Dec 15, 2020

Henley December News: Christmas Activities, A Cheeky Elf and Outdoor Learning

Christmas-Jumper-day-scaled

December news

Here is our last newsletter of the year. Can it really be almost Christmas already – where has this year gone? 

It was lovely to see all of the children in their festive jumpers last week as we took part in ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ to help raise money for Save the Children. Thank you for helping us support this fantastic charity and bringing even more festive cheer to nursery!

This month, the children and staff in Caterpillars have been embracing the colder weather, wrapping up warm and making the most of the outdoor space we are so lucky to have. The children have enjoyed watching the resident squirrels preparing for the winter as well as watching the deer in the fields behind the nursery heading somewhere warm to rest most evenings. To help the animals prepare for winter, the children in Caterpillars have been collecting pine cones which we will be using to make bird feeders to hang in the trees.  

Whilst indoors, the children have had fun painting and sticking paper baubles, presents and a cardboard Christmas tree for our Christmas display. If you could please email a photograph of your child standing next to your Christmas tree at home, if you haven’t already done so, that would be much appreciated. We will use these photographs on our display to bring a little bit of home into nursery.  

The children have also really enjoyed experiencing the concept of darkness as well as exploring the sensory lights in small groups. A firm favourite being the fibre optic ‘hairy light’ as some of the children like to call it.  

The children in Butterflies have been buzzing with the excitement of Christmas. They have enjoyed singing Christmas songs; a particular favourite being ‘Christmas Pudding’ which gets requested numerous times throughout the day! The children have also been engaging in a variety of Christmas themed activities. They have been exploring oranges and cloves, using their sense of smell and also developing their fine motor skills by pushing the cloves into the oranges. Most of the children preferred the smell of the oranges to the smell of the cloves! We also turned the children’s playdough Christmassy by adding a little ginger.  

We have created a felt Christmas tree which we have on the wall in the room and the children have been busy decorating their individual baubles to stick on the tree.  

December has been a wonderfully festive month for us in Pre-school and although, slightly different to usual, we have still had lots of magical fun. Eddie, our cheeky elf, has come to visit the children and every day they have enjoyed searching for him; they have found him in the trees and he even found a little elf swing on the front gate! Lots of the children’s activities have involved Eddie and whilst flying back from the North Pole one morning, Eddie dropped all of our Christmas decorations over Forest School! The children did a fantastic job of finding all of the decorations which we brought back to Pre-school and decorated the room with them.  

With all the lovely Christmassy scents around, the children have been exploring this sense more. The children have thoroughly enjoyed using pipettes, syringes and scented water to create their own magic potions. They have worked collaboratively to try to work out what the different scents were which included berry tea, peppermint, orange and ginger.  

Whilst outside this December, the Pre-school children have loved creating different runs for water, balls and even cars. This has been a big interest and many of the runs have been extended and added to throughout the day. It has been wonderful watching the children develop their teamwork, creative and communication skills.  

What’s coming up in January

In January, the children in Caterpillars will begin having a ‘Story of the Month’ where we will select a new story book each month to read during our ‘group time’ each day. Having a story book repeated each day allows children to become familiar with new words in turn helping them understand meaning and encouraging language. 

The team in Butterflies are looking forward to coming back in January and hearing all about the exciting time everyone has had at Christmas and New Year. We will also saying goodbye to a few children from Butterflies as they begin their new adventures in Pre-school. 

Other important information

Angela will sadly be leaving us at the end of this year as she moves on to take up a new position. She will be missed but we wish her well and thank her for her hard work whilst she has been at The Old Station Nursery.

We have a few important reminders in the lead up to Christmas. If your child is not going to be in nursery, or will be in later than usual, do please phone the nursery or drop us an e-mail to let us know. In line with our safeguarding policy, we do have to check when a child has not arrived for their session and so it is really helpful if we know in advance – and will save us bothering you with a phone call!  

Please do make sure that you arrive at nursery in time to collect your child by their finish time. Unfortunately when children are collected late, this can impact on our staff:child ratios and so may incur a late collection charge.   

Unfortunately, I am aware that there have been occasions when government guidance in respect of Covid has not been followed fully by some families. Please remember that, in line with the agreement signed when your child returned to us/started with us, we do expect everyone to follow the guidelines fully to avoid potentially putting others at risk. Thank you for your cooperation with this. 

Our fees are due on the 1st of each month and so please do make sure that payments are arranged so that they reach us before this date.   

We will be closing for the Christmas break at 1pm on Christmas Eve. If your child will not be in, please do let me know as soon as possible. 

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We look forward to seeing you all when we re-open on 4th January 2021. 

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager


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