Making ice at Seedlings!

In Blooms this week the children have been exploring frost and ice. We found some in the garden while playing outside. The children explored the frost and ice by touching it and describing how it felt.

The children described the ice and frost saying,

“Looks like snow”

”Feels cold”

”Sounds crunchy”

We then talked about making our own ice.

We looked on the iPad at the overnight weather forecast and were very pleased to see it was going to be -4 degrees.

The children collected twigs leaves and pine cones for part of the experiment. We placed some of these items into some containers and filled them with water using cups. The children showed good control pouring the water into the containers. It took 1.5 cups to fill the container, we talked and looked at the quantities that we used. We then took the containers into the garden and placed them on the table to leave overnight. We were excited with anticipation!

The next morning we went outside to check our container’s to see what had happened, we were really pleased that our water had turned to ice!

The children then explored the ice with their hands, using lots of describing words such as cold, slippery, wet, slimy, freezing, melting and getting smaller.

We talked about why we thought the ice was melting… One of the children said “Because its warm in here and cold outside”.

The children really loved getting involved in this experiment! We plan to do more water experiments in the coming weeks!



Pips and Buds have been busy!

‘Pips and Buds at Seedlings have been very busy in recent weeks,  Pips have been exploring using all their senses in jelly play, sand play and peppermint scented cornflour play. Pips have been enhancing their mark making skills, using sponges and paint to create marks and movements.

Buds really enjoyed a visit to the Nature Classroom, investigating the natural environment and surroundings. Children enjoyed accessing the mud kitchens as well as looking for mini beasts. Children have been very inquisitive when using the Gingerbread playdough that they helped to make, using their imaginative skills and natural materials to create their own models. Children have been busy making reindeer food ready for Christmas Eve and enjoyed making some delicious treats such as rocky road.’

 

Wishing all our children and their families a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2022 from Lucy and the Team.


Autumn into Winter at Polkadot Alcester

We have been so busy over the last few months, exploring the changing seasons, taking part in fundraising dress up days and celebrating different festivals. We managed to raise over £70 for Children in Need with our Spots and Pyjama day and the Pre-school had great fun decorating the porch with their own version of Rangoli Patterns for Diwali. We have spent the last few weeks getting ready for Christmas, getting creative with lots of festive fun and exploring lots of the sensory aspects of this exciting time of year. As we head into our last days before the end of the year, all of the staff at Polkadot Alcester would like to thank our children, parents and families for all of their understanding and support during another unusual year. We appreciate that not everyone gets to take a break over the holidays so we hope you all manage to have some lovely family time over this festive period, and we wish you all the very best for the new year, see you all in 2022!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Polkadot Heathcote!

We have had lots of fun getting into the Christmas spirit here at Heathcote Pre School! We first wanted to update our letter box so Chloe designed a Santa letterbox. We then needed everyone’s help to decorate our Santa. Using some amazing concentration, listening ears and fine motor skills the children brought our Santa to life with paint and cotton wool! When they were painting, we saw so much control, ensuring that they stayed within the lines that made our Santa, we were SO impressed! They seemed so proud of themselves when Santa was all finished, there was lots of patting his head!

This year we chose to make some holly Christmas cards that we could send home to our families. The design involved the children painting their hands with green paint to make the holly leaves and then dipping their peter pointer finger into red paint to make the berries, we did have some children that weren’t sure of the idea. However, once they had seen how much fun it could be and were given a little extra support and confidence they were willing to have a go! Once they had achieved what they had set out to do the children seemed happy with their creations. The results were great!

Once again, we created a calendar for 2022, placing them on a plate which was decorated with tissue paper around the edge. Using their fine motor skills to put the glue on the plate and to place the tissue paper carefully on the plate. We used lots of different colours, some children told us how some of the colours were also like the autumn colours we have used to make our sun catchers. It was lovely to hear the children making links with activities that we have done in the past.

Chloe has also been doing some Christmas photos of the children, using our wonderful Christmas tree that Shannon decorated with everyone as part of the photos. With the help of Shannon (she was very good at making everyone laugh and smile for the photos), we were able to get some gorgeous photos of all the children that have been sent home with them just before Christmas.

Using the Christmas photos taken, we also created some baubles for the children to add to their Christmas tree at home and can be brought out in the years to come! We also added the children’s hand prints to the outside of the baubles, they were able to choose the colour they preferred which ranged from yellow to silver! The outcome was amazing!

We have had so much fun with everyone over the past few months and getting to know all of our new starters and their families! We hope you all have a wonderful time off together and we look forward to hearing all about it when we are back. So, from everyone at Heathcote Pre School, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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!