Teddy Madness (Week Beginning 1st September 2014)……

This week Chimps have had babies on the brain and why not? They have all been very carefully helping staff prepare their nappies for the nappy routine. They have been pointing out their nappy boxes and pulled out the things they needed for changing time. They even held the wet wipes and offered them to staff during changing. Then they took all the baby dolls and gave them nappy changes, too. Everyone’s fresh and clean in the Chimp room. The Chimps have also enjoyed an engaging imaginative activity with a teddy bear picnic with tea and crumpets. The children ensured all the teddies were poured some tea and everything was nicely stirred with spoons. It seems even teddies dislike dregs at the bottom of the cup. As the Chimps like to update their sensory bottles periodically this week they have created and painted their newest additions. The bubbles were out and the Chimps have been learning that they can be blown through virtually anything, even bangles. They’ve done a great deal of huffing and puffing as they attempted to get some bangle-sized bubbles going. It’s no wonder “bubble” is becoming a favourite word among them. There has also been some play dough modelling with wonderful sensory engagement as quite a few of the Chimps enjoyed the smooth texture on their faces and rolling their pieces into balls.

It has been teddies all round this week as the Howlers have been taking their fluffy friends on a ride in their role play train. Then the teddies had a trip to the garden where the children worked on their wrist strength during a game of balancing the teddies on rackets. Speaking of the garden, the Howlers ventured into the vegetable patch to pick their first courgettes which they dutifully brought back to Gillian in the kitchen who added it to the nursery’s lunch. Well done Howlers! They have also been creating bunny masks and having lovely conversations about rabbits and our very own superstar, Sizzles. Their sensory activity this week has been colourful milk swirling. With a few drops of food colouring and a squirt of dish soap, the Howlers poked and prodded at the colourful droplets as they swirled and whirled around through the milk. They have also been poking and prodding, and maybe pushing, the salt around during their salt mark-making activity. There were circles, there were squiggles, there was lots of tipping the salt from board to board. The small world miniature town was really a miniature hiding ground as all the little people hid in their houses and popped out only to say peek-a-boo. In the book area, peek-a-boo continued to be the main topic as they copied the expressions of the babies in their peek-a-boo story. The Howlers even practiced their yawning and sleepy faces.

This week the Baboons have been taking care of their rather poorly and/or accident prone friends as they’ve been hanging out in the Baboons Hospital role play. Ben and Mimi have been thoroughly bandaged up, no eye, arm, or toe ignored. There has also been some major construction going on as the little teddy bears had a cardboard house built for them. The Baboons told the grownups what features to add like doors and windows and collectively chose the colour blue to paint it. The teddies were even designated rooms. Such planners. For music and movement, the Baboons created rice shakers out of empty tubes and counted out beats and shakes with direction. They also discussed weights and measurements as their cooking activity this week was shape cookies. The Baboons took to the chalkboard and had a grand time doing water painting. They enjoyed watching their shapes and pictures dry so they could start them again, and the grownups rather enjoyed the easy cleaning session. In the garden, they have been getting rather active with hula hoop relays which included jumping between the hula hoops, moving through them, rolling and, well, good old fashioned hula-ing. There were also some floating and sinking experiments as Ben led the way with a hunt around the garden for objects that sink or float. They also found items in the garden to weave into their weaving boards. There were broad leaves and skinny leaves, pink string and yellow string, and even some funky fuzzy gauzy ribbon. Much concentration was needed and they all looked rather serious in their undertaking. In the book area, the Baboons are never too young for the classics and this week they enjoyed a very lovely edition of ‘Moby Dick’ and practiced recognizing key words and remembering events from the story. They also found the ship’s name “Pequod” rather amusing.

The Gorillas have borrowed the giant connectors from the garden and made robots and worked together as teams making tracks for the robot. They haven’t quite managed to work the electronics yet but the Gorillas are all pretty imaginative; I’m sure those robots went too places far and wide. The carpenters workbench and toolbox has been out in the role play area and quite a few Gorillas have been donning construction hats and taking measurements. They have been fixing “broken” walls and measuring how tall their friends are, because you wouldn’t want them getting stuck in a doorway now would you? The Gorillas have also been creating sensory gloves filled with strange and wonderful things like gloop, shredded paper, coloured ice and even little bells. Sea creatures have made their way back into the water tray and, apparently, a great white shark was attacking a pirate boat. Good thing the Gorillas were on hand to save them, the pirates that is. In the garden, the children have been practicing their tumbling skills on the red mats. Little gymnasts in the making. And conductors as the imaginary world theme has carried over into the music and movement area with all the Gorillas pretending to play instruments in an orchestra. They used piano fingers, horn hands, and some exuberant conducting gestures as they played along with the sounds they heard on the cd player. Since the Gorillas have become quite theatrical, this week they have all been making up a story to film on their room tablet and watch back later. There’s been stories of dinosaurs and even suggestions to create books as well. Ever the millennium children, they have multiple media outlets in mind to cover all the bases.