Aug 23, 2021

Henley August News: Olympics, Climbing and Bubble Baths

Henley August

Welcome to our August Newsletter! We’ve had such a busy month at our Nursery, and we’ve really caught Olympics fever with all the children enjoying a variety of sporting activities inside and out. A warm welcome to our new parents, and I hope you enjoy reading about what we’ve been up to.

August news

The children in Caterpillars have been enjoying the weather we have been having, taking advantage of the cloudy but warm days to explore their outdoor surroundings. Lots of the children have been demonstrating to the adults around them that they were eager to climb and so a climbing mound was created in our garden. This allows for our youngest children to practice skills such as pulling themselves up, whilst our oldest children are provided with extension and challenge by the addition of balance beams to climb up or down from. We have also been practising our ball throwing and climbing as we have had hoops suspended at different heights in the garden across the month. The children have enjoyed this; particularly the cheers and clapping that comes when they manage to crawl through a hoop or throw a ball to the other side!

The children have continued to enjoy sensory play opportunities and have been especially excited by our new sponge tray; the practitioners put bubble bath and water on the surface, and the children to lather the soap! As well as being lots of fun, the kneading action they learn when lathering the soap and sponge helps build strength in their wrist muscles.

During August, the children in Butterflies really enjoyed participating in our own mini Olympics. One of the events was bean bag throwing – this really should be an Olympic event! The children had great fun seeing how far they could throw their bean bags. We then measured the distance by counting how many steps they had gone. This was  a great way to promote turn taking and also to develop counting and gross motor skills.

We have also been enjoying washing items of clothing and hanging them out to dry. The children used their hands to squeeze the water out of the clothes; they had to squeeze really hard, helping to strengthen the muscles in their fingers and hands. Using the pegs to hang out the washing was another way to support the development of fine motor muscles.

Sadly the local wildlife have moved on from Pre-school’s sunflowers now and decided our vegetable patch looked rather tasty – and appear to have eaten the lot!

Sport has been a big interest in our Pre-school room throughout August as we have and continue to celebrate the Olympics. During the course of the Olympics we tried our hands at a variety of different sports, including target practice with water squirters and bean bags, a hurdle race and tennis. During this period we also created a continuous medal chart which encouraged the children to use and extend their mathematical skills as we introduced the concept of addition. We plan to continue developing these skills and try more new/different sports throughout the Paralympics too at the end of the month/beginning of September.

We have noticed that many of the children have been keen to develop their mark making and literacy skills. To support this, we decided to make a post box, upcycling one of the boxes from a recent delivery by painting it. There were lots of willing volunteers and in no time at all we had a bright red post box! Whilst the children eagerly awaited it to dry, we set to work writing letters to one another and creating cards for family members before finally posting them. As children make marks with a variety of resources, they begin to make connections, form links and give meaning to them. Through continued access to such activities children will develop an awareness of letters and logos around them.

What’s coming up next month

The Macmillan Coffee Morning takes place on the 24th September this year. As we are sadly still unable to include parents, all three groups intend to mark the event by making cakes within their groups and having a picnic at snack time to enjoy them! While doing this we will be developing our mathematical understanding through weighing ingredients, and our physical and fine motor skills by stirring, pouring and icing our cakes.

In Caterpillars, the children really enjoy engaging in small world play with our farm and zoo animals at nursery, so on World Rhino Day the practitioners intend to create a small world jungle for the children to explore, featuring rhinos! This will allow them to develop their knowledge of different animal names as well as learning to play alongside other children. This learning will be supported by reading Rumble in the Jungle as a group and singing related songs, such as We’re Going to The Zoo and The Animal Boogie.  The children will also be working on their motor skills; developing big movements in the garden with different mini obstacles, and little movements to see what marks they can make with their fingers and toes.

In Butterflies during September we will be sharing a lovely story about the life of a plastic bottle for Recycling Week. We then plan to use some plastic bottles to make some skittles ourselves.

During September there are various days/week aimed at raising awareness of the planet and recycling, and so in Pre-school we will be planning lots of fun activities in support of this. Expect lots of junk modelling, stories, material sorting and gardening. Raising awareness and promoting care of our planet is vital from a young age in order to ensure that our planet is protected for future generations.

Other important information

Could I please take this opportunity to remind you that we take the children to Forest School on Monday and Friday mornings?  As we aim to head up the hill as close to 9am as possible to allow us the maximum amount of time in the woods before coming back down for lunch, please do make sure your child is with us by 9am on these days and is dressed ready for Forest School.  If you are unable to make it in by 9am for any reason, do just let us know in advance and we can then arrange for someone to come back down when you arrive.

In staff news, following an extended break, Francesca has, sadly for us, decided to return home to her native Italy and so will be leaving us on 10th September.  We all wish her well.   Charlie, Lauren & Jess are all returning to their studies in September, although they all plan to come back to us during the holidays.  Cynthia joined us recently on a part time basis while she is studying, although she will be working for us full time from September to December.  We are still looking for more staff and so if you know of anyone who is passionate about childcare and would be interested in a job in early years, then do send them our way!

As we have made some changes to the room teams over time, if any of you are unsure who your child’s key carer and/or buddy is, then do please let us know.

Thank you all for your recent reviews on Google, Facebook or Your kind words and feedback really do make our day and we really appreciate the time spent on leaving us a review. If you haven’t yet had the chance to write a review and would like to, we would be very grateful. You can do this on Google, Facebook or

A reminder for those children who attend on a term time only basis, the new term starts back on Thursday, 2ndSeptember.

Finally, if your child is leaving us at the end of this term to move up to school, their last day will be 31st August unless you have told us otherwise.  If your child is not starting school straight away and you would like them to come to us for any additional sessions early in September, do let me know so that I can check our availability.

Activity for home

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 sizes
  • Developing gross motor skills
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, red, blue, green, feet, hand, etc
  • Give meaning to marks they make

Please share photos of your child’s activity on the app. We look forward to seeing your child’s creations!

Thank you so much for your continued support.

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager

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