Monkeys, dragons, and clouds. Week beginning 8th Feb 2016…

It’s the Year of the Monkey and our little Gibbons kicked off Chinese new year celebrations with a trip through Chinatown as their windowsill was transformed into a cityscape fit for a car party. For their cooking and growing activity, the children made Spanish pancakes in honor of Pancake Day, chopping spring onions and sieving flour among other processes. Thank you to the Gibbons who came in and/or shared a story from in their home language and about their countries with the little ones for multicultural week. For their physical activity, the Gibbons enjoyed a game of bean bag toss, or chewing as our smallest ones are wont to do. At the creative table, the little ones created Chinese dragons butterfly painting style as they painted one half of a sheet of paper and folded it over to create a wonderful Rorschach of festive colours. Oooooooh….

The Baboons have been celebrating each other’s cultural heritages as they’ve been all over the world this week. They took a trip to Spain and had a go at creating a Picasso inspired collage. In the maths area, they’ve been learning how to say their colours in a French kind of way. At the construction area, they created wood block replicas of the world’s greatest structures with reference photos including the Empire State building, Eiffel Tower, and the Taj Mahal, among others. They talked about the different shapes they could see and how high or low they were. In the small world tray, the children have been taking the small world people on a walking holiday along a world map, stopping off in familiar and not so familiar places. At group time, they’ve been singing all their nursery favorites in the languages of their friends including Italian and Icelandic. For a festive treat, the Baboons made oatcake and fruit dragons to celebrate the new year. Speaking of dragons, we hope you’ve all had a chance to meet the Baboons’ pet paper dragon, Mushu, courtesy of Alexandra.

Speaking of homemade dragons, the Gorillas created their own with a drawing program on their tablet, ensuring they included all the necessary parts for him…or her. In the small world area, the children copied Chinese symbols in red (a traditional colour for new year celebrations) rice. In the role play area, the children have been making traditional meals and getting to grips with chopsticks. The children have been lapping up their phonics activities so much that they’ve started their phase 3 activities with the “ai” sound. Speaking of phonics, the Gorillas have really been taking to sounding out words in the book area and recognizing familiar/commonly used ones. This week’s Tatty Bumpkin story was all about a Gloomy Cloud. Not to dampen your spirits or anything.

The whole nursery is excited about our new and improved sand kitchen and can’t wait to start using it next week!