Polkadot Heathcote – Activity time!

We have been doing a lot of activities that focus on fine and gross motor skills. The children have shown particular enjoyment when taking part in our ‘Dough Disco’, as well as cutting with scissors and making pasta necklaces.

Dough Disco seemed to be a favorite of the children’s last term so we have continued to offer the activity. Dough Disco allows children to practise their fine and gross motor skills, as well as building their confidence. Using play dough and music creates a fun atmosphere for all children to learn the techniques to make various shapes in play dough.

Practising using scissors to cut paper has been an activity that the children have either asked to do or selected out as an addition to drawing and colouring. We then go on to draw shapes and cut them out.

Making the pasta necklaces seemed to be something that the children enjoyed as many of them spent a long time at the activity. Some found threading the string through the pasta difficult but we encouraged them to keep on trying and they succeeded. Their concentration throughout the activity was fantastic. Once they had threaded the pasta onto the string they were given the option to paint the pasta which finished the activity off nicely.

In pre-school, fine and gross motor skills are an important factor to help get the children ready for school. We always try to include activities that can build the children’s confidence and strength in fine and gross motor skills, while also making it fun.

We are so happy to be back and to welcome some new friends to the nursery.

Enjoying our Nature Garden at Seedlings Nursery

Over the last few weeks Seedlings and Heathcote children have been spending lots of time in the Nature garden.

We have a great new book called

‘Forest School Adventures – Outdoor skills and play for children’  by Naomi Walmsley & Dan Westall

This book is really interesting and has some great ideas which we have already put into practice.

Here is a quote from the book which we wanted to share with you

The Importance of play in Nature

”Research confirms that interacting with nature nurtures children’s creativity promotes good health, raises vitamin levels, inspires problem-solving and builds confidence”

Nature can be used within both playground and a classroom activities.

We have been exploring the Nature Garden starting off our session by sitting in our log circle, talking about the safety roles and what we will be doing in our session.

We have done lots of clever learning as well as having lots of fun! We have made large nests by working together collecting sticks feathers leaves soil and grass and weaving and binding them together.

We have made animal dens using large sticks and remembering how to transport them safely dragging them behind us and covering the end with our hand. We used string and tape to bind them together and make it secure, we then added more grass and twigs to camouflage the house to make the animals feel safe. We have also enjoyed making stick towers and structures using a range of different sized sticks.

We went on a nature hunt and all found items we wanted to share with the group at the end of the activity once back in our log circle. The children confidently stood up and talked in front of their peers. We found some great things and used good descriptive and mathematical language when describing what we had found. One child had found a leaf and described it as looking like a star, another child found a stone and said “It’s a dinosaur tooth!’ whilst another child found some bark and we talked about how we can make paper from trees.

We have all loved our outdoor learning this week, we hope you like our photos!

Fairies at Polkadot Alcester!

August has been the month of exploring the wonders of the outdoors by being curious and learning about nature and building on the imagination of the children.

It all began with a child’s interest in magic and fairies, sparking the interest of all other children and adults alike. We have explored the garden looking for signs of fairies and created beautiful pictures, inviting them to visit.

All children showed high levels of excitement when signs from the fairies started to appear and we have started talking enthusiastically about past and future experiences.

Even the cygnets made an appearance at the bottom of the garden.

“Go open the door maybe outside there’s a tree or a wood, a garden or a magic city” (‘The Door’ by Miroslav Holub)

Happy times at Polkadot Alcester

Fun, sun and laughter in our baby and toddler bubble at Alcester.

We have made use of our new discovered skills, like kicking the ball, drawing, observing wildlife and pretend play. Oh.. water play was also lots of fun! When it got too hot we took turns dipping in the big water tray!

We have been painting in Pre-School on a large scale! Paint, chalk and water was used to draw on cling film made up surfaces, the black board, the wooden house, even on the plastic walls of our house by the river.

Mummies, daddies, brothers and sisters, wild creatures, insects, made-up characters, all came to life when we played using our imaginations. How we wish you could hear the made up stories and the adventures we have encountered going to all these amazing places.

Please see below photos and notice the hand-eye coordination, the level of concentration and the beautiful smile on every child’s face.

 

A busy week at Polkadot Stratford

We had a busy week last week at Polkadot Stratford! Top Dots have been getting involved and concentrating on building their own structures using mathematical language throughout this activity such as “more”, “less”, “bigger”, “taller”.

They have also been exploring the shaving foam using vehicles, chopsticks, and paintbrushes to create their own marks and tracks.

Babies and Dots2Tots have enjoyed lots of songtime outside including “Whats in the box?”, this has helped their social skills and encouraged taking turns.

There has been lots of laughter with all age groups when playing “Hide and Seek” using different types of fabric to hide behind! We then used the fabrics to dress up!

We do hope that everyone is keeping well and look forward to welcoming back more Polkadot children soon.

Just a reminder to parents to please bring an empty beaker for your child each day.

 

Exploring outdoors at Seedlings Nursery!

Lindsey loves outdoor learning which is a key part of early years education. This week we have taken advantage of the beautiful weather playing outside as much as possible. Young children are curious to learn about their environment, so time in the nature garden is a good opportunity to explore with the senses; smelling the plants, touching the different textures (eg. bark and pine cones) and listening to the sounds around them. They enjoyed lifting up logs and we were able to find lots of mini-beasts; woodlouse, beetles, slugs, spiders, centipedes, ladybirds, earwigs etc.

Gardening also has many benefits; development of fine and gross motor skills when digging and planting seeds; science as they learn what plants need to grow; patience as they wait for the seeds to grow and responsibility when caring for the plant.

Chloe and the Blooms have been getting stuck in with their green thumbs. The Blooms have been planting some wild flowers in the nature garden.

The children have been choosing their own way of playing by choosing areas to become dens that they can play in and have adventures. This encourages them to make their own decisions. A couple of the children named one of the dens the ‘Rascal Bush’ because there were so many branches growing everywhere. We have also made a ‘campfire, ready to toast some marshmellows on it!

The flower beds are now ready for seeds of various vegetables and fruits to be harvested over the next few months. The Blooms have really been doing a fantastic job on giving the nature garden some tender loving care and having fun while doing so.

Katie has been hard at work with the Buds.  They have also been busy outside.  The children used their hands to pull up all the weeds that were in the big tyre, we added more soil then scattered wild flower seeds all over.  “They are all sparkley,” said one child.  We talked about what the seeds will need to help them grow.

The Buds and younger Blooms have also been picking apples off our Bramley apple trees.  We plan to cook them down to make stewed apples, then enjoy this with custard. Mmmmmmm!

Polkadot Alcester – Our favourite activities this week!

Another week filled with joy and laughter at Alcester.

Younger children have been experimenting how foam changes colour when mixed with different paint colours. Of course all available surfaces required a touch of “magic foam”.

Pre school and toddlers have learned about the life cycle of a butterfly and their habitat. They were taking part in the Big Butterfly Count and were very keen to share with their friends all of the butterfly species identified in their gardens.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book took centre stage and our painted butterflies became little “masterpieces”.
It really is fascinating, watching these inquisitive little minds absorb the information, process it, later use it in context and that they are soooo proud to share it!

Ship Ahoy! At Gingham Pre-School

The children at Gingham have been very imaginative. Through play the children have used their ideas and thoughts to enhance their learning imaginatively. The children began by using the large wooden bricks to make a pirate ship, they worked together to construct the ship and then used their turn taking skills effectively to ‘drive’ to many wonderful places. This interest blossomed over the week, with the children choosing to make their own pirate hats and maps to include in their play. The incorporation of a obstacle course using chalks also sparked the children’s interest, using this to make their way to the ship, seeing all sorts of animals on the way! At the end of the week the children enjoyed a sweet treat from one of their friends and a very creative Mummy, making the dolls dress from sweets!

The Gingham team would like to wish all the children that have left for their new adventure at Primary school all the very best.

Green fingers at Polkadot Stratford

The children at Polkadot Stratford have been settling back in to nursery life and enjoying the everyday toys where they have been using their Gross Motor Skills to manoeuvre big vehicles outside as well as using their imagination to build their own train track and enjoying some hide and seek fun!!

It has been lovely to appreciate the sunshine outdoors, the staff and children have been busy planting as well as having some of their meals outside! The children have been enjoying the experience of planting in the gardens ready for the summer and have been using their senses to smell the different types of plants and flowers. They have all been really engaged and continued to learn about the after care as they show a ‘can do attitude’ by checking on them every day and watering them, we are all very excited to watch them grow.

Thank you to all our parents for your continued patience and support over this time.

Rachel

Polkadot Alcester Update!

Ever wonder what makes a baby happy? How about some music, dancing and high quality adult interactions?
For the last week the babies have been improving their balance, coordination and gross motor skills through dance and music, while the toddlers went on discovering new words through Chatter Matters.

In Preschool the topic of interest started off with a couple of small toys being accidentally thrown over the fence into the river.
“What could happen to those toys or the creatures living in the river?”
That’s how the long journey of explaining, thinking and questioning started and concluded that “we need to look after the planet”.

We would like to thank all our parents for the positive feedback, kind words, understanding and encouragement during the last couple of months and we wish all children leaving us to join school in September, very good luck in your next adventures!