a hit and a few of the children were keen to make volcanoes this week to accompany their dinosaurs. Good old messy papier mache was on hand to construct a volcano, which they will erupt next week. They also observed some volcanoes in action on the tablet. The Reggio Emilia focus was threading and the children have been exploring various materials through which they can thread string and pipe cleaners. The Gorillas have particularly enjoyed the garden this week with the most inexpensive and seemingly bland of resources, a large cardboard carpet tube. They’ve been hopping over it, hauling it around the garden, using it as a ball ramp, a telescope, and from the top of the climbing frame, a communication tunnel – a testament to the value of simple, open-ended resources as the children role played, collaborated and imaginatively created different uses for the tube.