Eco Warrior, Fruit Monsters and A New (imaginary) Kitten. Week beginning 25th April 2016…

The Gibbons morning group times for this week deserve a bit of an accolade. Those imaginative so and so’s made an amusing looking monster and the children delighted in feeding him a host of healthy fruit and veg. Loyal to the theme our little ones explored a bag with different vegetables in it for them to hold and explore – there were loads – broccoli, sweetcorn, onion and oranges to name a few. The children put their tired dolls to bed  in the doll’s house, gave them showers, read them stories and all sorts – they are clearly learning their parenting skills from the best! … Now please cast your minds back to try to remember Jodie’s amazing Hungary caterpillar story bag; complete with a supersized actual hungry caterpillar for the children to feed… Well, out he came again and as it was some time since he had eaten the children cheerfully fed him the food he likes so much. The Gibbon role play was a greengrocers, and your children collected veg, weighed it and wrote down amounts and weights, pinged away at the till and transported vegetables in shopping baskets. Heaven.  Then there was the parachute game – and as you can see from the photos they chose to use the giant parachute which swamped their little bodies… The task in hand was for the children to  follow simple directions from the team and lift the parachute up and down and from side to side and watched what happened (with a fair bit of squealing to boot) with the bouncing balls on top. As we all know that Gibbon team for some reason love putting their children through a bit of food tasting – and we must admit their expressions are rather priceless – the children tasted cheese, lemon, lychees, honey and papaya – very tropical. The team helped with the familiarization of key words such as sweet, sour, juicy, dry and more. Quite a skill, this next one… your Gibbons apparently practiced ‘threading’ pine cones and lolly pop sticks – this was one for the older children mainly as the team wrapped the thread around to join the pinecones and lollypop sticks. The Gibbons at the younger end of the spectrum took on the role of pulling the thread off instead – I must admit I think I might have been in that camp – sounds a bit difficult to me. Bubble wrap fruits is the next activity to speak of –  what will they think of next? …The children used previously cut out bubble wrap in the shape of various fruit and veg to create fruit and vegetable effect pictures and actually they look rather good! They certainly enjoyed returning to the old classic that is the song bag – during which they heartily belted out ‘Miss Polly Had a Dolly’. Inside, you guessed it, was Miss Polly herself, a hat, a bag, a pen, and some paper and a phone.

Meanwhile, in the Baboon Room it transpired that our Persona Doll has a new kitten – lucky her. She came, with her kitten (whose name escapes me), and Nishat of course, to visit the Baboons and tell them all about her.  The children were VERY interested and bombarded her with all sorts of questions – what food she feeds her, if she has to wash her, does she mew a lot etc. Sweet.  They did some puffy paintings with flour, salt and paint and made paper bracelets and blinged them up so they were fit for the finest occasion. For a rather noisy instrument session our sweet but raucous Baboons chose between making drums (cups with water or beads/rice) or guitars (stretched elastic over a box to make a pinging sound), proudly marched them to the music and movement room and used them to create ‘music’, of sorts.  Aver appreciative of an experiment, the Baboons used pipettes, baking soda and food colouring to create beautiful (and not messy at all) patterns and colour mixes.  The children drew cats, dogs and rabbits with the help of some photographs and practiced their fine motor skills by counting and picking up cotton wool balls with chopsticks – in French and Romanian. Anyone think we are starting to ask too much of these kids? We must not, and have not, forgotten our precious plants … The children watered the plants each morning, talking about how much they were growing, counting how many have sprouted and helping out with the garden herbs and veggies. Anyway, back to animals – your Baboons talked about different animals, where they live, what they eat etc. with the help of some books and photographs and their small world display. They selected animals and chose what part of the small world they should be in for example they rather cleverly put dolphins in the water and jungle animals in the trees – hopefully not the elephants!

The Gorillas have been super Eco-friendly this week. They have rather important looking ‘Eco-Warrior’ necklaces each devoted to an aspect of energy saving. The idea is that the wearer heads up that department for the day. These will be a permanent fixture from now on and they have and will use them to instigate discussions re. the whys and wherefores of saving energy by turning the lights off, recycling paper and bottles, checking the water taps, turning of the stereo and computer etc. before leaving the Gorilla Room. It’s really effective – well done to Carly for coming up with that brainstorm. Our very creative preschoolers worked together as a team to make a supersized handprint-based tree whilst they chatted away about all the green things they could think of in their environment. It was earth day last week you see. During their consistently wonderful Tatty bumpkin sessions they took part in the ‘Beefit’ program – please check out the photos and class details on the Gorilla noticeboard for more details on that. For make and do carefully selected the correct equipment they needed to cut out shapes. A group also used the 3D shapes to draw around on paper and then cut out the shapes they drew. For a spot of ICT practice the children played games of ‘Colour Snap’. This involved the children using the tablet to take photos of the colours in their environment. For example, an adult asked a child to go and take photos of all the yellow objects they find in the garden and off they went! The Gorilla small world was a beach. They had sand, people, sea creatures, water and all sorts of summertime paraphernalia. Using this as a base the children have been showing off their finely tuned improvisational skills by creating rather detailed sandy scenarios. So – back to the environment theme… The children have a lovely and particularly educational audio book all about recycling facts – queue listening skill development and deliberations about why recycling and keeping our environment clean and safe is so crucial. The Gorilla role play area was transformed into a rather fabulous vetinary surgery this week. Those nurturing Gorillas fixed many a poorly animal using surgical implements, booking appointments and letting them rest and sleep.  Combining mathematics with physical skills the children trooped out into the garden and played ‘Bucket ball’ – the official name. They attempted predicting how far the ball travelled before landing in the bucket. I know – I don’t understand either but I’m sure it made sense at the time. Writing was all about ‘phase two words – The preschoolers trundled off to the outside classroom and occupied themselves with writing words and small sentences.

That’s it – a fun and educational week I think you will agree. Enjoy the photos and have a really fabulous weekend!