Bunny blankets, Miss Polly, smelly science, and masking tape (Week Beginning 19th Jan 2015)…

The Chimps were not particularly impressed with our snowy white garden or the sub-zero feeling temperatures, so they’ve snuggled up to their animal toys and practiced conversing in each animal’s native tongue. Mooooooo! And just to keep extra snuggly, music and movement was sleeping bunnies…with blankets. They seemed to have bunnies on the brain this week. Must be because they had the bunny bag out for group time and explored its various contents including bunny feeling material (no bunnies were harmed during the making of this activity), bunny ears, and shakers to wake the sleeping bunnies up. Since they weren’t very keen on a wintery garden, the ever resourceful climbers in the Chimp room resorted to going up the tilted soft play cushions and sliding, or attempting to slide, back down. The team laid out black paper so the children could sprinkle and explore making marks with sugar and flour on the black surface. Speaking of flour and sugar there’s been lots of scooping, pouring, sifting, and many more ‘ings going on with the containers and utensils.

The Baboons may be missing Paulina but she certainly knows how to win over the Howler crowd as she introduced Polly the resident octopus for their sea-themed week. She even had a cave that the Howlers popped in to from time to time. They’ve all taken quite a liking to their new friend and have been talking about how to keep her ocean home clean by not throwing rubbish into it. As part of their theme, every day had a new creative activity so I hope you’re all enjoying your paper plate aquariums, specially decorated fish, and team of glittery shimmy seahorses. The children have also been working their fingers, practicing using utensils with the playdough. They worked on their stair skills as they ventured up to our new music and movement room to play “What’s inside the box?” and roll around in a sea of bubble wrap, and act out to our most robust action songs. Really breaking in the new room, we are.

The snow worked in the Baboons’ favour as this week they’ve been exploring colour (and working on their fine motor skills) using the pipettes. They had a grand time moving around the garden and colouring the snow their favourite shades. Inside, they watched the reaction as they dropped dyes of vinegar onto bicarbonate of soda. In the sand tray the Baboons have been having a wonderful tea party and measuring out their sugar for their friends. This of course was a good time to talk about limited sugar intake as some of the tykes are a tad heavy-handed with the sweet stuff. Since we are always striving to increase our eco awareness here at the nursery, the Baboons took to making their own paper this week. There was bewilderment at first while grownups rummaged through the recycling bin for paper, but then the plan started to come together as they cut and tore up pieces of paper, soaked them overnight and then blended it all to create a pulp, which may now be their new favourite word. It’s nearly as fun as “plop,” which is what they did with the mesh base in the pulp mixture. It is now drying and the Baboons will keep you posted as to whether this may become their new business venture. Watch this space. What’s a Baboon week without some playdough? The Gorillas kindly loaned their space and superhero mats and the Baboons put on their creative hats to create scenes and characters to match their mat. With all that hard sculpting work the Baboons needed to blow off some steam so music and movement was a rather exuberant session of ribbon dancing, with an emphasis on learning about right and left using pink and purple ribbons. Rave it up Baboons!

The music room, while still needing a few finishing touches, is up and functional and the Gorillas have been thrilled with their new space (and happy to have their coat pegs back). With more room to stretch we are sure we have some budding gymnasts as they stretched to their elastic band hearts’ content in the room. They also had an instrument guessing game as they had to guess the instrument in the box by its sound. You may have noticed that there are some rather strange lines of masking tape around the Gorilla room and this is because the children have been using them to move around and balance along them (also helps them focus as they cue to go downstairs). Once they got the hang of the zig-zags, horizontals, and bendy-wendies, they pretended there were beasties and monsters and had to stay on the lines to avoid them. They do have a grand sense of adventure those Gorillas. In the mark making area this week, they worked on creating three and four letter words using the magnets. They have also been wearing their science caps as they’ve been exploring air pressure using balloons, strings and straw to create balloon rockets. They blew up balloons, attached them to straws and then blast off! They watched as the balloons sped down the string. For those that like to get a little messier in their exploratory activities, the children made their own gloop, determining just how much cornflour to water they needed to get the right texture and just to chill things down, a few of the Gorillas were spoiled with a wash and cut in the role play hair salon. Don’t worry, we covered the cost.