The superhero theme continues, with the children showing no signs of losing interest! We've been taking advantage of this, by creating activities based around superheroes.
We've made a 'Superhero Den' inside, with sheets and a tunnel. We've also had the climbing frame outside, again with sheets attached. The children have really enjoyed hiding out and role playing in their super hero bases.
We've been doing some superhero craft, creating our own superheroes and doing spider web pictures. We've also used 'clever sticks' to make spider webs, which is a great activity for helping the children develop their manual dexterity, in preparation for being neat writers as they get older.
Outside we've had some 'green swamp goo' as our sensory activity. The children are also really enjoying playing with the balls and scoops, practising their throwing and catching skills.
Inside, we've invested in a new sofa for the reading corner. This was bought with money from BANES, given to us specifically to encourage more reading and literacy skills in our setting. By giving the children a lovely place to sit and read, we can balance all that activity with the chance for a bit of peace and quiet. Have a look in our reading corner to see what our new sofa looks like.
The children have been doing some interactive games on the computer this week. If you visit www.ictgames.co.uk, you will see the kind of literacy and numeracy games we do with them. They also love the games on the CBeebies site. We are very lucky to have our volunteer supporting the children with their ICT, either individually or in small groups.
This week we've had visits from both the cookery lady on Wednesday, and the yoga lady on Thursday. The children gain a lot of skills from these visits, which are aimed at really enriching the kind of experiences we can offer at preschool.
Key worker/parent carer conferences have continued with week, with staff talking to the parents of their key children, to let them know how individual children are progressing.
Finally, thanks to all the parents, carers and family members who help with the Grease Ladies' Night, at which great fun was had by all! Have a lovely half term break and we will see you all back at preschool on Monday 6th June.
We've had a fun and busy week, with the children showing an interest in lots of different activities. You might have noticed that we have changed the flowers in the benches - we went for plants that won't need a lot of water over the summer, but if you are passing preschool in August and they look wilted, please feel free to splash on some water!
The children have planted their sunflowers to grow on for the flower show (on 23rd July). We will be sending these home shortly for you to grow on and to bring into the show to try and win the 'tallest sunflower' competition. We will also have a plant stall at the flower show, to raise money for preschool. In the garden, the children's crops are growing well with peas in flower, carrots coming on well and potatoes growing fast. Next term we can start to harvest them!
The children are still showing lots of interest in hunting for and studying bugs - both real and toy ones. We found a tiny snail in the toy kitchen, which the children are caring for and have named 'Snailey'. We've also been using our new bug viewers. The children have very much enjoyed mixing mud and water this week, to make 'milkshakes'. This kind of messy play is very good for developing their confidence and for exploring different materials and sensory experiences.
The 'dressing up' theme continues, with lots of spidermen and princesses in the setting! The children are also starting to expand their imaginative play. Today, they were making glittery pictures for their 'dog' who they have name 'Sweetie' ('Sweetie' is really a child dressed up as a dog!). Role play of this kind allows children to explore how they might behave in different situations, it develops their confidence and it helps them develop higher order thinking skills. There has been lots of interest in castles, knights and wizards, so next week we plan to get the climbing frame out and turn it into a castle.
The children have been showing lots of interest this week in measuring feet and hand sizes, drawing round them with chalk and seeing how big they are. By doing this, they learn not only about mathematical skills, but also they start to understand about how people grow. We also use lots of songs to develop the children's counting skills. This week we've used 'Five Little Spacemen' (ask your child if he/she can sing you a bit of the song!). We created a silver foil background for our spaceman theme, to add interest.
On Tuesday, 'Red Group' (the older children who are due to start school in September) went onto the 'bubble phonics' website to do some phonics learning. Parent conferences have started this week and will continue into next week.
This week we have had the climbing frame up indoors, and we've been building our strength and balance and learning to take turns. Lots of the children are still enjoying dressing up in their princess and super hero outfits, and we will carry on exploring and developing this theme. We have Batman, Power Rangers and many others, and the children are loving portraying these imaginative characters. This imaginative play is a great way to help them build up their confidence.
The older children have been practising tracing over their names, using a laminated sheet which we have created, which shows the right direction to write in. Staff have been supporting them to ensure that they are forming their letters correctly.
Outside, we've been making footprints and talking about different sized feet. We've been doing writing with chalks on the floor. We've remembered to water our tomatoes, as part of learning about caring for living things and helping them to grow. We've also been examining bugs through our new bug viewers. We've also been making some art by blowing through straws.
Today (Thursday) a Grandad very kindly brought in some ducklings to show the children. In the afternoon we went on a walk to the allotments in Sandy Lane, where we dug some big holes, did some watering and planted some sunflowers. We talked to the children about using tools safely, and we used lots of energy to dig the holes. We also tasted some very tiny baby carrots which tasted very very carrot-y!
While we were at the allotment we had a look at the very cute quails which belong to one of our parents. We talked about the size of eggs they lay, and how they are camouflaged (they come in lovely shades of dark and pale brown).
This week we have been enjoying celebrating the Royal Wedding in a variety of ways. This has included dressing up to encourage linking with the home environment - helping the children feel a sense of familiarity between preschool and home. Looking at the Royal Wedding has also allowed us to explore traditions. The children have come in dressed up in their own role play clothes, which helps them develop their imaginative skills as they 'pretend' to be princes and princesses. We've also explored the traditions within weddings, i.e. bride, groom, cakes, bouquets, etc.
This week we have also been very kindly given some tomato plants from a grandad, planted up ready to grow on. We talked about what grows on these plants - we have one in a hanging basket hanging down, and one that will grow upwards. The children will need to care for and water these to ensure that they grow well. We can talk about caring for and nurturing living things as they do this.
The children have really enjoyed using the new pond viewer to find out what is in our pond. They found lots of toys in there! They couldn't find any tadpoles but we will add some more shortly. You might have noticed the greenhouse viewers on the noticeboard outside. In these the children are growing salad leaves (if you turn them round you will see that they have germinated). From this they learn about how seeds grow into plants.
We also took the children over the to the field where we had a physical activity hour. We practised games we have learned in our yoga sessions, such as 'fish and chips' and 'traffic lights' (ask your child for an explanation or a demonstration). These games are great for encouraging the children to follow instructions and for helping them develop their spacial awareness.
This Thursday was a Polling Day so we were closed. We took the opportunity to update the children's profiles - please read the latest updates, find the profiles in your child's drawer. You are welcome to take these home overnight, to have a detailed look at them. But please could we ask all parents to ensure that the profiles are back in the trays on Thursdays for updating. These are the only copy we have, so please take care not to misplace them as they take staff a long time to do.
We hope you all enjoyed the extended break - welcome back for the new term!