Dancing, Bugs, Safaris, Oceans and Camping.

June 17th 2013…

We’ve had some lovely afternoons in the sun this week, with the children enjoying the fresh air, tending to the vegetable patch, hiding and going on adventures in the sensory area and making the most of every inch of our amazing outdoor space.

Free Style Dancing

The Gorillas have had an energetic time this week practicing jumping and landing in different positions in the garden. In music and movement they’ve been really letting go of any inhibitions and free dancing to all kinds of wonderful music. There’s been a lovely seaside theme in the preschool this week with a fantastic role play area complete with sand, water, sea life, hoola skirts and a real holiday feel. To build on this the children have been busy doing paintings of the beach, making their own ice cream cones out of junk modelling and digging for buried treasure in the sand. The clever little people have also been practicing their numbers and quantities with weighing games using scales and different groups of objects. They  have also been matching various amounts of their favourite toys to their picture and number cards.

Bug Hunt/Baboons

The Baboons have been totally bugged out this week.  They searched high and low in the garden during their bug hunt and were brilliant at spotting all sorts of types of insects and ticking them off from their picture lists. This is a great game as it is in the open air and really gets them practicing their categorizing and matching skills. As well as learning about different sorts of insects. For this week we bought the Baboons a really lovely collection of anatomically correct pretend insects because we felt it was important that they could really see what they all look like and how many wings, legs etc. they have. They used these insects creating imaginary scenarios in a creepy crawly small world scene and also used them to make some excellent bug prints. They have also been playing matching card games and doing ‘opposites’ puzzles – these have been differentiated for different children and all of them have really impressed in their own ways.  On their creative table the Baboons have been busy making and decorating their own personalized bugs with junk modelling for their stunning new summertime display. Please take a look at their display – it is a work in progress but as usual it is going to be lots of fun and they children are already really proud of the stuff they have done going up there. On Friday the Baboons went to St. Annes Wells park to get stuck into a really exciting bug hunt. Click here for more bug activities to do at home with your children.

The Howlers have had a safari theme this week with a brilliant small world area set out with animals, sand, plants and rocks and have built on this at group time by playing flash card games learning the names of all of the different animals. On their messy table the children have furthered their stencil painting for their new display. This week they have focused on safari animals and have loved choosing the different colours for different parts of the animals and admiring the results. The messy area has been awash with multicoloured playdough this week and the Howlers have been rolling, cutting shapes and generally enjoying getting their hands messy. As well as all of that the children have been pushing their toy cars down ramps and choosing their favourite songs to sing from their song bird. They have had boxes out and as usual have found them a never-ending source of amusement – sitting in them, climbing in them and hiding. They have been balancing and climbing and hiding their way around the new fantastic wooden structure/house that Sean made for the children out of our wooden pallets etc. They have been balancing and pushing pushchairs and ducking and diving around the sensory area too and helping to water the veggies in the veggie patch.

Indoor Physical Skills/The Chimps

The Chimps have had been ‘camping’ in their room this week. They’ve had a tent, colourful camp fire and pots and pans for cooking, giant leaves overhead, torches and all sorts of other bits and pieces. It has been really atmospheric and lots of fun for the babies. They have loved reading stories that relate to the outside and going on adventures and singing stories in their own camp site. In the messy area the Chimps have been exploring feel and texture with trays of gloop and getting their hands messy with some really slimy hand printing. They’ve had an indoor sea saw, buggies and walkers in their room for practicing those ever-developing gross motor skills. They have also had a selection of shiny bright hidden treasures to find in their sensory box.

As previously mentioned we have a new structure in the garden. Sean donned his drill and fixed together bits of our open ended resources (tree trunks, pallets etc.) in order to make more permanent wooden natural ‘building’ that the children can use for role play. This will be draped in materials and used in all sorts of ways to really help those little imaginations run wild. All of the children love it and because it is fixed it is also really safe. We will be building up the open ended resources again next week so they still have the same amount to make things themselves. Click here to learn a little more about why we use everyday open ended resources in our garden.

Have a great weekend everyone!