Yoghurt, smoothies, salons, and Mike (Week Beginning 13th July 2014)…

The Chimps have been a very busy bunch this week kicking things off with some bouncy ball games. They’ve been rolling and tipping balls down tubes and a couple of the Chimps created their own game of shoe ball: one child had a ball in a shoe, dropped it into another shoe, and the other child took it and repeated the action. So on, so forth, and that is how games are made. The Chimps held up their green thumbs this week as they ventured to the garden to check our produce and make sure nothing was drying out. In the room, they planted cress and enjoyed poking their little fingers through the soil. Speaking of poking around, the yoghurt bars activity went down an absolute treat (now that was on purpose). They had to scoop and spread yoghurt onto cookie sheets and sprinkle raisins and blueberries over the top. It all went into the freezer and come tea time they were covered in frozen yoghurty delights. For their malleable activity, with a short demonstration from the adults, the Chimps created pipe cleaner models with playdough – sticking pipe cleaners into the dough and bending and folding them around. In the role play area, the Chimps have pulled on some doctor’s jackets and checked all the staff’s heartbeats for their Chimp-sized hospital. Their little feet were the focal point of footprint butterfly paintings which we’re sure you’ll treasure in that ever-increasing art gallery the Chimps have accumulated.

The Howlers have been missing Mimi this week but not to worry, they’ve still been keeping rather busy. In the group time area they’ve been practicing their sharing skills, learning the Makaton for “share” and taking turns putting up shapes and weather on the group time board. In the sand tray, the Howlers have put on their palaeontology hats this week as they’ve been discovering dinosaurs in the soil. The dinosaurs were covered with tin foil and soil and the children used paintbrushes to discover what was underneath. At the creative table, the Howlers have been printing with utensils, being very careful as to get a print of every prong on the fork onto their paper. Their small world area was run amok with insects as the Howlers explored all the different kinds they can find in the soil. In the dance room, they practiced their coordination as they balanced along different lines on the floor. This week, the groups made green smoothies. The Howlers enjoyed adding various ingredients of their choosing to the smoothie. They had a choice of pineapple, pumpkin seeds, banana, apple, spinach, kale and raspberries. Very tasty and packed with all the right vitamins. The post office is still going strong and the Howler post boys and girls have taken a shining to posting not only letters and packages, but also the grown-ups registers and planning. Those little jokers.

The Baboons have been all about their stylish hair this week with their hair salon role play open for business. They’ve been sitting their customers (usually the grownups) down in chairs, giving them mirrors to watch the process and offering a premium hair styling service. I was even given a hand and face massage with some cream. Very high end. With all this hair on the brain, it was only natural to have a group time focused on hair in all its colour and variety. The Baboons were very eager to talk about each other’s hair and feel all the different textures and talk about the colours. In the creative area, the Baboons have been very keen to make their own head bands using an assortment of materials (feathers, chick peas, lentils, and paper scraps). Possibly to go with their fabulous new dos. They’ve been paying rather a lot of attention to the sensory bottles as they’ve been turning them up, down, and around to identify all the objects and materials inside. The dinosaurs are rather popular this week as they’ve also made an appearance in the Baboon room and been leaving their messy footprints in colourful rice footprints. The Baboons didn’t seem to mind too much as they were able to take the prints home. Speaking of colours, the children have been recreating famous paintings (Monet, in particular) using these as references for their own creations. You’re going to need to bring in more spare clothes when it’s time for Jackson Pollock. Just saying.

Since we are always focused on healthy eating and quite a few of the Gorillas are aware of other children’s dietary needs, the focus this week has been on various food habits (i.e. in Italy, eggs are not a common breakfast food, so I’ve learned) and diets. The children have been taking a closer look at what people eat and why and some of our team members have been on hand to talk about their diets (veganism, faith-based restrictions) – in an age appropriate manner, of course. They also made smoothies this week, but before they did, had a little taster session of all the ingredients and used those beautiful descriptive words like “crunchy” and “juicy.” Their book focus this week was “I Know What is Right and Wrong, and Why.” The book details different events that depict the main character being unkind or hurting the feelings of others. The Gorillas problem solved ways to avoid or resolve these situations. The sounds and letters activity was a musical storytelling extravaganza. The Gorillas chose the story they wanted to read, and then chose instruments to go with them. For a fairy story, they chose bells and every time the fairies flew they would ring the bells. For a story with horses, the children banged drums as the horses galloped. Bedtime storytelling will never be the same. For music and movement, Amanda has been leading some Latin movement sessions, focusing on Latin instruments and learning some of their names in Spanish. On the main table, the Gorillas have been working on their reference drawing skills as they recreated realistic portraits. This week they drew policeman, Mike, and, I must say, the Gorillas are very observant as some of them even captured the stubble on Mike’s face. No detail shall go unmissed.