Tag Archives: building

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo

Last week began with lots of letter writing. The children were writing letters home and to their friends. We got out the post bag so we could deliver our letters.

In the construction area lots of children were building cages and zoos for the animals.

We remembered our story from guided reading all about sending letters to the zoo. It was called ‘Dear Zoo’. We read it at story time and then we got a delivery from the zoo!

We weighed the animals to see if they could be sent in the post. As everybody knows only animals that weigh less than a hamster can be sent in the post.


Some of the animals were feeling a little bit poorly but luckily the vets were there to make sure they were ok.

Some of the children decided they needed to use tools to make their zoos even better.

Then they asked to build a real zoo with real tools!


We thought about what we would need and wrote a letter to Ella’s daddy who looks after our school.


Then we drew designs for how we wanted our zoo to look.


We used the big drill, the saw and the screwdrivers to build our zoo. We had to work together and be very careful. We had lots of fun, especially using the big drill!

When the zoo was finished we sorted the animals to see who could live inside it.

What were we learning about? 

This week the children decided everything we learnt about. All the activities were planned because of what the children said or did. This way the children were very interested in their learning.

The children did lots of mark making. They wrote letters to the zoo and to other people. They drew designs for their zoo and talked about their pictures.

We learnt about letter writing. We made sure we said who our letters were to and who they were from.

We learnt the names of different animals including more unusual animals like flamingos.

The children had discussions about where different animals live e.g. would we find a spider in the zoo? They learnt to ask questions and look in books to find the answers.

We learnt about vets. The children took on a role in their play, asking and answering questions. They began adding more mark making to their play by writing what was wrong with the animals.

We learnt about tools. We learnt how to be safe and manage risks.

In maths we learnt the words ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ and could sort the animals. We learnt that not everything that was big was heavy and not everything small was light.

How can you continue learning at home? 

Following children’s interests at home is a great way to help their learning.  Children that don’t normally pick up a pencil will often write more if it is part of their play.

If your child likes to build encourage them to draw what they are building and talk about their pictures.

If they like to play football and other games give them a pen and paper or chalk to write on the ground and encourage them to keep a score.

Letting the children use tools in a controlled and supervised environment allows them to learn about safety. For example, letting children use scissors and talking to them about how to use them safely means they are less likely to be dangerous with them than if they never use them.





Alien Adventures

Alien Adventures

After reading The Journey Home From Grandpas we thought about other journeys we might go on and decided to learn about space!

We read the stories Whatever Next by Jill Murphy and The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers.

We thought about what we might pack if we went on a journey to space. We made it extra tricky by only choosing what we thought were the three most important things, we didn’t alway agree!

Some of us tried to pack for an emergency and thought about how we would see if it was dark, what we would eat and how to keep ourselves warm. Some of us just wanted things to help us see the sights and some of us packed the things we would need for bedtime!


In the story The Way Back Home the martian and the boy get stuck on the moon. We thought about how we would rescue them. Can you see how we tried to rescue the martian?

image001 Then we put the martian in the block area and tried to build steps up to the martian.


We decided we could design a vehicle to get us to the moon. We worked with friends to draw a picture of what our vehicle would look like then labelled all the special parts.

We turned a box into a rocket like in the story Whatever Next. We added wheels and backpacks and material.


Some of the children then had the idea to add a door and a window and we decorated our box to look like a rocket.

We made green alien slime using our favourite recipe (recipe here) and added rockets, aliens and astronauts.

We made more rockets with the blocks and we all practised writing our name, cutting out the letters and turning them into rockets, some of us had very long rockets!


We made number rockets writing the numbers and making the marks to show how many it was. Then we put the numbers in order from 1 to 10.



We had lots of fun learning about space, how can you continue learning at home?

Encourage your child’s interest in space by; talking about what they have learnt, sharing stories about space or finding out more information on the internet (try using child-friendly search engine Kiddle)

Encourage your child to write their name by making your own name rocket at home, or how about a name train or even a name Olaf! (snowman)

When you’re on your way on a visit somewhere encourage children to pack a bag with the things they think might be important, what do they think they might need to pack for a trip to the park? Give children a limit e.g. pack 2 things for the park to encourage them to think about what they want and what they need (Their answers might surprise you!)

Give children a challenge when they play with their blocks or Lego at home, can they build a tower that is taller than they are? Can they build a bridge?

Make some alien slime or play dough or easy peasy moon sand (just flour and water). Click the link above to find our favourite recipes.

Use an old box to make your own rocket or let it be anything you want it to. Try adding spare bits of fabric/bed sheets or pillowcases to encourage the children to be whatever they want, the material in nursery is definitely the most popular for dress-up!


Caterpillars and Critters (update…the butterflies have arrived!)

Caterpillars and Critters (update…the butterflies have arrived!)

We have had a very exciting arrival in nursery…caterpillars!

We are enjoying watching them grow and have been thinking about what might happen next. We have had lots of questions and have been finding out all about caterpillars and other critters…


We read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the children were very interested in how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. With a little toilet paper and some help from our friends we re-enacted it!


After we had read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar we thought about all the different foods he ate. Some of us weren’t sure of the names of the different fruits and vegetables and what they tasted like so we had a food tasting. Everybody was very brave and had a little taste of everything, even the sour grapefruit! Lots of children were surprised that they liked plums and asked for more…


We had lots of fun playing with the fruits and vegetables inside and out. Some of the children even brought in fruits and vegetables from home…


While we were thinking about fruits and vegetables we did some planting of our own outside.

We have been watching our caterpillars grow very carefully, they are getting bigger everyday, we are excited for them going into their cocoons.image

We had lots of questions about the caterpillars, here are the things we would like to try and find out…


We are getting very good at sounding out our words. We sounded out words for things we knew about caterpillars and butterflies.



We learnt about butterflies and symmetry. We used loose parts to make patterns and match the two sides.


We had a challenge to get the caterpillar to the leaf. We thought of different ways to get the caterpillar up to the leaf. We tried stacking crates, making stairs out of bricks and tying string to the caterpillar…


What have we been learning? 

We have learnt alot about caterpillars – what they eat and how they grow

We learnt the names of different fruits and vegetables and tried new foods

We learnt about patterns, colours and symmetry

We sounded out words and wrote the sounds we knew

We thought of what we would like to know and asked questions

We learnt how to care for living things including insects and plants

We have been solving problems and working together finding ways to get the caterpillar to the leaf

How can you continue learning at home?

Look for insects in the garden or at the park

Do some planting in the garden and encouarge the children to care for and water the plants

Learn about patterns and colours drawing and painting symetrical butterflies and building models that are the same on both sides

Encourage children to taste small pieces of things they think they don’t like, they might be surprised!



Our butterflies arrived and on Friday it was time to let them go to live in the flowers…




Who took the Treasure?


We have been having lots of fun learning all about pirates over the last few weeks. Last week we made pirate ships outside and acted out some fun pirate stories.


First we collected some resources for our ship. We found tubes, poles, fabric, pegs, net, crates and even treasure chests!


The children then made up a pirate story:

“Arr we’re the Pirates.”

“We’re good pirates and bad pirates.”



The Pirates decided if they were good or bad Pirates.

“Are you a good pirate or a bad pirate?”

“I’m a bad pirate I tell you walk the plank!”

“But I can’t swim!”

“The sharks will eat you!”



Suddenly a shark came along…

“I’m a shark!”

“We get you shark, trap you in the net!”

“In our trap!”

“Oh I’m trapped, I’m going to escape!”






The pirates then went on a hunt for some treasure and found an empty treasure chest.



Luckily the the pirates found some gold for their treasure chest and put it in their ship.


“Lots of treasure”

“Let’s hide it”




Just as the pirates made plans to hide their treasure, along came a bad pirate!

“I’m a bad pirate arrrr”

“Oh no, she’s a bad pirate”

“I’m gonna get the treasure”


With a little help the bad pirate took the treasure!



The good pirates tried to get the treasure back but the bad pirate hid it in the trap!



The pirates then needed to draw a map so they knew where to find the treasure. They collected some paper and started their maps.



One of the pirates then decided to put their message in a bottle to send to other Pirates. She collected a bottle from the workshop inside and added her message.


I wonder who will find the treasure next?



What were we learning?

In their play children developed their imaginative language, speaking and listening skills, imaginative play and sharing their ideas with others.

They built on each other’s ideas to keep their play going.

Children then added mark making to their play drawing and writing messages and maps.


How can you continue this learning at home?

Provide children with pencils and paper to encourage writing and drawing in their play.

Encourage children to use things around them to extend their play and ideas.

Give children open-ended resources like cardboard boxes to develop their imaginative skills.




Loose Parts Maths Play


We have been using loose parts on our maths table this week.

We had natural materials such as corks, pegs, wood cuts, card circles, wooden wheels and bamboo mats.


The children could choose how they accessed the provision.

Some children chose to use the parts to build with and talked about the size of their towers.


Some children created or completed repeating patterns using the pieces.


Some children counted out different objects and matched them to number cards.


We continued our learning in the outdoor area using objects and finding patterns in the environment.

Safety Week


This week has been a very important week at school, it has been Safety Week.

Throughout school the children have been doing different activities all about how to keep safe.

In nursery we have been thinking about how to keep safe on building sites because we have just finished our topic about buildings and we are very excited about our new school being built!

First we talked about last week’s visit to the building site of our new school.

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We thought about things that might be dangerous and ways to keep ourselves safe.

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Then the builders of our new school kindly sent us a presentation all about our new school and how to keep safe.

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We learn a lot about things that could be dangerous and ways to keep ourselves safe.

Come back to see our talking book all about what we have learnt!

What do you want to learn about today?


In Nursery the children have a big say in what we learnt about. For the last few weeks we have loved all things snow and slime but this week the children chose some new activities.

This week the children chose Olaf dough for the play dough table. We made white dough then found twigs, buttons, googley eyes and orange straws and pegs.


When we asked the children what they wanted to build with the popular choice was food! So we have been building with sweets.


For the writing area a few children said they wanted to send cards and messages so we set up a Post Office.


In the sensory area we chose an activity we haven’t done for a little while and made sand cement with sand and shaving foam.


Building with Sweets


This week the children decided they wanted to build with food!

We decided to use sweets of all different shapes to carry on our shape work.

First we chose the sweets we wanted to build with and used icing to stick them together.


We learnt that some shapes were better than others for building.

The flying saucers kept getting squashed!

The bonbons were too round and rolled away!


The milk bottles and jelly beans were a bit better if we laid them down but the walls weren’t very strong.


The fudge and toffee were nice flat shapes (like bricks) and made strong walls.


We had lots of fun building with sweets.

The children talked about the shapes they used and could say which shapes were better.

Our New School


We are very lucky to be having a new school built.

We will be moving schools at Easter time and we are very excited about it!

This week we went to see our new school being built!


First we thought of things that we would like to find out.

Then we went to the building site to look at our new school being built.

We looked at the different parts of the building and talked about what we saw.


Here is what we thought:

”It’s black, our school is brown”.

“It’s black and grey now”

”It’s made out of rectangles”

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”It’s got lots of windows”

”The windows are rectangles”

“We need it to get pretty, the digger can get the mud up so it’s nice and clean. I think he needs to go up, he will need the lift”


”The tractors are taking all the mud away”

”The tractors are digging big holes”

“The digger’s moving. The builder is moving it”

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“These are the walls”


“”We can’t get closer coz we might get hurt, we could fall, things might fall on your head”

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Come back to see pictures when we move to our brand new school 🙂

Building with Blocks


We have been using the blocks to make lots of different buildings for our theme of buildings, structures and homes. We have been talking about the size and shapes of blocks and making different types of buildings.


We added pictures of buildings to the front of some of the blocks. We used them to make towns and villages. We added cars, people and the Three Little Pigs and used them to tell stories.