Green Thumbs at Polkadot Heathcote!

At Polkadot Heathcote we have continued to look after the sunflowers that we planted a couple months ago. We have been watching them slowly get bigger and bigger until we all agreed that it was time for them to be rehomed in the garden. 

The children got stuck into the activity, they followed instructions really well. They made a hole in the soil ready for the sunflowers to be put in. We then showed them how to take the sunflowers out of their pots without pulling them out. We had a discussion about how we needed to look after the roots so that the sunflowers could continue to grow. The children were able to use the same technique to get the sunflowers and the roots out safely and unharmed. They then gently placed the sunflowers on the holes and filled the hole with more soil. The children took turns and watched each other so well as they completed their tasks.

Once the sunflowers were planted we got some more volunteers to help water the sunflowers, we also discussed why we had to water the sunflowers, and the children showed their knowledge of why the plants need water and how they grow. As they also reminded us that the plants also need the sun to grow. 

We will continue to watch them as they grow, and can’t wait to see the garden full of our yellow sunflowers.

Polkadot Heathcote Update!

At Polkadot Heathcote we enjoyed a busy 2 weeks over Easter. The weather has been so lovely we have been able to enjoy lots of time outside. We went onto the big field, played lots of football and chased bubbles around the field. The children have been strengthening their gross motor skills as their control of the football has been improving so much, Shannon has enjoyed joining in with them too! The bubbles have proven to be a favourite as all the children get involved, luckily the wind helped with making the bubbles too!

We were able to go for a walk to a local pond where we took some bread and fed the swans, ducks and various other birds. The children showed some amazing listening ears as we walked on the paths holding hands together and practised looking both ways before crossing the roads. While at the pond, the children continued to use their listening ears and didn’t get too close to the edge of the pond, they showed a lot of curiosity about the various animals and we talked about the differences in the birds that we saw. A favourite was the swan that seemed hungry as it was eating a lot of the bread the children were throwing.

We also did lots of fun activities indoors. We celebrated Easter by making some chocolate nests for the children to take home. Lots of patience and turn taking was shown. We also had a discussion about what nests are for and what different kind of animals use nests like the ones we were imitating. We did some more table top painting to encourage colour recognition and mixing of colours, we went on further to encourage the children to use their index fingers to form recogniseable letters and shapes in the paint, they were doing really well.

Chloe also got some sunflower seeds from her local Morrison’s that were free for children over the holidays and we planted the seeds. With the seeds also came a poem which Chloe read tand paused to see if the children could guess the next word. We were amazed at how well the children were guessing the next words, a lot of the words were rhyming words. We also talked about what seeds need to help them grow; “the sun!”, “water!”. The children were very excited to take their seeds they planted home so Chloe and Shannon also planted some that we can all watch grow at Pre-school too! We look forward to hearing about how the sunflowers are doing at home!

Polkadot Heathcote – February Fun at Polkadot Heathcote

Some of our school leavers have shown an interest in writing, so this February at Heathcote we have been focusing on strengthening our fine and gross motor skills. This helps to get the children ready to begin writing; holding pens easily and forming recognisable letters etc. 

We have included various themes in our activities; like spreading the love with our Valentine’s Day cards, the children used a pincer grip to pick up the shapes to do paint printing to decorate the cards and then they had a go at writing their names in the cards too. We were very impressed with the results. 

We have also been trying to do some more baking activities with the children, using gross motor skills to mix the ingredients together. We made cookies, rocky roads and some rice crispy cakes for the children to take home, many of them wanted to share their goodies with their family. 

Another activity that has been popular is table top painting, it gave us the chance to discuss the names of different colours and what we thought would happen to the colours if we mixed them together. To further the activity more we encouraged the children to use their peter pointer fingers to write the first letter of their names, so many of them did really well. 

Other activities included play dough where we saw some children incorporating the moves we learnt in Dough Disco which was amazing. The children had a great time exploring gloop, looking at the different textures and finding out all the fun that could be done with it, some children spent a very long time at this activity. Shannon has also started doing some action songs with the children called ‘sticky kids’, there are some really fun songs on there working on the children’s gross motor skills and their listening skills. 

We’ve also been doing lots of hop scotch and football outside which has been helping the children improve their gross motor skills, their control and their balance. They seem to really enjoy doing these activities, and as the weather continues to get better we look forward to spending even more time outside. 

They continue to amaze and impress us with their progress in all areas of the EYFS. 

Polkadot Heathcote – ‘Let it Snow!’

We have been so excited to see snow this January, we couldn’t resist going outside and having a snowball fight. The children did show some good listening skills as we asked them not to throw the snowballs in their friends faces. It was so lovely to see the interactions between the children, they were laughing a lot together. They also decided to team up against Shannon, Chloe, Bev and Annie, throwing lots of snowballs our way. They all chose their own ways of exploring the snow. The children showed some strong fine and gross motor skills, as they used both hands to collect snow in order to make a snowball. They explored the different areas that the snow had fallen in order to collect snow. They even experimented with mark making in the snow.

“We had some great discussions, describing what snow is like and the children used words and phrases like ‘cold’, ‘soft’, ‘freezing’ and ‘not sticking together’. We also talked about the importance of coats, hats and gloves in cold weather. The children were very good at ensuring they had their coats, hats and gloves on after our talk. Staff and children all had a great time in the snow. “

Polkadot Heathcote get festive!

We have been getting stuck into Christmas activities this month which has resulted in goodies to take home as well as activities that allowed us all to get into the Christmas spirit. The children all got very excited when they got to help decorate our Christmas tree, they all showed some lovely sharing and turn taking throughout, and it’s safe to say they did a fantastic job! Using fine motor skills and cutting skills, the children created some wonderful snowmen to take home, allowing us to discuss the different elements that are involved in making a snowman. They also made some wonderful decorations for their trees at home, one using colourful lollipop sticks with sequins to decorate and the other involved some beautiful smiles in front of our Christmas tree. 

Our cheeky elf also returned to the setting and got up to all sorts of mischief, from getting into the threading draw, attempting to unwrap presents and even trying to taste the pudding on our Christmas dinner day! Luckily we caught him just before he got through all the clingfilm! 

Following on from sign language day in September, Lois taught Shannon and Chloe how to sign in Makaton ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ and taught it to the children. The children have picked it up quite quickly and have began to sign ‘Merry Christmas’ to each other and other adults. It’s been so lovely to see them continuing to enjoy learning signs. 

We’d like to wish all parents and children a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you all have a lovely time off and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

What have we been up to at Polkadot Heathcote?

We have had the best time doing Halloween activities at Polkadot Heathcote. We started doing some pumpkin play before half term to give all children a chance to join in with the fun. The pumpkin play allowed us to discuss textures of the outside of the pumpkin, the children used words like ‘smooth’, ‘soft’ and ‘prickly’ for the stalk. When it came to the inside of the pumpkin, they described it as ‘slimy’ and said ‘it’s like spider webs inside’. The children seemed to really enjoy the activity and some spent a really long time exploring the textures of the pumpkin, everyone’s concentration was amazing!

During Halloween week, we used some coloured oats to allow the children to make potions, including some toy witch fingers and spiders. The children showed some wonderful sharing and turn taking. Later, we made some colour changing potions together using a recipe. This encouraged the use of maths and fine motor skills. The children were so engaged and when the potion changed colour they showed so much excitement. We also made some paper-mache ghosts ready for our Halloween dress up days. The concentration and control during the activity was so wonderful to see.

We also had so much fun dressing up on Thursday and Friday that we gave the children the option to have some photos taken with our Halloween props.

Polkadot Nurseries – Half Term Dates

We wanted to remind Parents that we will be closed to all Term Time Only children (this includes all children at Bunting Pre-School and Polkadot Bridgetown) week commencing 26th October for Half Term. We will be open again from Monday 2nd November.

Please see below a link to our 2020/21 Calendar for future reference.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygyh80fv04zvnxg/Copy%20of%20Polkadot%20Childcare%20-%20Calendar%202020-2021.pdf?dl=0

 

 

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.