Autumn Celebrations at Polkadot Heathcote!

At Polkadot Heathcote we have been doing lots of activities where we could learn about a range of celebrations that happen throughout the Autumn months.

The children showed some amazing concentration as they used their fine motor skills to make some Diwali lanterns. The children chose the colours that they wanted to incorporate and made two layers. Shannon showed the children how to create their lanterns, rolling the first layer and putting some slits through the second layer. Shannon also helped to put the sellotape where the children asked her to. During the activity Shannon opened the discussion about how Diwali is the festival of lights, later on they got to learn more through the story of Rama and Sita.

A big excitement throughout the Pre School was Bonfire night, some of the children told us about the ‘gunpowder plot’ which opened the conversation about why we have a bonfire night. The conversation moved onto the ‘fireworks’ and how they go ‘bang in the sky’ showing ‘lots of colours’. Some of the children began to tell us what their favourite colours are, such as; “red”, “yellow” and some of them even said “all the colours!”. We decided to make our own firework display, we twisted some pipe cleaners together which the children were able to dip into different coloured paint and then dab the paint on some black card. The outcome was amazing! Some of the children showed how amazed they were by the colours on the black card as they said ‘wow!’.

We have also been talking about the different seasons and how we are currently in Autumn. We’ve discussed how the colours of the leaves have been changing and how even though the sun is shining, it is still a bit cold outside. From this we decided to make our own Autumn sun catchers, using tissue paper which we put into laminating pouches – which only grown-ups laminated, and we were able to talk about safety and how the laminator gets hot so that’s why only the grown-ups touch the laminator. The children then chose the outline of a leaf that they wanted to make and using their fine motor skills and concentration drew around the leaves! We were so impressed! Once Chloe had cut around their outline, the children showed where they wanted the hole to be put so they could thread the string through. The children were able to choose how they wanted their leaves to be made. The results were fabulous!

We were able to have a great discussion about Remembrance Day and Poppies. Some knew that it is ‘a day to remember people’, the ‘soldiers’ that made us free. The children learnt how the poppies represent Remembrance Day, and we talked about how Poppies are pretty to look at but we ‘mustn’t sniff or touch’ them. One of the children asked the great question “what is inside a poppy seed to make it poisonous?”, we chatted about how there is a powder inside the seed that our bodies don’t like. We decided to make our own Poppies, the children were showing amazing fine motor skills and imaginations as they painted the plates and once they were dried they stuck a black circle on the painted plate for the middle of the poppy. The children drew around a circle shape to make their centre for their poppy. The concentration faces were fantastic! When it came to the 1 minute silence the children did us proud! They sat for the whole minute, in silence, as we watched a silent video helping us reflect on what Remembrance Day is about.

We really have been busy at Heathcote Pre School, and now we are getting ready for Christmas time with lots more exciting activities planned! Watch this space!


October Blog – Polkadot Pershore

Our Baby Dots have had a lot of fun with sensory and messy activities. We have particularly enjoyed the ‘dough disco’ and practising how to pat, squash and squeeze playdough. We have been exploring pumpkins and looking at and feeling the seeds inside and then we went on to add some leaves with different colours and textures. There was a lot of fun gluing these leaves afterwards to see what patterns we could make along with the sounds of crunching. Finally we had our Halloween party with dressing up and games, apple bobbing and the jelly tray was one of the favourite games.

Toddler Dots have been busy with emptying and filling containers using different mediums such as rice and then asking lots of questions. We have been looking at the world around us and using books and pictures we have been painting hedgehogs and squirrels, making playdough hedgehogs using spaghetti, buttons and googly eyes. We have had autumn tuff trays with a variety of pumpkins and squashes along with leaves, conkers and fir cones. For Halloween we have made spooky spaghetti, explored pumpkins, cornflour with spiders and creepy crawlies and a party tea!

Pre-school have shown a great curiosity about the changes they have been noticing around them. This started with the fallen apples in the garden which have been great for rolling down the pipes. This led on to some fantastic questions and comments about the season – ‘the leaves are turning red and crispy’, ‘the squirrels are collecting acorns’, ‘its almost time for pumpkin pie!’, ‘why is it so dark when I come to nursery?’.

And of course it wouldn’t be October without some spooky goings on! Look at the photos of all of our wonderful sensory activities.

We have also had a Thankful Pumpkin where families have been able to add what makes them thankful to our pumpkin when they arrive at nursery.


Halloween fun at Heathcote

At Heathcote we love a chance to dress up and have themed activities, so Halloween is always a great time for us.

Heathcote Pre School children have been finding out and exploring the different textures of pumpkins using more than one of their senses. After having a discussion about the pumpkin, we had some amazing descriptive words and phrases about what the pumpkin looks like, such as; looks like ‘an orange’ on the outside and ‘spider webs’ on the inside. We also agreed that the pumpkin feels ‘soft’, ‘happy’ and ‘like paint’ on the outside, but on the inside, it felt ‘slimy’, like ‘melons’ and like ‘balloons’. The children then chose their own way of playing with the pumpkin as they then used the pumpkin slices as a ‘walkie talkie’ and made it look like ‘a tunnel’, ‘a bridge’ and ‘a rainbow’.

After exploring a pumpkin, we decided to make our own pumpkins, but first we had to make the colour for the pumpkins. The children agreed that they wanted their pumpkins to be orange and to make orange we tried mixing yellow and red together, it worked! We had to wait for the paint to dry, so using fine motor skills and their imagination, the children cut out the eyes, mouth and any other feature they wanted for their pumpkin – like a nose. Once the paint had dried, the children were able to complete their creation using glue to stick their features onto their pumpkins, to complete the pumpkins we made a hole for the stalk of the pumpkin and the children concentrated beautifully as they threaded a pipe cleaner through the hole. We were super impressed as they kept on trying and seemed to enjoy achieving what they set out to do.

The children seemed to enjoy mixing colours to make a new colour, we wondered what else we could do to watch how things change, Shannon used warm water to cook some spaghetti so the children could see the spaghetti go from being ‘hard’ to ‘soft’. The children noticed that when the Spaghetti had been cooked and was soft that it became ‘sticky’. Shannon also introduced another colour combination that made a different colour, blue and yellow which made green! The children then added the green paint to the spaghetti, they also chose black paint to add to some more spaghetti. To add some extra spookiness, Shannon added spiders!

We love to encourage the children to use their imagination and to choose their own way of doing things. Therefore, amongst our other Halloween activities, we made spiders, bats and mummies – it was an interesting conversation on the difference between our Mummy’s who look after us and the ‘monster mummies’. We used lots of different resources for our creations, including; cotton wool and coloured paper for the spiders, hand printing in paint for the bats and masking tape for the bandages of the mummies.

This week was also the first half-term we had the chance to visit the school’s Forest School, we are very excited about the new exploring and learning opportunities this will bring! Watch this space!”


Gingham Pre-School have been out and about!

The children and practitioners at Gingham enjoyed a walk into the local community last week- to the library and the fun fair.

Before leaving Gingham, we discussed road safety with the children- children were able to tell us about the importance of “holding hands with a grown up” and that “we have to wait for the green man”.  During our walk we noticed items of interest such as a post box and phone box, when looking at these the children especially liked identifying letters and numbers of significance to them, we also loved looking at the different transport and the numbers on the buses as they passed us. Further on our walk we arrived at the Mop fair in the town centre, the children reflected on their past experiences at the fair, discussing the rides they went on and who they visited the fair with.

When at the library, we enjoyed a variety of books, shared stories together and enjoyed searching for books of interest to enhance our literacy skills. The children loved the Halloween display at the library, identifying all the different characters on the board. Before we left, we chose some books and used the special machine to check them out, ready to take back to Gingham to share with our friends over the coming weeks. We are hoping to re-visit the library during half term for their ‘Halloween Book Trail’ and to take a ‘Nature walk’ in our local community too, to support our learning and development around the Autumn season.

Over the coming weeks we are going to be exploring lots of wonderful Halloween activities and looking at the Hindu festival-Diwali.


Pumpkin Growing at Polkadot Alcester!

Earlier this year, the Pre-school children were very interested in how things grow and amongst other seeds and vegetables, they decided to plant some pumpkins to see if we could grow our own for Halloween 2021! So, the Pre-school children sprinkled some compost onto trays and planted lots of pumpkin seeds. Under their watchful eyes, with lots of care and watering, they grew into tiny pumpkin seedlings! These seedlings were moved into plant pots and made their way outside to the greenhouse where they were treated to a spritz with the spray bottles every day and there they grew into pumpkin plants! When they were big enough, they travelled out to the porch for all of our Polkadot families to join in the growing fun, by taking a plant home and nurturing it, to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin. They went home with Baby Dots, Top Dots and Pre-school families. These are some of the progress photos that were sent in and one of the resulting pumpkins, that has been delivered to TopDots ready for some Halloween fun next week! If you took one of our pumpkin plants home and have any photos to share or even if you have been out pumpkin picking at one of the local farms, we would love to see your photos!

 


Polkadot Heathcote – What have we been up to…??

It has been wonderful welcoming some new children to our setting! We have been getting into the full swing of activities, including; a sand tray, the children used diggers to recreate the tasks and jobs that we’ve seen some builders near us doing. We’ve also been making lots of different coloured and scented play dough, some of our favourites have been the tropical scented play dough and the yellow, lemon scented play dough. The children have also been showing us their amazing imaginations and strengthening their fine and gross motor skills by creating some amazing things in the play dough, using the shaped cutters at times but also their hands.

We have introduced our new children to the use of sign language in our ‘Hello song’ which we sing in our circle times. They have already began to pick up the various signs for each of the children’s letters at the start of their name, as well as singing beautifully together. During our circle times, we have also been using some instruments to practise different beats, sometimes the beats are lead by the grown ups, however, some of the children have shown some wonderful confidence and lead the beats for the whole group. We have also been getting back into dancing to our favourite songs, it’s been so much fun finding out what everyone’s favourite songs are; including the Spider-Man theme song. The children have also been showing some wonderful listening ears as they have followed some instruction songs doing different actions and movements.

We’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks getting to know the new children and we look forward to what the next year will bring.

We are so excited for Halloween – watch this space for an update on our fun activities.


Gingham Pre-School Out and About…..

The children at Gingham enjoyed a walk in the local community this week. We discussed safety before we went on our walk and what we thought we might see. Along our walk we stopped off at the park and enjoyed using our climbing and balancing skills on the climbing frame and slide. As we continued our walk, we noticed blackberries growing in the bushes- we discussed how we knew if the berries were ready “they need to be nice and black, ready to eat, not the red ones, they are not ready yet!”. This also led on to learning about the dangers of berries, children had a good awareness of this- “they might be poisonous”. During our walk we used our mathematical knowledge to discuss sizes of vehicles as well as counting the cars we saw. We explored our literacy skills by identifying letters we saw on street signs, using our fingers to trace around and along the letters. We also noticed ‘for sale’ signs along our route too.

 


Party Time at Gingham Pre School!

To celebrate our wonderful children leaving to start primary school this year, we held a school leavers party at Gingham. During the party we played musical statues, pass the parcel, had a pirate treasure hunt, as well as enjoying an ice cream treat. On the way home, all the children loved searching for a little present in our lucky dip! We wish all the children and their families the best of luck for the future!

 


Growing our own veg at Seedlings!

Over the last few months, the children in the Buds Room (2 – 3 year olds) at Seedlings have been busy planting a variety of vegetable seeds.  We have planted carrots, lettuce, beetroot, sugar snap peas and tomatoes.

The children loved to look and observe the changes and enjoyed watering them with the hose and watering cans, as and when the vegetables needed it.  Now they have grown, we have been able to taste our vegetables which are delicious!  We have enjoyed them as snacks throughout the day and even been able to send some home for the families to try!


Bunting Pre School learn about fire safety

We had the pleasure of borrowing a fire box which contained a lot of different items that connects to fire safety. The children indulged themselves into the special clothing and hats as well as using pictures, which they could colour in and enjoyed listening to stories. They had so much fun learning all about the importance of firefighters and what their job entailed.