Aug 26, 2020

Henley August News: Outdoor Learning, Water Play and Ice Cream

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August news

Welcome to our August newsletter. I can’t quite believe we are heading towards the end of the summer already! 

Throughout August, the Caterpillars room have been welcoming lots of new babies to the nursery. We have been helping the children to settle by allowing lots of bonding time with their key carers and spending lots of time in the garden.

Whilst out in the garden, the children have been busy climbing; we have used planks, tyres and crates to construct a baby-friendly obstacle course, bridges and a see-saw. The children have enjoyed singing and listening to the song ‘Riding Up and Down on the Big Green Tractor’, especially when bouncing on the tyres and when on the see-saw. We have also been promoting the children’s fine motor skills by using resources such as jigsaw puzzles, building blocks and introducing the children to finger painting.  

We have been encouraging the children’s communication and language skills as well as turn taking by reading ‘Dear Zoo’ each day and using our song time spoons in small groups where the children take it in turns to lift the flaps and choose a spoon/song. In September, we will continue our song times and continue to read ‘Dear Zoo’ as well as introducing activities to support colour recognition which, in turn, promotes speech and language.  

In the Butterflies room, the children have been enjoying the sunshine and lots of water play in different forms to try to stay cool. The children particularly enjoyed running through the sprinkler and ice play. 

We have been focusing on developing the children’s fine motor skills by providing various threading activities; we used pipe cleaners and plastic balls with holes in to create spiders. The children carefully pushed the pipe cleaners into the holes, which took a great deal of concentration. 

Packed full of fun, August has been a fantastic month for the children in pre-school as well. The warm weather has meant that the children have had multiple trips to see their friend the sprinkler and have been cooling down fishing in the water trays and exploring ice kingdoms!  

The children have also been putting their fine motor muscles to work whilst making potions. The children have explored and learnt how to use syringes and pipettes throughout August and used these newly acquired skills to make a variety of potions. This has provided us with the opportunity to explore colour change and mixing with coloured water.

As this was so popular, later on in the month the children were given the opportunity to explore scented water and how scents change when mixed together. Many of the children used this activity to create perfume which they then used the pipettes to drop onto each other’s wrists. Due to the popularity of these activities, we have now ordered a variety of different sized syringes which we hope to use to extend the children’s understanding of capacity, measurements and numbers.  

Towards the end of the August (although typically it was one of the rainy days) the children had the opportunity to make their own magical ice cream without the use of a freezer. This was a great experiment that thankfully worked – as if it hadn’t, we would have had a room full of disappointed children – and staff!

The children helped to measure out the ingredients, practising their mathematical skills by recognising numbers, and once all of the ingredients were combined, the mixture was poured into a ziplock bag. This was then placed inside a larger bag full of ice before the magical ingredient, rock salt, was added. We then had to find ways to keep the bag moving; some of the children shook it whilst others bounced it on the table. After around 10 minutes, we had made ice cream and the best part of all, the taste test, could commence! Needless to say, it passed with flying colours.

This was such a popular activity with our children that we have decided to carry out experiments on a more regular basis. We have added a science experiment book into book corner for the children to explore and so they will be able to select the experiments we conduct.

What’s coming up in September

We will be taking part in Jeans for Genes day on Friday 18th September to raise funds for Genetic Disorders UK, the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by genetic disorder.  Everyone is invited to come into nursery wearing jeans on this day and we ask that you please make a donation to this worthwhile cause. 

We will also be celebrating Recycling Week in September, where we will be turning our recyclable materials into works of art.  Also in September, we will be celebrating the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah. It is going to be a busy month!

Other important information

We have some staff changes to make you aware of. Ellie Quin and Emma Lane will both be leaving us in September.  Ellie is returning to university to continue her studies and Emma has taken up a position where she will have the opportunity to work with older children. We will miss them but wish them both well. 

On a more positive note, Grace Chambers has recently joined our team. Nicola Flowers and Lauren Woods will be joining us in September too.  Grace and Nicola are not qualified practitioners but are very keen to learn! Lauren is recently qualified at Level 3. I am sure they will all be great additions to our team. 

Due to the restrictions still in place and limited demand, I am afraid we are not able to re-start offering the 7.30am starts and 6.30pm finishes fully yet. However, we will be able to offer this in the baby room from 2nd September. I will keep you informed as things change. 

Just a reminder for those children who attend on a term time only basis, the term starts again on Wednesday 2nd September. 

We are now on Twitter, so please do follow us to keep up to date with all our latest insights, news and blogs! You can follow us by clicking here. We also have a company LinkedIn page and you can follow us by clicking here.

If you have time, we would be very grateful if you could leave us a review on Daynurseries. You can do this online by clicking here. Thank you for your continued support.

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager


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