Feb 23, 2021

Colchester February News: Pancakes, Snow and Chinese New Year

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Welcome to our first monthly newsletter. We would like to welcome all of our new children, parents/carers to the nursery and it is lovely to see so many of our existing children returning in these difficult times.

February news

This month, the Twinkle star children have enjoyed getting hands on with sensory activities such as gloop, soil and cotton wool, which has supported their motor and language skills. The children celebrated Pancake Day by working as a team to make yellow lemon scented playdough, adding pans and plates for extended role play.

The cold weather of this month meant that the children were able to experience snow and ice up close. Outside, the children have used spoons and buckets to collect and transport snow; as well as looking at the tracks made using their boots and bikes in the snow/frost. Inside, the children have explored ice and investigated simple properties as it’s melted, with the children extending their play using tubes and cups.

What an exciting month we have had in Sunbeams! The children have celebrated Valentine’s Day where they made cards for their special people. They decorating them with different colours, encouraging our children to work on their personal, social and emotional skills, talking to their peers about their families. The children have also celebrated Pancake Day where the children enjoyed tasting pancakes as well as making them with play dough.

They have also worked lots on their communication and language skills this month and have engaged in lots of activities to try and encourage these skills. During the Pancake Day activities, the children spoke about which toppings they liked as well as how they thought pancakes were made. To further extend the children’s communication and language skills, they have enjoyed song and story sacks! The children looked at each prop and using their cognitive skills, thought about which song or story it could represent. The children took turns with props and held them up to the book when it was their turn, which is promoting friendships within the children.

We have also facilitated our children’s physical development by providing them with the large indoor climbing frame and soft play. The children developed their balancing skills alongside improving their core, arm and hand muscles through climbing.

In the jolly month of February, the children in Pre-school have celebrated The Chinese New Year (The year of the Ox), Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day. The children have enjoyed using their new mini microphones this month and find it very funny hearing their own voices back as well as pressing a button which makes their voice recording sound different.

The children have also been learning about shapes, and in particular 3D shapes, in the inside and outside environment. They have also been learning about rhyming and alongside rhyming, the children have been discovering their own sense of humour trying to think of words that sound the same.

During this Lockdown, the children have been very alert and show a great understanding of what is going on in the world. The children have been talking about the ‘bad virus’, vaccines and missing their friends and family who they aren’t able to see. To support the children’s mental health and to reassure the children, we have purchased a book called ‘The World Made A Rainbow’. The book is all about staying at home, missing friends and family, and making rainbows to put in your windows to cheer people as they went for their daily walks. Reading the book to the children showed the children that they are not alone during this pandemic and encouraged the children to be aware of their own feelings as well as other people’s feelings. It helped to encourage their communications skills as we had a deep discussion about who we missed, what we did at home, whose window they had walked passed and where they had seen rainbows. To make the children feel happy and to make others feel happy, they made some rainbows and placed them in our free flow garden window so that the grown ups could see them on arrival or pick up!

What’s coming up in March

World Book Day on the 4th March and we invite all of the children in nursery to dress up in their favourite book character costumes! We can’t wait to see them!

Twinkle stars are very much looking forward to March. Our topic will work around the children’s’ recent interest in shapes and colours, with shape sorting activities, using shapes in craft activities and having the children engage in shape finding games.

We will be having colour focus weeks, starting with the colour red for St David’s Day on the March 1st. At the end of the month, will celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi; otherwise known as the Festival of Colours. We’ll introduce using powders paints to the children to make their own paint and to create coloured water for play.

With Mother’s Day on March 14th, the children will be making cards for the special people around them. The children really enjoy music and nursery rhymes, so using new song cards and instruments in group activities will help build social skills, such as turn taking and building upon the friendships with the other children in the room as well as developing and extending the children’s’ language.

Since the children in Sunbeams have taken such a strong interest in “Elmer The Elephant”, we are going to be doing lots of activities surrounding this theme throughout March. We are also going to be trying to focus on the children’s pre-writing skills through lots of fun activities to get those hand muscles ready!

During March, the children in Pre-school will be celebrating World Book Day and children can wear their favourite book character costume on this day. With World Book Day in mind, we will be providing the children with a variety of their favourite books in the tuff tray with a range of materials that link to the book. This will challenge the children to see if they can either remember what happened in the story or if they can use their imagination to make up their own story.

Also in March, we are going to be starting our school transition a little earlier, introducing it gradually as some children are used to being at home with their parents. We will start putting some school uniform out for the children to dress up and pretend they are at school. This also enables the children to practice their independence skills by getting themselves ready! We will also get the school photobook out for the children to look at and talk about the classrooms, the outside area and also the teachers names. We have even started waving to the teachers from the free flow garden if the ‘big children’ are outside.

Other important information

Just a reminder to our parents of Sunbeams that we do promote healthy eating so please provide your child with a healthy lunchbox. We will be happy to provide examples should you need it.

Please remember to bring your child a bag which can stay at nursery for the whole week and come home on their last nursery day, due to the current pandemic. We really appreciate all your efforts in regard to the pandemic and doing your utmost to keep us all safe and protected.

Molly and Charis will be taking part in behaviour training over a period of set weeks and it’s that time when the majority of the Colchester staff will be refreshing their first aid certificate. I have undertaken and will be participating in 4 workshops, which are; looking at Continued Professional Development, Self-Regulation, Early Year’s Foundation Stage Meets Education Inspection Framework and finally Effective Safeguarding. Jo Head is currently doing training on Autism.

Please can we remind all parents to label your child’s belongings.

Thank you as always for your continued support and look forward to the coming month.

Elaine Sim, Nursery Manager


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