Balloon dancing, botany, and rockets – Week Beginning 2nd May 2016…

It’s all been a whirr of sensory activities in the Gibbons this week and they had only four days to cram them in. In the White room, the little ones have been moving and shaking with an exuberant balloon dancing session. To really get them going, the children also made rice shakers for some additional accompaniment. In the baby area, the little ones were set a crawling challenge as they had to make their way over the soft play cubes in order to get to the slide. They found it very funny. The Reggio Emilia table exploration this week was corks, craft sticks, and playdough. There was chewing on corks, sucking on lollysticks, and picking at playdough. Some of the little ones did manage to put all three together and create some lovely playdough mounds…hills…umm we’re not quite sure what they were, but they were very pleased with themselves and babbled accordingly. In the Green room, the song bag this week was “3 Little Men in a Flying Saucer.” The Gibbons were “whooshing” and looking left and right like old pros. This is our time of year for glorious garden play and the Gibbons much prefer to be out without the restriction of those snowbunny suits. This week they were very keen to have a go on the tyres that they always see the big children on, so they moseyed over from the baby area and had a good exploration, with support of course. Also in the garden, they dipped chalk into water and made a lovely mess of the pavement with wet chalk painting. Well, it’s the place to do it.

Though Irena the persona doll doesn’t spend time with us every day, she’s very in tune with upcoming events as she visited the Baboons to tell them all about what her parents do.  The Baboons were very excited to hear that her mother makes clothes and her dad is a builder. They told Irena the things they want to do when they grow up and she was very happy to hear them. It’s been the Baboons’ turn to go up to the allotment this week and to get them all excited, they’ve been making their very own playdough fruit and veg with red, yellow, and green playdough. They’ve made bananas, apples, peppers, and a colourful assortment of others. At the allotment, they made sure all our current growers were fully watered, since we’ve had a rather surprisingly dry week (yay), and they planted radishes and wildflowers. Back at the nursery, while their coriander grows, the children have been documenting the process throughout. This week, they used their magnifying glasses to observe different parts of the herb and pieces in the soil. They grabbed the rulers and identified numbers to help them measure how tall their coriander had grown and even took to the mark making area to draw pictures of the herbs. We may have some future botanists on our hands. For music and movement, the children worked on their good listening ears as they identified instruments from their sound while in the garden they’ve practicing eye/hand coordination, attempting to throw balls into large tubs at various distances. Whew! They’ve had a busy week.

It’s been a while since the Gorillas have been back in space and this week they were loving their space station role play. They need to refresh their knowledge before they ventured off to the galaxies, so their group time was all about the differences between the planets, including our own. They learned about good old H2O and O2 and the age old question of life on other planets, although they were pretty certain about that one as an alien or two popped its head out in their space station. For their construction activity, the Gorillas built rockets from recyclable materials. They extended their rocket construction to the garden with blocks as they measured how tall they could make them. The Gorillas also enjoyed an audio fact book about space and talked about what gravity was and which planets had it. It’s not all been extra-terrestials and UFO’s, however, as the Gorillas stuck to terra firma for their small world safari. For our garden growing beds, the Gorillas planted leeks and peppers, which will be a nice and colourful addition to the area. For sounds and letters this week, the children started playing rhyming games and talking about the “th” sound for phonics. They even created a mind map of words that included the sound. Clever clogs. Tatty Bumpkin’s yoga pose this week was “Growing Flower,” which supports balance, arm and leg muscles, and core stability. They also envisioned what kind of flowers they were growing into, so a little exercise of their imaginations and creativity also. Precious little buds, we have here.