21st Sept 2015

“Twinkle, twinkle” and all that jazz… our fabulous Chimps have borrowed the Howler song board ( no surprise they had their beady eyes on that one – there are moveable colourful pictures on it) and practicing their notes with the nursery favourites. We know there are plenty of scatterers in the room, so this week the scattering schema was turned into art. After spreading glue on their papers, the Chimps were let loose with the sand and a beautiful, keepsake kind of mess was made. Also at the creative table was sponge painting and tube printing. In the water tray, the small world people haven’t been too bothered about the cooler weather as the Chimps took them for a little swim, copying the adults’ actions. With the pear tree currently raining down on us, it must have put crumble on the Chimps’ mind because this week they’ve made…you guessed it, pear crumble. They mixed all the ingredients like pros. I wonder if they’d have a go at Gruffalo crumble?

Well it may no longer be the season of buds and blooms but that didn’t stop the Howlers from opening up a flower shop in their role play area. Their shop even had its own little garden in the small world tray with a patch of grass, flowers, and birdseed…for the birds, obviously. Pigeons welcome here. Before they opened their doors for business, they had to undergo a bit of training so in the group time area they learned what plants and flowers need to grow. They also popped into the vegetable patch for some observations of the process and plucked a few herbs for their sensory playdough. It looked a sight (turmeric orange isn’t the best playdough colour), but the children enjoyed the smell of that and cumin as well as “planting” black beans into their dough. In the dance room, the Howlers borrowed some of Gillian’s pots and pans for a rowdy Howler style jam session focusing on their listening skills for “stop,” “start,” “quiet,” and “loud.”

Their jungle has been slowly morphing into a city this week in the Baboon room as the children prepared their cityscape for next week. At the junk modelling table, the Baboons painted large boxes and cut out holes for windows and doors. All the while, they spoke about the different buildings they see and what size buildings they were making. The Baboons have also been putting in a group effort in constructing their car tracks, paying close attention to details such as smooth curves and pointy corners. They were also paying attention to road safety as they practiced following the traffic light signals. In the small world tray, the trains weren’t so much choo-chooing as crunching their way through the treacherous rice krispie terrain for a curious mix of materials. The Baboons even used the crumbly cereal as snow, sprinkling it over the buildings and trains. The jungle animals weren’t too far from their minds as they created safari scenes to take pictures of with their cameras and spoke about what baby animals turn into. They were very interested, as usual, in the life cycle of a butterfly. Who wouldn’t be? Just the word “chrysalis” is captivating. Music and movement was all about life on a pirate ship as the children saluted their captain, scrubbed the deck, ran between port and starboard, and climbed the rigging. If that sounded exhausting, it really was. They even had to follow Captain Ben to the garden for a treasure hunt. Apparently they had entered the realm of lost toys and they had to search every container, lift every blanket, and climb every ladder to find their treasure. Ay, ay Captain!!

A..a…ants on the brain as the Gorillas focused on the letter A in their small world ant hill. The letter was interspersed with images of ants in the sand to foster conversation about words that begin with or include the sound, as well as talking about the busy little creatures, of course. The children also watched short clips of various colonies of ants, observing how strong their mandibles were to slice through leaves, and how they work together to create a home and find food to eat. For their sounds and letters activity, the Gorillas have been using their new self-registration labels to attempt writing letters from their names. It’s the children’s last week in the campsite and they’ve been den making like the best of the badgers, using everything they could find to set up a new camp including the paint aprons. We’ve enjoyed some unexpected sunny days, but the wind has been decidedly cool reminding the Gorillas that autumn is here. They’ve spent the week talking about the changing season including the change in clothes and the changes in colours of the leaves. I must say, Autumn is our favourite time of year.

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