Space travel, pirate gems, falafels, and potatoes (Week Beginning 3rd August 2015)…

Space travel guidelines have grown a bit lax of late as our littlest friends in the Chimp room have been moonwalking and space hopping in their space station role play. It’s been a bit like Christmas as they all explored their metallic covered space items and had some sneaky peeks at what was underneath. When they weren’t counting down to take off in their rocket, a few of the Chimps had a game of peek-a-boo with each other behind it. At the creative table, they made moon dough with flour and oil, enjoying the slightly strange consistency. In keeping with their space theme, the Chimp team led a rousing rendition of “3 Little Men” (a little ditty about astronauts). It’s not all been asteroids and moon rocks though as the Chimps took a little trip to St. Anne’s to treat the birds to their hand made bird feeders. Using toilet roll and soy butter the little ones banged and rolled their buttery tubes in birdfeed. Music and movement time was rather moving as they swished and waved their ribbon wands all about. Everybody loves a bit of colourful pipe cleaner and this week the Chimps have been threading them through sieves and colanders. At the creative table, the little ones have been doing mark-making with some highly modified cars – the team taped pencils and markers to them. Vroom, vroom!

The Howler pirate ship had a bit of an upgrade over the weekend and it is looking fresh for grand new adventures. Behind the scenes, the Howlers dyed some salt rocks for their pirate gem extravaganza. Not so extravagant was their walk on the plank, though their balancing skills are very good. Of course, they must be somewhere for the pirates to keep all this treasure, so the Howlers made a pirate’s cave and even regaled each other with a few stories inside. In the small world tray, the sea animals have been leaping in and out of their water bead ocean for the Howlers to catch. Now pirates can be a rather irate and occasionally unkind lot so, the Howlers have also been talking about being kind using their emotion cards. For their malleable activity, they thread pasta and pipe cleaners into black playdough with gold bits. Very fancy. A week at nursery wouldn’t be complete without a bit of shave foam, and the Howlers have enlisted the help of the older children in making shave foam and sand cakes. In the builder’s tray, the children have been practicing those little tripod grips with stencils, paper and crayons.

Sadly Mikey, the Persona Doll, has returned to America, but the Baboons met his friend, Irena (yes, you read that correctly), who is a traveller. She told the Baboons that her mum makes hand crafted toys and shared some of her favourites with the group. I’m sure the Baboons will treat Irena with as much love and care as they did Mikey, especially if she brings some of those toys in. The role play area has been a rather domestic scene as it’s a Home Corner this week. The Baboons have been keeping a watchful eye on the oven for their dinner and making sure all the ironing gets done before mum and dad get home. Their cooking activity this week was sweet potato falafels, which, as usual, went down a treat in preparation, not so well in the actual eating. Quite a few requests for their water after the first bite. After last week’s successful breathing exercise with the Gorillas, Irene was on hand to share some of these with the Baboons this week including elephant breathing which involved large sweeping arm motions up to sky and out to their sides. Then, a final “whoosh” of exhaled air as they bent down and touched the ground with their trunks. I feel relaxed just writing that. Aaaaaaaaah….

Ssssssh, babies on board. The role play area has been flooded with babies for their routine check-ups. Some of the Gorillas are clearly well-rehearsed in baby carrying as I have seen more than a few very carefully strapping their babies to their chest so they can go to the garden. With all these babies around, it’s been particularly important to maintain good hygiene standards, so their focused activity for the week centred on hygiene. Mr. Mouth, our very own oversized pair of teeth, was on hand to speak about the importance of not only keeping their teeth clean, but also the rest of their bodies. At the creative table, they had an assortment of “dirty” materials (black paint, dirt, etc.) and “clean” materials so they could create clean and dirty hands. They also spent time talking about why it’s important to limit the spread of germs. For sounds and letters, the Gorillas have been working on sound strings while playing “Phonics Bumps.” Fresh from her holiday, Maria has brought the Italian lessons back into full swing with “Testa, Spalle, Ginocchia, & Piedi” which is “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Their mark-making activity was reminiscent of a life study session in art class as the team created cardboard easels and the Gorillas practiced colour mixing with watercolours. It was all so relaxing, quite a few didn’t want to leave the table. We are now very proud to announce that the Gorillas ventured out to the vegetable patch this week and plucked out an impressive amount of potatoes. Well done to all the groups for their tender, loving care of the veggie patch. The potatoes looked healthy and very happy. Bon apetit!