Nature Kids – The Beginnings. Week beginning 3rd October 2016

The Gibbons have been progressing their healthy cooking skills this week. They explored the different textures of lots of different vegetables before using them to cook scrumptious vegetable omelettes. They took turns in feeling and smelling onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers and with the help from an adult (not that they needed much) they cut them up in different sizes (bringing a bit of maths into the situation) to use in their omelette which they mixed together in a big bowl with a spoon. With a big CRACK our budding chefs cracked open the eggs and mixed it all together. In the Reggio Emilia area, the Gibbons had stones, twigs, leaves and pinecones to have fun with. The Gibbons helped to organise these by size, colour and texture. They had a ball – giggling away, whilst stacking this fabulous array of natural resources into towers and knocking them down over and over again. Feeling artsy, your Gibbons created beautiful collages. They chose different materials such as foil, film, bumpy paper, tissue paper and some paint. They scrunched them up or lay them out as flat, choosing their preference and creating different shapes and patterns. Lastly, they brought their artwork to life with paint and enjoyed adding big splashes of colour to their work – and hands (typical). In the soft play area, the Gibbons enjoyed helping the team build an obstacle course in the conservatory. Once ready the Gibbons charged full pelt up the ramp and crawled, jumped, rolled and toddled under and over all the obstacles in their way before rushing back to the start to do it all over again.

Up in the preschool, the Gorillas have been exploring leaves and bugs in preparation for their bug hotel grand opening. We want them to really understand what it’s all about. The Children used magnifying glasses to look at different leaves found in the park and what bugs might like to munch on them. In group time they talked about the colours of the leaves, what it means when the leaves fall off the trees and which bugs we might find in our part of the country.  At Nature Kids the Gorillas have been hard at work digging in the soil and sieving to prepare the soil for our first winter beds. The children dug up worms and talked about how precious they are to our ecosystem. They upturned logs and uncovered woodlice and talked about good and bad plants and weeds – bindweed we decided were ‘horrid noodles’ – an accurate description we agree.  The Gorillas have been typically down in the park learning fun games like dodgeball with big soft balls. The children ducked and dodged the balls and threw them back to their friends. They also collected lots of natural resources to bring back to nursery for the Reggio areas and maths patch.

Your Baboons having been using their creative thinking skills to build impressive big ramps for their toy cars and trains out of open ended materials like wooden planks, tree stumps and tyres. They worked as a team to create bridges, tunnels and ramps to push their cars through. They laughed as they shot their trains off the ramp to their friends who would then whizz them through the tunnel back to their friend. The children have also been practicing their Makaton alphabet with the team. It went like this – Amy and the gang would say a letter and all the Baboons would sign the letter they thought it would be. Clever little mites. They would also hold up an object and say the word and see if the Baboons could sign the first letter of the object – well I’m impressed. The Baboons were very excited to have the farm yard small world out and whiled away their time making the sound of the animals and creating little stories about the animal’s adventures. They would walk their animals around the room (a long way for a small world animal) and try to walk the way they thought the animal would walk.

We spent a whole day on Thursday taking two groups of Gorillas to Nature Kids plot. They really were a big help with the start of the beds and bug hotel and they learnt all about how to safely handle and store real tools. We will be planting winter garlic, onion and broad beans soon so they will have some experience of growing whilst we get the rest of the plot on the go. They also learnt all about the perils of and how to pull bind weed without spreading it around the site, which we appear to have inherited a fair amount of!