Oct 26, 2021

Canterbury October News: Colours, Cultures and Smiles

Canterbury October

Dear parents and families, it is hard to believe that we are at the end of October already and that our Christmas festivities are just around the corner! We have had a busy October with Halloween craft and as we approach November, we learn about Guy Faulkes night. We will be exploring light following on from Bonfire night and for upcoming Diwali celebrations.

Thank you to all our parents and carers so far that have already attended parents evening and are grateful for all feedback received from questionnaires.

October news

We’ve had some fantastic nursery wide events this month! We started with World Smile Day, the children have been practicing their smiles in the mirror, drawing their reflections, and exploring feelings and emotions in celebration of ‘International Smile Day’. World Animal Day saw children engaging in social stories, sharing stories of their home pets and pets they would like to own. They discussed how to care for animals, created animal masks and helped to look after ‘Honey’, our nursery Guinea Pig.

To celebrate World Grandparent Day the children shared stories about their loved ones and looked through their family books, and we also had a fantastic time during ‘Baking Week’. The children baked a variety of foods, including cheese scones and biscuits. The children celebrated ‘Halloween’ by exploring a variety of sensory based activities, including dressing up in spooky costumes and took part in a range of activities involving web printing, pumpkin carving, face painting and much more. All the children thoroughly enjoyed this event!

During October, Babychoos have been exploring their new tepee tent. Inside the tent they shared books with peers, explored light with torches, enhancing friend ships, supporting language and turn taking.

Also, Babychoos have been developing their hand eye coordination by rolling cars and trains down ramps and slopes to collect at the bottom, repeating “Brroom broom noises” as they did this. Once the vehicles were at the bottom of the slope, children joined in with categorising and counting the vehicles. Babychoos have been reading “That’s Not My Pirate”, which has been chosen as the children have shown an interest in pirate dress up and dancing to pirate songs! The Makaton Sign of the month has been “Star” for Babychoos.

The Caterpillar children have been exploring colours and how they can be mixed and changed to create new colours. Using their problem-solving skills to make a colour for purpose, showing particular interest in mixing yellow and red together to make orange to paint pumpkins. This activity has enhanced their creative skills, fine motor skills, communication, and mathematical language.

Also, throughout October the Caterpillar children have been exploring their senses by engaging in tuff tray activities with coloured rice. They sieved the rice, searched for hidden numbers and letters and used their imagines by bringing in small world animals and people to engage in role play. Caterpillars have danced along to  “Animal Boogie” and have shown an interest in Jungle animals, recreating their sounds, and learning about where they live. Their Makaton Sign has been “Firework”.

The Butterfly children have been learning about similarities and differences whilst looking at their reflection in the mirror this month, discussing eye colour, hair colour, and face shape. From this the children drew self-portraits, which supported Understanding of The World, turn taking, extended language and developed their fine motor skills.

Butterflies have been also exploring the world around them, observing a globe to look for their countries of origin and looking at through cultural cookbooks.  They have been counting in French, Chinese and Italian, learning about similarities, differences, and diversity. This activity has also supported their mathematical skills and Understanding of the world. Butterflies have especially loved reading “Zog” throughout October, and their sign has been “Light”.

What’s coming up next month

In the first week of November, from Monday 1st-5th, the children will engage in social stories to learn about the meaning of Bonfire Night. They will engage in craft activities including creating firework pictures. Diwali is on the 4th, and the children will learn about the Festival of Light and create their own lanterns and candle holders. They will also explore colours through craft activities. On the 5th, in recognition of Friendship Friday, the children will make pictures for their friends and discuss the reasons why our friends are important to us, exploring feelings and emotions.

In recognition of Remembrance Day on the 11th, the children will participate in a minute’s silence, create craft poppies and engage in social stories to understand this important day. Anti Bullying Week begins on the 15th, and the children will engage in social stories to discuss why it is important to be kind to one another.

Road Safety Week begins on the 15th, and we will be teaching the children about the importance of being safe near and when crossing roads, giving them the knowledge and understanding of the green cross code. Children in Need is on the 19th! To raise awareness for Children in Need, the children will be holding a cake sale to raise money for this worthy cause. They will be invited to dress up in all things spots and engage in a variety of craft activities.

Children’s Day is on the 22nd, and the children will be learning about how they have special rights and freedoms that help them to grow into happy, healthy adults. Thanksgiving is on the 25th, and we will celebrate this day by having a delicious Thanksgiving lunch for this American celebration.

Throughout November, Babychoos will be using natural resources such as conkers, pine cones, leaves and twigs to paint with, exploring colour and noticing mark making events. They will doing this listening to music to incorperate write dance.

During November, the Caterpillar children will be creating an interactive   weather board to support their understanding of weather changes, seasons and clothes needed for the different weather types. This will enhance their understanding of the world and encourage health and self-skills with dressing.

Coming up in November, the Butterfly children will be exploring the story ‘Leaf Man’, looking at patterns, shapes and creating their own leaf person.

Other important information

As the weather is getting colder and wetter, could we please remind parents/carers to bring your children dressed in suitable clothing, hats scarves, coats etc and provide a pair of wellies to keep in the nursery.
Our staff will receive schema training this month. This training will enhance our practitioner’s knowledge of understanding or children repeated patterns in their play, giving us the skills to use their schema in planned and spontaneous activities.

Choochoos Autumn/Winter menus began 11 October 2021. Thank you to our children, staff and parents/carers for your suggestions. Please tell us via email your child’s feedback. Thank you.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and safety for all, our parents meetings will take place for your child during October/November, via zoom or telephone. It is very important for you to participate to help towards reviewing and creating next steps for your child, looking at your child’s achievements and progress.

In preparation for this meeting, please have a look at your child’s eyLog and add any information about your child, to help towards this. Please add photographs along with any written information about what your child has been doing within home life, their interests and their development. Please consider in preparation any updates for your child personal information or needs, e.g. care plans, medical needs, personal details, etc. We look forward to the meeting.

This is a very exciting time for children leaving us to go to school in September 2022.

Choochoos has a very robust transition process, which includes discussions with your children, role play and seeking advice from schools on what they would like us to be doing to help with the transition process. To help your child(ren) to prepare for school we will be planning school transition activities, e.g. including in our role play, social and school stories, songs, school photos books and more. Please do come and see your child’s key person if you would like some ideas for activities that you could be doing at home.

Kent County Council have released the application process and dates, which I have shared below and can be accessed on their website here.

  • Applications for transfer to primary school for reception year September 2022 will open on Friday 5 November 2021 and close at midnight on Monday 17 January 2022.
  • For more information about open days, visit the school’s website or contact the school
  • Summer born children – If your child was born between 1 April and 31 August and you want them to defer starting school until the next academic year, email primaryadmissions@kent.gov.uk for more information.
  • Special educational needs and disabilities children – Most children with special educational needs and disabilities can attend mainstream schools, whether or not they have an EHCP.
  • Some schools may need you to complete an additional form called a Supplementary Information Form (SIF). You can collect the form from the school.
  • Applications will be processed between 17 January and 19 April 2022.
  • If you apply online you will be emailed on 19 April 2022 after 4pm to tell you which school you have been offered. Exact time you will receive your email can not be guaranteed, this will depend on your email service provider. Offer emails will be sent to the email address provided on your application.
  • You can also log in from 5pm on 19 April 2022 to view your offer.
  • For advice call 03000 41 21 21 or email kentonlineadmissions@kent.gov.uk.

We are starting to review and update our policies and procedures. Over time, we will be sharing these with you. Paper copies are stored in our lobby area or you can a request a paper copy. Please ask the team if you have any questions or queries about the policies and procedures.

A small reminder of our Christmas closure dates:

Last open day: Friday 17 December 2021.

Closed: Monday 20 December 2021.

Reopens: Tuesday 4 January 2022.

We hope that everyone has settled into the new term well. It is a delight to see so many happy faces around nursery! We would be thrilled if you could leave us a review on Daynurseries, Google or Facebook. To leave a review on Daynurseries click here.

Did you know that we have a refer a friend scheme? When you refer a friend to join the nursery, we will thank you with a £100 credit on your next invoice. Ask your Nursery Manager for more details.

Thank you as always for your continued support.

Home activity

If you are looking for something to do at home this weekend or over the coming months, why not give our activity at home a go! Be aware that some activities or ideas may need to be adapted to suit your child’s age and development.

Paint with your hands and feet


  • Get a long roll of lining paper, old wall paper or material.
  • Choose what colours to use to decorate with.
  • Then use your hands and feet to decorate the paper.
  • Display the artwork in your windows for people to see.

What will your child be learning?

  • Independence, creativity and choice.
  • Mark making using their body.
  • Sensory experience of paint on their body.
  • Colours.
  • Shapes and size.
  • Developing gross motor skills.
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, red, blue, green, feet, hand, etc.
  • Give meaning to marks they make.

Meg Knight, Deputy Nursery Manager

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