Faces, Tracing, Dinosoars and Music Making (Week Beginning 8th September 2014)….

Can you find your nose?

The Chimps have been spending the week having a good, long, hard look at their faces and pointing out features from pictures. There has been lots of good hand control with their crayon mark making activities in the garden. For all the scatterers in the room, flour in the sand tray has been a big hit as they just about managed to resist the urge to lay in it and make snow angels. But they did have a good scoop and spread of the flour with their friends. As many of our Chimps are transitioning to the Howlers, they’ve taken a shine to helping out the grownups with daily tasks and this week they’ve enjoyed tidying up. They even learned the tidy up song and grabbed brooms and dustpans to sweep up all that flour. They’ll be wonderful Howlers. The song of the week has been sleeping bunnies and the Chimps have greatly enjoyed acting out all their favourite animals. We can’t imagine why. Snap, snap!

Crayon Tracing and Playdough Making:

The Howlers have been busy indeed this week as the staff have given them free reign of the resources and let them explore making some of our nursery staples, the first being playdough. With no recipe and a lot of trust, the Howlers added their own flour and water and mixed the dough together. Once the playdough was nice and playdoughey, they created spaghetti towers. They stuck spaghetti into the dough and then added beads and anything that would slide onto the spaghetti. There was also the added thrill of spaghetti strands snapping and getting shorter as they carried on. After making playdough, the Howlers ventured into a bit of rice dying as they used pipettes to add food colouring to the rice bags and then had a good squeeze and squish to mix the colours round. Then of course they added the rice to some frying pans, as you do, and had a little cooking session on the wood stove. As we’re such an international team at Young Friends, we feel it’s important for the children to see the world and the Howlers have been loving looking at maps (especially Italy as Irene’s been home with her family) and tracing over the world with crayons. In the garden, the children have been learning about floating and sinking and have even helped to create some connects boats in the water tray. As our resident spice experts, the Howlers have mixed spices into their paint pots and made lovely smelling vegetable prints. For the budding nature enthusiasts, the sand tray was filled with spiders, grasshoppers, and snakes for the Howlers to dig up and examine with magnifying glasses. To mellow things out, but always engaging their brain gears, the Howlers learned a song about the planets on their room tablet and, apparently, they were all big fans of Venus with some very enthusiastic singing and waving.

Dinosaur Footprints and Lost Shoes:

This week the Baboons have been all about printing. Those sneaky dinosaurs had a step and a stomp all over their blank canvases as they walked through “dirt” paint (a rather unappealing shade of purple/brown). The Baboons got their own back though as Clyde the T-rex was painted purple. Oh dear. The magnet letters didn’t fare much better as the children were interested in not only observing the smooth lines of their letter prints, but also how easy or difficult it would be to change the colour of the magnet itself with a bit of paint. When they weren’t printing (or painting) objects around the room, they practiced their parcel wrapping skills with a bit of tin foil. Once their items were wrapped, which included 3D shapes and dinosaurs, the Baboons offered them to friends to guess what was inside. Some even had a go at jewelry making with some lovely tin foil bracelets and necklaces on display. As the Baboon parents know, the shoe bucket is rather full but everything’s a game when you’re two and the Baboons had a grand time lining up all the shoes and wellies and trying to find their matching pairs. Staff may have played a trick or two and hidden them around the conservatory, but the children weren’t fooled so easily. Their construction activity this week was stickle bricks and the Baboons must have had phones on the brain because everyone made phones and tried to call each other from across the room. Luke, who has been based in the Baboons since last Tuesday, offered up what became an incredibly messy and fun shaving foam activity. The Baboons had an entire table of foam with hidden shapes and objects underneath, of which the children had to search . Neither staff nor child escaped the foam table in a recognizable fashion. For those who like a cleaner experience, the natural object discovery bags were out and the Baboons loved talking about the feel of the objects and observing what happens inside a sensory bottle.

Pianos, spaghetti, and chickpeas:

This week the Gorillas’ fingers have been all a go as they have been musical maestros and sensory masters. Their music and movement activity was instruments and they all had a go at creating masterpieces on the keyboard and singing scales along with it. They also enjoyed a sensory activity in which they were blindfolded and had to guess what the textures were. They’re guessing skills were rather stellar and they even added some tricks to figure out what the items were like wrapping spaghetti around their fingers. No fooling these kids. The Gorillas took a special interest in penguins this week and read a book about where they live and how to protect the environment for them. In the garden, hoop games have been on order and the Gorillas are quite steady on their feet as they jumped through, over and around the hula hoops. Indoors they made rather lovely and decorative shakers with chickpeas, lentils, and rice. Some of them were a little concerned about how hard the chickpeas and rice were, but we explained they’re best for shaking in that state rather than eating. However, just to confuse them, they were given cooked spaghetti to make gloopy, painty bugs.