6th July 2015…)

The Chimp band has been cranking out some summer tunes in the conservatory this week using maracas and castanets among a full instrument stock. In the sand tray, they have been enjoying the kooky texture of sand foam. Some of the children were enthralled with splatting it around the room, while others took a gentler approach with simple strokes of the foam. Speaking of strokes, the Chimps had a time working on their grips with the frozen jelly painting and slipped around the paper. At the creative table, they have also been designing thumb print ants. For construction, the Chimps made marshmallow building with spaghetti beams. Some of the Chimps found the texture of squeezed marshmallow a little too much and opted to keep that at spaghetti strand’s length away. The Chimps enjoyed some melodic balloons this week as the Howler team snuck a few bells inside. They had a blast in the garden as they had to sort through the jingly balloons and empty ones. The more adventurous Chimps made their way to the outdoor abacus and started pulling balls along the rope and babbling after staff counted them out with them. The little ones have also been helping pour and mix ingredients for their playdough – they sprinkled some cumin and cinnamon in for an extra sensory experience. Mmmmmm….

Just in time for our lovely rainstorms this week, the Howlers have been making rain clouds in a jar. They topped up water-filled glass jars with shave foam and then, using pipettes, dropped blue food colouring onto their “clouds.” They then had to wait until the clouds were heavy enough with food colouring for the colour to come through into the water. Hence, the inner workings of a rain cloud. Then, there was the life cycle of a block of ice in the summer when the Howlers explored the ice tray full of various sized ice blocks. “Melting,” “cold,” “wet,” and “slippery” were their favourite key words and they had a grand time slipping and sliding the blocks around the tray. The dinosaurs have been very hungry in the dinosaur park and we don’t think their arms were working very well because all the Howlers had to spoon feed them sand food. Oh dear, dinosaurs. Perhaps some tea might cheer them up as the children did a tea bag painting, and sniffing, activity. The children had their own cups to put the tea bags in and enjoyed watching the water colour change. Some of them really enjoyed dipping the tea bags as well. In the role play area, the Howlers have been making their own stamps (via potato stamping on envelopes) to post those all-important letters at the post office. Not to be outdone by the Chimps, the Howlers had a band of their own with instruments of a multipurpose kind as they borrowed Gillian and Kelly’s pots and pans for a metallic music session. While we’re on the subject of music, the Howlers had a very relaxing yoga session in the dance room with Viv. They stretched down (not that far obviously) and touched their toes, leaned from side to side and even made some rather steady bridges. Don’t fall down!

I bet you’d never thought you’d see a £100 carrot. Well, apparently that’s what the Baboons have been charging their patrons for quality produce in their grocer’s this week. Prices have steeply increased since last week, but they do know how to grow some great carrots. The vegetable patch labels have been put to good use as the Baboons have been mirroring their vegetable patch experiences in their own room based garden in the small world area. You may have noticed some chia pet (are those still around?) looking plates along the conservatory windowsills. The Baboons have been ever so carefully watching their cress that they “planted” on Monday grow. The team are quite proud at all the Baboons’ care and attention, avoiding knocking them over and even telling other children to be gentle around them so they keep growing. With all this earth and soil on the brain, it seemed only natural for their book of the week to be “Jungle Book.” The particular version they read focused on colours, but the children seemed to delight in pronouncing some of the unusual names of the animals. I mean, who doesn’t like to say “Baloo” over and over again? In the dance room, the Baboons have enjoyed some heuristic play. It’s been nice to see that they’ve paid so much attention to all our harping on about sun cream as they were using the empty bottles and containers to apply sun cream to their friends. It’s not all been sun screen and cress though as the Baboons were creating all manner of things with playdough. One of the children even made a copy of Demi complete with plaits and glasses. Cherubs. Absolute cherubs.

Well, we have all been excited about the Gorilla trip to see a live production of “The Journey Home” at the Dome. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it follows a polar bear whose icy habitat is melting, so he sets off in search of a new home. To get the Gorillas into the spirit, they’ve been doing an assortment of activities stemming from the book. On the computer, they’ve been trying to clean up the ocean which has been littered with rubbish by dragging it all to the bin. Some very good mouse skills on display. They watched a flipbook video about endangered animals and were very keen to find out ways they could help them. In fact, preserving animal habitats was their topic of discussion during group time. The Gorillas were offering a host of suggestions including making sure the ocean doesn’t have rubbish in it and giving the people who cut down trees our nursery paper so they won’t have to cut any more down. They learned about all the different habitats of animals like the lemur, lionfish, hyacinth macaw and a variety of others and talked about the factors that are threatening their homes like pollution, overhunting, taking animals out of the wild, etc. It was also a great time to reiterate why we try to save energy so the Gorillas remembered all the things we do like turn off taps and recycle paper. At the mark making area, the Gorillas used some habitat photos as inspiration for their drawings. Some of the Gorillas were very moved by the animal flipbook they watched on the computer and recreated scenes, nearly image for image, from the video. On Thursday, some of the Gorillas made a trip to Davigdor to see what they might get up to when they start reception in September. In the vegetable patch, the Gorillas were given the task of finding out who lives in the vegetable patch and realized that our potatoes are starting to come in. How exciting! A few of the Gorillas were also very keen to pick the peas and didn’t want to let them go for the remainder of the day. Seriously, they had ninja grips on their pea pods. Guess we’ll be cooking up something pea-tastic next week!