Dec 15, 2021

Henley December News: Christmas Cards, Crafts & Calendars

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together

Welcome to the final newsletter of 2021 from Henley!  

On behalf of everyone here, we hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas, and have a lovely time with your families! Thank you for all the support this year, and we look forward to seeing you in the new term!

December news

This month, we have had plenty of festive activities to get everyone in the Christmas spirit!

At the end of November, the children helped to make a Christmas tree advent calendar. The baubles had different numbers on, and every day someone has the opportunity to find that day’s number. On the back is a special sticker surprise. This is a great opportunity to support fundamental numeracy skills, including number recognition. Many of the children were able to recognise the numbers from the door they had opened on their own advent calendar at home that morning. Other children made links to the number on their front door or how old they were. 

The children in Caterpillars have been enjoying the festive preparations by helping to decorate the beautiful felt tree, developing their fine and gross motor skills along with their spatial awareness.  

The children have also been strengthening their muscles by rolling out and cutting gingerbread shapes with the delicious, spiced playdough, making lots of  treats, which they have pretended to eat with the nursery team! Alongside this, the children have been working very hard on making some beautiful Christmas surprises for their families; they have been painting, using clay and using their cooking skills to make some reindeer food in time for Father Christmas’ visit.  

The nursery team have been helping the children to develop their vocabulary and understanding of the season, by teaching them lots of new Christmas songs, including ‘When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney’, ‘Christmas Pudding’ and ‘3 Little Snowflakes’.  

 The children in Butterflies have really enjoyed the build up to the festive season. They loved exploring all the different Christmas decorations, particularly the coloured, shiny tinsel, which was very tickly on their noses! The children also helped to make some festive playdough, and used their mathematical skills to count and measure all the ingredients they needed. The nursery team helped to add some spices, to add another level to the sensory experience.  

The festivities are in full swing in Preschool, and the children were very excited that Father Christmas had sent the nursery an elf, called Edwin! Each day the children enjoy  finding out what mischief he has been up to overnight! 

Whilst at Forest School, the children have enjoyed helping Mel to collect various natural materials. They then carried these back down to Preschool where they painted them white, and added them to a box, creating a beautiful winter wonderland. The nursery team have used this lovely scene to roleplay and, although initially cold weather animals were added to extend the children’s learning, they didn’t want the warmer weather animals missing out and so the elephants, amongst others, have also had a great time playing in the snow! 

Finally, to support the children’s early literacy skills, the children created a festive post box. The children were then able to post their cards and help to deliver them to their friends. By writing their own Christmas cards, the children begin to understand and make links with print, identify letters and sounds and develop control when using a pen.  

What’s coming up next month

We look forward to welcoming everyone back in January and sharing our Christmas experiences.  

In Caterpillars we will be continuing to help the children develop their cooking skills, making lots of seasonal recipes to enhance their knowledge of food and associated vocabulary, along with the physical skills these activities develop. We will be getting the garden ready for Spring and planting some bulbs to enjoy when the time comes; the children in Caterpillars are very helpful at watering the garden!  

After celebrating the new year, the children in Preschool will be taking part in the RSPB’s bird watch. The children will be looking out for birds, using various media to identify them and will also create some bird feeders and houses.  

Burns night falls on the 25th January and so we will be exploring some children’s poetry; from this we may even come up with our own poem.

Other important information

Thank you to everyone who helped us support Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper day on Friday, 10th December.  It’s always lovely seeing everyone dressed in their festive jumpers and we raised £84 for this charity! 

We will be welcoming a new member to our nursery team-  April Lansley will join us on a full time basis from January.  April hasn’t worked in a nursery before, but does have previous experience of working with young children. 

Please can we remind you to make sure that you name your child’s clothing before it comes into nursery please?  The nursery team do their best to try to keep track of everyone’s items, but the children do love to demonstrate their independence skills and things do find themselves in some strange places sometimes! 

Can we also remind you that you do not allow your child to arrive at nursery with any food at all please?  We are unable to have any food items brought into the nursery as we do have a number of children with different allergies.  Thank you for your assistance with this. 

 A reminder that we are closing at 1pm on Christmas Eve, Friday, 24th December.  We will then re-open at the normal time on Tuesday, 4th January 2022. For those children on a term time only basis, the term ends on Friday, 17th December and starts back on Tuesday, 4th January.    

These last couple of months, we have received a lot of new reviews on Daynurseries, Google and Facebook. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such lovely reviews. They are hugely appreciated by our team! If you haven’t had the chance to write a review yet, you can write one on Daynurseries by clicking here, on Google or on Facebook. Thank you for your continued support!

Everyone at Henley Nursery would like to thank you all for your continuing support throughout the year and to wish all the children and families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Home activity

If you are looking for something fun to do at home over the festive break, why not give our home activity a go!

Please note that some activities or ideas may need to be adapted to suit your child’s age and development.

  1. Creative Snow Pal

Please follow the activity idea below:

  • Using card, draw out 2 or 3 circles stacked on top of each other, for your snow pal outline
  • Using cotton balls, or even scrunched up materials, like sweet wrappers or tissue paper, stick with glue or Sellotape inside the circles, to create your snow pal’s shape
  • You can use some googly eyes to stick on as eyes, or a pen to draw features onto your snow pal
  • Finish with some arms: you can use simple materials such as match sticks or even sticks from your garden, or even cut out some card, or use a pen to draw them onto the paper
  • You can even add accessories like a tissue paper scarf, or a paper hat to decorate your snow pal
  1. Creative Christmas Tree Ornament

Please follow the activity idea below:

  • All you will need is 3 wooden lolly sticks, and some arts and crafts to decorate with; you can use art supplies, like paint, pipe cleaners or pom-poms, or materials that you can find around the house, like newspaper, scrunched up tissues, or coloured pens
  • If you don’t own lolly sticks, try cutting up 3 rectangles of cardboard or paper, and sticking them together into a triangle shape.
  • Using glue or Sellotape, stick the 3 wooden lolly sticks into a triangle shape- this will be your Christmas tree
  • You can use a range of decorations to decorate your tree- for example, you can use pom poms and stick them to the sticks as “baubles”, wrap pipe cleans around the sticks for “tinsel”, scrunch up tissue for “snow” on the tree, or even get creative and draw your own decorations onto the tree!
  • Cut out a star shape to stick on the top, you could even colour it in, using pens or pencils
  • Cut out a square for the bottom (for a makeshift tree pot)- you could even colour it in, using pens or pencils
  • You can finish by sticking some string to the back of your tree, so it can become a hanging decoration!

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, cut, circle, triangle, colours
  • Sense of pride, achievement and self-esteem.
  • Use of tools for a purpose.
  • Give meaning to marks they make.

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

Please continue to share what your child has been doing within their home life on the parent app, their interests, and their development, so their key person can see this and use towards helping them monitor their development and learning.

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager

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