The Weather Outside is Frightful…. (Week beginning 8th December 2014)…..

….But in the Chimps it’s been ever so delightful as they have been gearing up for our party week with some very merry Christmas activities. Putting their hands and feet to work, they made reindeer prints and there were just enough reindeer for a full herd. Santa will be pleased. He’ll be equally happy about all the little elves that have popped up in the Chimps room as they created their very own elf hats and then broke up into colour coded teams and had a little football match. Go Chimps…er…Elves! The sensory box this week was full of the wonders of shimmery, shiny things as they explored tinsel, beads, and bells. While they may be a bit young to write up their Christmas lists, they still had a go with pencil mark making and attempted a few scrawls that we’re sure Santa will be able to decipher. We think some of the Chimps may want a drum set as they took to some noise making with their pencils and hands. Pa rum pum pum pum…

While we aim to do as many healthy cooking activities here as possible the Howlers just couldn’t resist the temptation to treat their mummies and daddies to some delicious chocolate orange truffles for the season. Naturally the children had a great time rolling the chocolate into balls and maybe taking a sneaky taste when they thought the grown ups weren’t looking. They also decorated gift boxes with glue and glitter as truffles should only travel in style. Please don’t forget our mulled wine evening next Monday as the Howlers (and Baboons) have made lemon cordial for any of the non-drinkers, or the lemon fans, who would like something other than mulled wine. All the rooms have been busy practicing their Christmas songs and the Howlers have got Christmas Pudding and the Lights on the Christmas Tree down to a choir-ific tee. They even added instrumental accompaniment this week. Hopefully, they don’t get stage fright as they’ve really been enjoying doing all the actions for the songs. In the book area, there has been a strange hush about the cushions as the Howlers listened to a tale about a Christmas bear who had gotten lost. Scouts in the making, the Howlers have been searching high and low for the bear, who rewarded them with the biggest cuddles of the season. Lucky Howlers.

Baboons – Santa’s been getting stuck up the chimney all week as the Baboons rehearsed singing for their Christmas party. They have also been chopping down trees and standing them up tall for their second action-packed number. At the creative table, all that was missing was the scent of pine as the Baboons decorated their very eco-savvy Christmas trees from egg carton cups with glitter (of course), stars and pom-poms. They decorated trees for their Christmas cards. In the small world tray, all was a blustery, winters day as the town and its train station was covered in snow (icing sugar, but we “forgot” to mention that to them) and the Baboons had to shovel some of it away for the poor townspeople. For music and movement, there has been a festive update to the old standard, Hokey Cokey, now titled the Reindeer Pokie, which includes putting their antlers in and wobbling their tails about. The Baboons have also been preparing some rather decorative salt jars for your Christmas shelves. After getting rather dyed with colouring the salt, they chose how to layer up the colours in their jars and then stuck straws along the sides to create patterns along the salt. The winter board is in full swing as the Baboons added snowmen to their winter wear washing line.

Santa really isn’t going to know where to put all these reindeer as the Gorillas made him a new herd from paper plates. In the creative area they decorated some very traditional wooden Christmas shapes, courtesy of Demi. Rike also brought some shapes for the Gorillas to use as a stamping activity. They didn’t have to go far for wrapping presents as their role play was Santa’s workshop and the little Gorilla shaped elves have been very busy wrapping up all those presents and loading them up on the sleigh. The water tray was transformed into a winter wonderland with cornflour and shave foam. Of course this meant the pots and pans had to come out to for some sensory exploration. The writing area was overflowing with the Gorillas’ Christmas lists as they practiced writing letters to Santa. They have also spent time throughout the week talking about what Christmas looks like in other countries and how it’s celebrated. In Germany, for example, there is a tradition of cleaning their shoes and leaving them out for presents. Don’t know how quickly that’ll catch on here. Hmmmmm…