I’ll begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are rearing to go with 2021!
I think we can all agree we are all very familiar with the new found lockdown life. I hope your all keeping well and enjoying some quality time over these quiet weekends! Nursery has been a well needed break from the four walls at home for many of us, including myself, and we have been having so much fun here at Sandhills.
With snow, wild winds and even a bit of winter sun, we have made the most of our wonderful outdoor areas and have had lots of lovely focused activities taking place inside. The team are doing so incredibly well to create fantastic enrichments to support all round development. A special shout out to Alex from Squirrels for her lovely enrichment involving the children picking up teddy bears through laser like sticky beams using tweezers. What a way to develop those fine manipulative skills.
This month, the children have celebrated Sugar Awareness Week throughout the whole nursery. The pre-school children have been learning about the sugar content in some common food they may be familiar with; as well as the effects this could have on our bodies and teeth if we don’t make an effort to have a balanced, healthy diet. The children in Squirrels and Foxes both engaged in activities with food where they categorised healthy alternatives and food that is high in sugar.
Over in in Hedgehogs and Robins, the babies and toddlers enjoyed a fun toothbrush activity with foam. The children practiced the motions used for brushing teeth ensuring that when the time comes, they are independent little teeth brushers and they have the movements required down to a fine art. This activity soon extended into a large scale messy mark making activity; even the youngest members of the group became fully engaged and loved the feel of the foam under their hands!
For the period of lockdown, the children in Hedgehogs and Robins have joined together to make one bubble. It’s been lovely seeing the age groups together; the children really bounce off one another and contribute to each other’s play perfectly. The children have enjoyed playing with a pretend jungle that the team very creatively set up using lots of different materials and resources for the children to explore.
You may notice that our smiley Emily is missing over coming weeks. She has been super brave, undergoing an operation on her foot. She will be back with Hedgehogs in around 6 weeks and until then, Tammy is temporarily taking over being a key worker to all of Emily’s children. Tammy will be working alongside Jordan and is feeling very excited about working with the babies for this short time.
Many of the Robins children are starting to develop an awareness of colour and have enjoyed playing with coloured water this month The children have been matching the correct colour balls to the correct container of water. The babies have also enjoyed taking part in this, splashing around with the addition of bubbles to make it even more sensory!
The Squirrels room has seen a big change, with so many new faces, either completely new to the setting or children who have moved from Robins to Squirrells. All of the children are settling in so well and the new team are working well together. Everything is running smoothly and the children are thriving off the more structured routine in the ‘big boys’ and ‘big girls’ room. The conservatory is getting lots of attention with so many fun arts and crafts activities on offer. A firm favourite theme of play this month is definitely role playing shops. Nikki has added shop receipts, pretend money, shopping lists, computer key boards and all sorts of different resources to incorporate other developmental skills during play; such as mark making, awareness of money and numbers, and occupations.
The children in Foxes are enjoying splitting off into small groups to do their focus time activities. They really love this time of day and we have been introducing the commonly known characters from the oxford reading tree such as Kipper, Biff and Chip. The children have also been exploring lots of different mark making activities, such as writing in flour and exploring the new dough disco.
So many achievements are taking place in nursery and the children are loving receiving their special certificates. The team have been teaching the children all about Robert Burns in celebration of Burns night; exploring tartan print and experimenting with funny rhyming words.
What’s coming up in February
The first week of February is Children’s Mental Health Week and in light of recent events, I think its so important to be in tune with our children’s emotions. Taking into consideration that life is so very different at the moment and remembering that our children are the little superheroes alongside the key workers.
We will also be celebrating Chinese New Year on Friday 12th February as well as Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Last on the list is Shrove Tuesday which is on the 16th February. I don’t know about you but I’m already really looking forward to February! We will be very busy in nursery indeed.
Other important information
You may notice there are lots of emails coming through regarding a new invoicing system. Unfortunately some parents are having trouble finding these emails but please do check your junk/spam as this is where they are mostly hiding! Parent pay will soon be active which will be similar to EYLOG in the way that you can view and pay your invoices.
We know that our fantastic families are always recommending us to their friends, so we want to say a big thank you for your referrals! As of Saturday 23rd January 2021, when you refer a friend and they join the nursery, we would like to thank you with a £100 credit off your next invoice. We know you have lots of friends so there is no limit! We are always very grateful for your support and look forward to welcoming more of your friends into our nursery family! Terms and conditions apply so please speak with me to check these.
Please make sure to follow us on our Facebook page and Instagram page. We upload a lot of photos of all the wonderful activities we have been up to throughout the week so make sure you don’t miss out on seeing these!
Gemma Lambley, Nursery Manager