Tag Archives: learning

This year’s best bits…

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Today is our last day at nursery and we say goodbye to all of our older children who are going up to reception. We have had a busy week celebrating with end of term parties and lots of dancing, games, food and fun!

We have even had an ice-cream van at school this afternoon!

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Thank you to all the children and parents for your wonderful end of term gifts. We especially enjoyed reading all of your lovely comments. We are all so proud of how everyone has come on this year and can’t wait to see how well they do in reception.

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Here are some of our highlights from a fun and busy year…

Best Day Ever (Muddy Puddles and Ice Skating)

Graves Park

Father’s Day Stay and Play

An Eggy Surprise (The Movie)

World Book Day

Christmas Movies

Movie Morning

Our New Workbench

Pancake Day Fun

A Special Delivery (Christmas Movie)

Forest School 

Forest School Day 2 

Forest School Day 3

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Weekly Workshop – Decorating Biscuits

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Weekly Workshop – Decorating Biscuits

Each week we run  a weekly workshop with fun ideas to help support learning at home. We often make things that the children can take home with them to carry on learning at home.

Everybody is welcome whether it is your nursery session or not. If you are attending nursery that day just come through to nursery, alternatively if your child attends afternoons or the beginning of the week just come from the office. Thank you to all the parents who attended.

This week our workshop was decorating biscuits…

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The week before we made play dough…

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Next week we are very excited because we will be making moon sand!

 

The Curious Tale of the Disappearing Snail

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The Curious Tale of the Disappearing Snail

 

This is the tale, of a giant land snail,

Who left nursery one day, leaving only a trail,

And how the grown-ups did worry, and the children did wail,

When they could not find Gary, the giant land snail,

They looked here and there, they searched up and down,

They spotted the slime, but no snail could be found,

Then the children they followed, the silvery track,

And they wished and they wished for their snail to come back,

 

They hunted the school and out in the yard,

‘Til one of the teachers, showed them a card,

It was Gary! He’d been on adventures galore,

When he’d slid his way out, of the classroom door,

He’d been on the tram, he’d gone to the zoo,

Out in the rain and the water park too!

He’d gone to Skegness and laid in the sun,

Oh Gary the Snail, you have had so much fun!

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But the children they worried, he was all alone,

So they thought of a plan, to get their snail home,

Letters were written and even a map,

While some of the children, set up a trap,

They filled it with food, the trap it was set,

A plan to catch Gary and get back our pet,

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When all of a sudden, a knock at the door,

And there was our snail, back home once more,

Oh Gary we missed you, don’t go away,

Next time come home, for a holiday!

 

What have we been learning?

Phew! We’re glad Gary is home. While we hunted for our snail what were we learning?

We talked to lots of new people. Sometimes the children can be shy in front of new people but they spoke to the teachers in school and asked them about Gary.

We did lots of writing. We wrote letters, post cards and posters. We drew pictures of Gary and put up signs.

We learnt to look carefully for clues. We thought of ideas for what might have happened and how we could get Gary back.

We learnt about snails. We learnt how to look after them and what they liked. We looked in books and on the internet to find more information.

We did lots of story telling, thinking of the adventures that Gary might have been on

We did lots of problem-solving. The children designed slides and traps to try and catch Gary.

Dear Zoo

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

The Journey Home From Nursery

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The Journey Home From Nursery

We have been reading one of our favourite stories … The Journey Home from Grandpas.

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It is all about the things we see on the way home.

We learnt our colour names and the names of the different vehicles.

We thought about our own journeys and drew maps of the things we saw. We thought about the different directions we travelled in and the positions. We directed the cars and talked about how they travelled under, over, around and through. We followed directions moving them forwards, backwards and sideways.

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Then we decided to make our own story… The Journey Home from Nursery!

We thought about how we got home, the things we saw, the sizes and the colours. Then we tried to make it fit with the rhythm of the first story, what do you think?

What do you see on your way home nursery?

Which way do you travel?

What do you go past?

Can you make up your own story?

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

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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…

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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!

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

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

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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!

 

UPDATE

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

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Our Favourite Recipes

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Our Favourite Recipes

Recently some of our parents have been asking how we make our sensory activities in our classroom.

Here are a few of our favourite sticky, slimy and sensory activities for you to try at home!

1. Quick and Fun

Sometimes we will fill a tray, tub or bowl with one ingredient for the children to explore. We might hide objects in there for the children to find or count or give them sticks or tools to make marks; writing their letters and numbers.

Shaving Foam

Sand (wet or dry)

Salt

Paint

Glitter

Water is an easy sensory activity – add bubbles, colours and glitter then drop in pants and socks to hang on the washing line, jugs and containers to fill and empty, things to sort and match or objects that float and sink.

 

2. Cloud Dough

Cloud dough is easy to make by mixing plain flour and baby oil, you can also make it with other kinds of oil but it doesn’t smell quite as nice! We like to add glitter and plastic toys and the children tell stories in the dough. It sticks together a little bit like wet sand so it’s good for moulding with spoons, bowls and buckets.

Recipe:

3 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of oil.

Raid your cupboard for extra spices to add!

3. Slime

Slime is the children’s favourite at the moment! You will have seen all kinds of slime in our classroom; snow slime, green slime, sand slime, chocolate slime! We follow the same recipe of glue and a little laundry liquid then add glitter, food colouring, sand, hot chocolate powder, paint etc. to make the slime different each time. The liquid we used was Almat from Aldi (not every type will work for this recipe).

Recipe:

3 cups of glue to 1 cup of laundry liquid

Mix together then stretch and pull until it gets to the consistency you want, too stringy add more glue, too sticky add more laundry liquid.

 

 

4. Gloop

We have lots of fun with gloop. It is a mixture of cornflour and water that feels solid if you hit it but turns liquid if you touch it gently. We like hiding things in gloop, writing in gloop, adding colours and making patterns.

Recipe:

3 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water

Add more water as it starts to dry out

 

5. Sand Cement/Kinetic Sand

Sand Cement is very easy to make by mixing sand and shaving foam. It turns the sand a little bit sticky which makes it really good for building. We added blocks to the sand cement and the children used it to build. It washes off really easily but you may need to keep adding a little more foam as it starts to dry out.

Recipe:

3 cups of sand to a can of shaving foam

 

We also make a kind of kinetic sand which is a little firmer and easier to mould.

Recipe:

2 cups of sand, 1 cup of cornflour, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid. (this recipe isn’t quite perfected yet and the sand dries out very quickly, if you have a longer lasting recipe we’d love to hear it!)

6. Play Dough

We almost always have play dough out in the classroom. We have all kinds of play dough, changing the colour, scent or tools for different activities. We use letters, numbers, cutters, rolling pins and kitchen tools in the dough. We also add plastic characters, cars and small parts like googley eyes depending on what the children are interested in.

Recipe:

2 cups of plain flour, 1/3 of a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 cup of boiling water.

You can mix the ingredients together or cook in a pan to bring your dough together.

Make sure you knead it well when it had cooled.

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7. Salt Dough/White Clay

If we want to make something longer lasting like jewellery of decorations we can use salt dough or white clay.

Salt Dough Recipe:

2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and up to 1 cup of water.

Mix the flour and salt then add enough of your cup of water to make a dough.

When you have made your creation it can be dried out naturally for a few days or cooked on a low oven for an hour or two. You can add colour to the mix or paint when dried.

White Clay:

1 cup of cornflour and half a cup of white glue.

Mix together to form a dough. It will be mould-able and you can make delicate decorations but it can start to dry so you will need to work quite quickly!

8. Food!

Food makes a fun sensory activity. Sometime we explore food to learn the names of our fruits and vegetables. We cut them open and use tweezers to take out the pips. We look at raw and cooked food like pasta and spaghetti to see how the texture changes.

We hope you have fun trying these recipes out a home, we’d love to hear what you get up to!

Art goes SPLAT!

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Art goes SPLAT!

We had a fun afternoon in our art studio today making…Splat Art!

First we squeezed blobs of different coloured paint onto our card. We talked about the colours we could see before hiding them under circles of cotton wool.

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Next came the fun bit. We hit the circle with a plastic hammer and watched the paint go splat!

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We experimented with tools and hitting to try and make the biggest splat!

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Then we took away the circles and looked at our pictures.

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Finally we mixed the paint together with our fingers to see what colours we could make.

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We had lots of fun making our splatter art. Why not continue having fun with paint at home?

Try painting with tools from around the home – spoons, mashers and spatulas make great painting tools. Playing with finger paints is a really good way to explore what happens when you mix colours.

Happy Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day

Today was a very special day. We invited our mummies, aunties and grandmas to our Mother’s Day performance. We have been getting ready for this morning by making special things for our mummies.

First we made butterfly Mother’s Day cards. We painted our hands in different colours and patterns and printed butterfly wings. Then we painted the body and wrote a message and our names inside.

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We made jewellery out of salt dough. We mixed 1 cup of water, 1 cup of salt and 2 cups of flour. We added colour and rolled them into beads. Once they were dry we made a pattern and threaded them onto elastic.

We have been trying hard to learn our songs ready for today’s performance. We learnt Skidamarink and a special Mother’s Day song for our mummies.

 

Skidamarink

Skidamarink a dink a dink

Skidamarink a doo

I love you

Skidamarink a dink a dink

Skidamarink a doo

I love you

I love you in the morning

And in the afternoon

I love you in the evening

And underneath the moon

Skidamarink a dink a dink

Skidamarink a doo

I love you

Boo boo bi doo

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Finally it was time for our performance!

We sang our songs for our mummies, aunties and grandmas. Then we gave our mummies their special cards and presents.

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We hope you all enjoyed this morning as much as we did!