Bring on the sunshine! Waterplay, weather words, salt trays and pick ‘n’ mix (Week Beginning 7th April 2015)…..

Our lovely little Chimps have certainly been enjoying the warmer sunnier days and have ventured to the garden quite a few times this week to mingle in with the big children and explore their water tray in full splashy, soaking wet effect. Some of the Chimps have even made themselves new water beakers as they have discovered they can pour water into various containers and of course also drink from them. Bottle caps are not just for covering bottles apparently. For their designing and making activity your little ones donned paper plate animal hats which included frogs, elephants, and bunnies – so quite a motley crew there. For their creative activities the Chimps have been sponge and cotton bud painting. While some of the Chimps have been getting to grips with crawling, a few of the others have been practicing their walking feet with the walkers and musical walking mat. They have even manoeuvred round the magnets which have been set up in their maths area. The Chimps had a blast discovering different objects to pick up with the magnets, leading some to move around the room and try the magnets on literally anything that wasn’t bolted down. For those future race car drivers, the cars and garage were out and the Chimps seemed to enjoy creating traffic jams down the ramps (we predict that won’t seem so much fun in a couple of decades). Using the tinted window panes, the Chimps have been watching the colour of objects change and attempting to put them up to their favourite toys to investigate colour mixing effects.

The Howlers have wasted no time in introducing Holly (their now very settled new apprentice) to the Howler way of things as their week has been packed with activities. For their heuristic activity this week the children played, or dived into a sea of bubble wrap with loose parts to explore. In the construction tray the Howlers practiced their balancing skills with rocks, Duplo, and wood blocks. The children even built caves for their pet rocks and made roofs to stack them on. The humble table salt was out in the mark making area and the children drew simple shapes and lines into a table filled with it. Apparently the table was rather limiting as some of the Howlers decided to pour the salt on the floor and continue their mark making there – gross motor anyone? Speaking of gross motor skills the children have been shaking the day away in their designing and making area as they created tube shakers using their choice of lentils, rice, and/or pasta to fill the tubes. They listened intently for how each item sounded in their shaker and included them in their music and movement activity where they investigated tempo and volume (slow, fast, loud, quiet) in quite some depth. Moving swiftly from pasta to noodles the children had a selection of four different coloured vermicelli noodle bunches, cooked and uncooked, and explored their textures and colours. The Howler week is never complete without a bit of cooking, but this week they’ve been trying their hands at silver service in the role play kitchen. Ever the multi-taskers there has also been a bit of washing and ironing clothes. We figure if they think these things are fun now the easier those teenage years will be for you. You’re welcome.

The role play this week has been a real pick and mix. Really. The children have had an assortment of pasta, spaghetti, flour, rice, milk bottles and pinecones and used tongs and spoons to choose their assortment for their bowls. Our number obsessed children spent a great deal of time counting their items, while others started discovering which items were the easiest to pick up with tongs. Tongs are tricky things you know. In the small world area the dinosaurs have been stomping about, leaving footprints in the mud. The Baboons were concerned that the dinosaurs might be a bit bored so they drew pictures of their mummies and daddies in the dirt – a Jurassic art gallery of sorts. Anything can happen in the weird and wacky world of nurseries. Irene was on hand to help the Baboons make (one of her specialities) bread. They measured their ingredients, rolled out the dough and even made plans as to whom they were going to give their bread. At the creative table the Baboons created some toilet tube prints and the children even took to making some shapes of their own as they squeezed the tubes together to make lines and squashed them in to make, ummm…polygons?

This week the Gorillas have been building on their science know how of last week and carrying out more experiments. Using balloons they explored the power of static electricity for a hair raising activity (you knew that was coming surely) which provided some big laughs for the group. They have also been doing more eruptive activities with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. That one just never gets old. At group time the children have been bursting with eagerness to tell their friends all about their Easter adventures and share their experiences over the weekend which ranged from taking the slopes on a ski trip to feeding the farm animals, and, of course, egg-hunting. Speaking about each other’s grand adventures the Gorillas also spent time talking about emotions this week and how to express their feelings and problem solve when others are not feeling happy. They have been reading an emotion book and describing the feelings of the children in the pictures and why they might be feeling that way. Kaila the persona doll visited this week to talk about her trip to see her grandparents in Germany and New Zealand. She was feeling a little upset because she had to leave the friends she made, but she was happy to see the Gorillas again – well who wouldn’t be? Their Italian lesson this week focused on weather as the children sorted appropriate seasonal clothing into season piles, building up their weather and clothing vocabulary. For a fine motor activity with a difference the children practiced making various sounds and movements with their tongues. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to get children to roll their ‘r’s’ and produce all those funny noises we’ll frown upon when they’re older. Tee hee.

There has also been loads of attention paid to the vegetable patch which is currently seeing a new spring-time lease of life. Roll on the summer! Have a great weekend everyone and good luck to all those marathon runners we will be looking out for you with a waiting cheer.