Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! (Week beginning 26.10.15)…

Witches and wizards everywhere and the Chimps more than relished the opportunity to don hats and get all dressed up for the role play cave. Using gloop and foam, the Chimps made glue ghosts for a sensory, creative activity. Everybody likes having a squash and squeeze of sponges (okay maybe that’s just me) and the little ones were no different as their water play included sponges. Some of the Chimps were quite fascinated as the water on the floor disappeared when they used the sponges. In the sand tray, the Chimps had to find pumpkins in their not so obvious pumpkin patch. Having to work for those pumpkins, ay? With all the pumpkin carving going on in the nursery, there has been plenty of pumpkin slime to go round (I don’t know how they stand that stringy mess) and the Chimps have been stretching it, smashing it, and occasionally trying to eat it. Heuristic play is always a fan favourite, so Maria turned the entire room into a heuristic hive and the little ones revelled in all the areas they could explore.

It’s been a chemistry nightmare in the Howler room this week as the little ones got to work in their wizard/witch workshop. They’ve been adding dye to seeds, stirring concoctions and pouring potions with relish and some magical mumbles, I’m sure. The creative table was also a hive of busy bees as the Howlers pumpkin stamped, using potatoes, and got to grips with their textured playdough (rice, lentils and seeds thrown in for good measure). They’ve also been making cotton wool ghosts and handprint skeletons. A few of the Howlers have been quite proud of their new autumn/winter wear so this week they’ve been talking about the weather and what we need to wear when it’s time to go to the garden. Makes the transition to scarves, hats and the dreaded mittens/gloves a bit easier. For their ICT activity, they turned off all the lights to enjoy the mesmerizing light box. This time around, the Howlers took turns switching the colours and going ooooooh….aaaaaaah, as you do with pretty lights.

The Baboons have not left Halloween to just one day in the week as they’ve come to nursery in all of their costumey finery, ready to start the party. We hope you all took a trip to the potions lab as the Baboons laboured over their new sensory bottles with handpicked materials including wiggly eyes, mini letters, and glitter. They kept their rack of ingredients tightly locked up in their test tubes, ready for the next mixture. Pumpkins have run amok in the nursery, and they’ve come in all different sizes, so the Baboons enjoyed a little pumpkin patch of their own in the small world tray. They were comparing sizes and even put a few in their pumpkin baskets, to be used later I was told. The nursery banded together for a cooking extravaganza as all four rooms (yes those babies included) prepared pumpkin soup for their afternoon tea. You’d be ever so proud to watch those little hands mastering knife control as they chopped carrots and leaks, shook spices, and had a good whiff of the garlic. They weren’t particularly enthused with the result, but all the grownups found it quite delicious. Must be our mature palates. Thanks for the soup, kids!

As usual, our eldest group of children are very in tune with their feelings and amidst all the fun and frolics, they’ve been talking about fear and the things that make them afraid. Spiders, of course, were up there, and the children generally didn’t like anything that had fangs and bit. They also mentioned that they weren’t particularly fond of fireworks and thunderstorms as they were frightfully noisy. Speaking of noise, the Gorillas spent time recognizing and identifying the “sounds of Halloween” as they picked out wolves howling and feet walking up stairs. They’ve also been enjoying matching activities on the computer, working on those mouse control skills. While the Gorillas have had a mixing blast in their Witches’ den role play area, their imaginative play took a turn as they all banded together to create a boat using chairs and materials. They then built up a story of hiding from the witches as they all climbed aboard. Hansel and Gretel would’ve admired their gumption. They were not, however, above a little magical chemistry as they created potions with a variety of ingredients. Witches and wizards do need to write in their spell books so the Gorillas practiced their writing skills on the coloured panes, identifying and tracing over letters using whiteboard pens. Double, double, boil and trouble…