Sep 24, 2021

Colchester September News: Baking, Pirates and Mark Making

Nursery child looking at books

We would like to welcome all of our new families that have joined us in September! it is a pleasure to have you on board and working alongside all of us here at Sunhill Colchester. We have had a busy month settling children into their new rooms. The children have settled in so well, so thank you for your patience and support during your child’s transitions with us.

September news

This month, the children in Twinkle Stars have enjoyed lots of mark making activities to support their fine motor skills; exploring different ways of creating marks which have been displayed in the room. We’ve followed on from a child-led interest in colours within the mark making activities, as well as through new books and room resources.

Throughout September in Sunbeams, the children have enjoyed settling in and exploring the variety of resources in the room. The children have done brilliantly at settling in and getting used to the new routine within the Sunbeams room.

The children are working on their golden rules within circle group time, in which we are promoting “kind hands”, “walking feet inside” and “listening ears”. We would really appreciate it if you could promote this at home too! The children have also enjoyed some baking this month. The children made some delicious jam tarts and they enjoyed using their gross motor skills to spoon in the jam and to cut out the pastry. Also this month, the children have been working on their tripod grip whilst mark making. Lots of the children are doing so well with this and are enjoying drawing lines and circles whilst being proud of holding their pens like the adults!

This month in Pre School, the team have been supporting the children in a variety of ways to help them settle into the Pre School room. To support the children and encourage them to learn each other’s names, the group have played some ball games together where they had to call the person’s name who they were rolling the ball too etc.

The children are already very eager to learn in Pre School and have been using a variety of one-handed tools this month, such as scissors, pipettes and small hammers when using tap tap.

The team have introduced cooking to the children this month and the children have made their very own coleslaw which they enjoyed with their lunch! There has been a interest in pirates this month so to implement the children’s interests, they made pirate hats and maps too using tea bags to give it an authentic look. The children have done a variety of arts and crafts such as painting faces, play dough and drawing with great control over their marks.

What’s coming up next month

On October 4th it is World Animal Day. We would like to celebrate this by encouraging everyone to dress up as their favourite animal! We look forward to seeing which animals we have come in on Monday 4th October!

Looking ahead to October, the children in Twinkle Stars will be looking at Autumn. The children will explore this theme with sensory activities as well as leaf and vegetable play; before leading up to Halloween with activities such as pumpkin scooping, potion making and various crafts that can be shared with home.

In Sunbeams, the children are going to be working on their independence skills next month, such as dressing and using forks and spoons at lunch time. Please help the children by encouraging them to be independent at home too!

In October, the Pre School children are going to be looking at ‘All About Me’ and ‘My Family’. The team will be encouraging children to express their likes and dislikes as well as celebrating what makes them different from others. If you can please provide your children with some family photos to support the team with this topic that would be hugely appreciated. The team will laminate the photos to protect them at nursery. Next month, the children are also going to be looking at how colours can change due to the season change. The children will look at how the colour of leaves change as we move into Autumn. We will, of course, also be celebrating Halloween by carving some pumpkins.

Other important information

This month, Jo in our Pre School room qualified with a Level 4 Cache in childcare. A huge congratulations to Jo on this fantastic achievement! We also have a new Apprentice in Pre School, Callum, who several parents have already been introduced to. A very warm welcome to the team, Callum!

We would like to remind parents that as the change of weather is approaching, please can you ensure that you provide your child with the correct clothing. Please also label all of your children’s clothes.

A final remember to please cut your child’s grapes if you provide them in your child’s packed lunch, as this is a choking hazard.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and a great start to the term!

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.

Threading cards


  • What you will need: card, hole punch, string/shoelaces.
  • Find an image of a popular character, from either the internet or an old book that can be recycled, perhaps pictures from wrapping paper.
  • Cut around it with your child and glue it on to card.
  • When the image has dried, cut it out from the card leaving a 1cm border around the image and then make holes using the hole punch leaving a half cm gap between holes.
  • Then tie one end of the string/shoelace to a hole and then thread the string across the image until it is covered up.
  • Your child will then use their fine motor skills to unpick the string from each hole, describing what they see and guessing which character they will be unwrapping.
  • When finished the child can then try and re thread the image themselves counting each hole in sequence as they thread it.

What will your child be learning?

  • Independence, creativity and choice
  • Mark making
  • Colours
  • Shapes and size
  • Developing fine motor skills
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, character name, thread, lace, scissors, numbers, etc
  • Sense of pride, achievement and self esteem
  • Use of tools for a purpose
  • How to use scissors safely
  • Recognise familiar characters and recalling what they can remember about the character
  • Counting numbers in sequence
  • Hand to eye coordination
  • Building attention skills and patience

Jo Head, Assistant Nursery Manager

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