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Boo goes there? Spiders, bats, cats, and rats!Happy Halloween! (Week Beginning 27th October 2014)…..

The Halloween spirit has been in full shriek (see what I did there?) this week and the Chimps have kicked off the festivities with some

Pumpkins have been the thing in the Howler room as they have had numerous sensory and exploratory activities. In the book area, they have been reading Pumpkin Soup to get them all geared up to make their own. Unlike a few of their other creations, they all seemed to really enjoy eating what they made. In the role play area, they had a pumpkin patch with dirt, seeds for planting and a few natural creepy crawlies snuck their way in to join them. With what was left of a lengthy carving session, the children had a go at stirring and smelling from their own pumpkin cauldrons complete with stringy innards (eek!) and seeds. Their room has had a grand Halloween makeover with string and bubble wrap for their glorious cobweb caper. They have been running through it, around it, under it and having a few games of hide-and-seek with their friends. We’re sure they’ll be sad to part with it next week. They have not only been spinning webs with spiders and hanging around the pumpkin patch, but also taking in autumn’s favourites with a natural autumn sensory tray complete with pine cones, leaves, and conkers collected by the children on their trip to the park. Their music and movement this week were two nursery faves: The Hokey Cokey, and Sleeping Bunnies. Their painting activity was hands and feet and the concentration was palpable as the Howlers tried to splay their fingers and get paint into every crevice before making their prints. They also created frozen octopuses with spaghetti, coloured water, and googly eyes. Think they might have an obsession for many-limbed creatures, perhaps?

Not to be outdone the Baboons have also piled up some boo-tastic activities starting with their masking tape mummies. The children were initially only interested in using the very grown up masking tape, but the activity took on a whole new level when googly eyes were added to the mix. They were all very proud of their bandaged creations. They had a squish and a squeeze of some Halloween themed sensory bags. They had to find the googly eyes in the slimy green ooze (green hair conditioner) and Mr. Jack the Lantern needed help finding his facial features and putting them back together in the pumpkin bag (orange body wash with pumpkin seeds). At the creative table, the Baboons had a go at spinning webs with paper plate threading and digging through wobbly jelly to find the spiders and rats (yes, I know, the Baboon grown ups got a little overexcited with the Halloween add-ons). Now to howl like a ghost you need a good pair of lungs, so the children have been blowing up ghost balloons to hang around the room. But it’s not all been creepies and crawlies – the Baboons have also enjoyed some very mellow sensory play in the autumn tray with oats and cinnamon sticks, pumpkin seeds, lentils and coloured rice. They have been examining leaves with magnifying glasses and picking through their finds with tweezers. They even made some “pumpkin soup” with leaves for their pretend play, stirring and pouring their concoctions. Speaking of pumpkins, the Baboons did some cooking with its close relative, butternut squash, to make savoury biscuits. Their new interactive story is Jungle Book and to help them remember, their music and movement activity was acting out all the jungle animals (howl like wolves, walk like peacocks, etc..). As the weather is getting a bit unkind to our beautiful vegetable patch, the children have been ensuring that it doesn’t get neglected and have planted cauliflower, relocated the snails, and raked away all the leaves. Such tender love and care.

Gorillas –Now, pumpkin soup has been very popular this week, but the Gorillas have taken it to the next level as they didn’t make pumpkin soup: they were pumpkin soup. They took turns being the ingredients (olives, seeds, etc.) and had to be chopped, stirred (lots of spinning), and eaten. They also sang the “Silly Soup” song in which they have to find various objects around the room (“something with wheels,” “something spiky,” etc.) and drop them into their silly soup. They have had a fantastic bat cave complete with cobwebs, of course, in the role play. Cardboard tubes were transformed into slinky black cats, they made animal masks, and spiders got lost among shredded paper and cling film. In the mark making area they have been forming letters with coloured spaghetti. The week has had some lovely spells of weather so the Gorillas have taken a few strolls to St. Anne’s and get some fresh, parky air in their lungs. Amidst all the spookies, it’s a great opportunity to talk to children about their feelings and the Gorillas have not only been creating scary things but also talking about their fears and overcoming them. Story time was the stuff of the stuff of fireside dreams as the Gorillas made up a story about a spider called Puki who didn’t want to be scary and wanted to dress up as a fairy. It’s Halloween for the arachnids, too!
Trick or treat anyone?