May already! Time for Jelly Baths, Binoculars, Sombreros, and Flamenco – of course (Week Beginning 4th May 2015)…

The week was a little shorter but the Chimps couldn’t have noticed as the activities were enough for a full five days. They were in their squeezy-hands element as they enjoyed sea animals in a jelly bath. They have also been poking and squeezing dough for their Chimp-made bread. They poured and added ingredients – of course
tasting them all the while because one must always make sure the flour is good before making a dough out of it. For those little ones with a rotation schema they marvelled during their giant car track painting activity, noticing the marks each of the wheels made. Some just enjoyed the whole process of printing and dipped their hands straight into the paint and onto the paper. They have clearly have never done this before *cue sarcasm*. In the construction area the Chimps have enjoyed some open-ended building with empty boxes, making tunnels, towers, and stairs, apparently. Nothing’s too flimsy to climb, eh Chimps? For their physical activity the team helped the children through some stretches with large fabric. They tugged back and forth and practiced their synchronization skills as they lifted the material up and down on cue. As you parents well know – clothes are a hard thing to keep track of around these parts, so this week the Chimp team helped the little ones help themselves with some dressing activities. While they’re still pretty adamant about taking off their socks inside, they also seem just a little bit keener to try and put them back on…if only to take them off again.

The Howlers are a rather toothy bunch and the team thought it of the utmost importance this week to talk about taking care of their teeth. They’ve been reading books about going to the dentist and brushing teeth and having a grand time showing all the adults how they brush their teeth at home. After their teeth were all nice and clean, they showed them off to the sharp-toothed dinosaurs in the small world volcano park. The children have been leaving their own footprints in the sand and shoving a few of the dinosaurs down their junk modelling volcano. Clyde the T-Rex must not have been doing good sharing. To keep a watchful eye on those hard to see creatures, all the Howlers made toilet roll binoculars with string so they could keep them handy around their necks. The Howlers were not only exploring the wild, volcanoey terrain – they also had a squash and a squeeze of their sensory bags. They were filled with quite an assortment of items ranging from hair gel and fluffy little chicks (not real ones, don’t worry) and paint and oil. They particularly enjoyed moving the chicks through the gel, or maybe they were trying to rescue them…ohhhh.

Glub, glub, glub, the Baboons have gone deep sea diving and have come up with all sorts of sea adventures. In the small world tray, the Baboons have been mingling with the sharks in the shark tank, complete with blue flour. The role play area has been getting everyone in the mood for summer as the children have lounged out in their deck chairs on the beach. They even kept the sun off their delicate skin with some very oversized sombreros. At the creative table, the Baboons made their very own sea and fish pictures with sea-like shiny paper and muffin cases. Some of the Baboons are exercising very good control with their scissors and attempted to cut out shapes for their pictures. It’s not all been swimming and snorkelling, however, as the Baboons have also had some interesting heuristic sessions this week. Many cups of tea were made and some of the more fatigued children made bubble wrap beds and blankets to have a little snooze. In the garden, the children have been making wood rubbings, moving around to all the different areas and noticing how the different textures turn out on their papers. The animal dice game had a new twist in the dance room – the children had to remain as the animal until it appeared on the dice again. Now THAT is a game of patience.

The Gorillas certainly weren’t going to go hungry this week as they launched the opening of their new restaurant in the role play area. They created playdough pizzas from scratch and used scissors and shape cutters to make their toppings. The Gorillas were also sharp with their maths skills as they charged for entry to their rather exclusive eatery. The children also did some real cooking – making tortilla wraps with ingredients including tomato, cheese and lettuce. At group time all the children spoke about their favourite food, like pasta and ice cream (not together because that would be weird), and which ones were healthier than others. There was also discussion about the benefits of eating healthy foods and why/what they did for their bodies. When the team managed to switch their food brains off, the princes and princesses took to the small world castle to ward off dragons and wicked wizards. They even built a defence wall around the castle using the faux wood blocks. Their phonics activity was a phonic pit of sorts as the children took turns entering a circle with a picture, spinning around to the relative phonics song, and then matching the picture to the phonic on the floor. A dizzying experience, no doubt. In the dance room, our newest Gorilla team member, Amanda, led the group in a flamenco dance session. The children also watched videos of various dances from around the world and attempted some exuberant cowboy/line dancing. Yee-haw!