Jan 27, 2021

Henley January News: Playdough, Robins and Singing Friends

Henley-photo-1-scaled

January news

It has been lovely welcoming so many children back after the Christmas break. Time is flying by so fast, it is hard to believe that we have almost made it through January already! 

Things continue to be strange, and quite difficult at times, but my team are doing a fantastic job of keeping things as ‘normal’ as possible in the unusual situation we find ourselves in. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support, patience and understanding. 

Since returning after the Christmas break, the children in Caterpillars have settled back in and have been very busy! The children have particularly enjoyed exploring playdough. The children have each had their own piece of playdough, in line with our current guidelines, and they loved using different tools as well as adding a variety of resources to it. This activity is great for developing the muscles in their hands as they manipulated the dough. The children have also been very creative this month, especially when provided with paint sticks. This activity was a little messy, but we have some lovely masterpieces on our wall now! 

Over in Butterflies, the children have noticed a regular visitor to the garden since returning from Christmas, a little robin. The children have loved watching him hop down from the tree onto the fence and then onto the ground. This has sparked a lot of interest in learning about where they live and what they eat. We have embraced this interest throughout January and decided to make some bird feeders. The children threaded Cheerios onto wool which we then hung in the tree in the garden. Unfortunately, we realised that the birds didn’t like these and so we tried moulding bird seed into lard instead. This was very slimy and sticky, and so encouraged lots of great, descriptive language from the children! We are now eagerly waiting to see if the little robin will come and try the food – before the squirrels eat it all! The children have also planted the seeds from inside an apple and they are waiting in anticipation for them to start germinating. 

January has been a busy and exciting month for pre-school. The children have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know lots of new friends who have either just started at the nursery or who have moved up from Butterflies. Numbers have been a particularly big interest this month as many of the children have enjoyed getting creative making their own watches with Mel.  During this activity, the children identified the shape of a watch/clock along with the different numbers they could see. The children have also been using pom poms to develop their counting skills. They have been exploring size and capacity too, as the children filled up a variety of different containers.  

The pre-schoolers have been enjoying lots of new story sacks this month, such as Handa’s Surprise and The Rainbow Fish. We decided to extend this interest by introducing some singing friends too. Our new singing friends have been very popular and are now incorporated in lots of different play activities! They have also set the children some challenges which have been fun;  Sparkle the Star asked the children to see if they could find her shining bright in the night sky and Matilda the Mouse asked them to think of different rhyming words to go with the numbers when they sang Hickory Dickory Dock. I am sure that our other singing friends, Humpty the Bashful Egg, Sally the Sheep, Freda the Fish and Steven the Spider, will have lots more challenges for the children to complete in the future! 

Forest School has been lots of fun throughout January as we have experienced a variety of different weather conditions. Whilst at Forest School, there have been lots of requests to have a fire again soon and so we had a vote to decide what we should cook on our next fire in a few weeks’ time. The children were given the choice of three options; flatbreads, a spiced apple drink or popcorn. After finding their name cards, the children cast their vote by sticking it on their chosen option. I can reveal the winner is….popcorn 

What’s coming up in February

At the end of January and into February, we will be observing the birds in our vast outside space as we take part in the Big School’s Birdwatch. We will be making a variety of bird feeders and then using our bird books to try to identify the species in our gardens. During February, we will also be celebrating Shrove Tuesday with some campfire pancakes and Valentine’s Day with lots of arts and crafts.  

The children in Caterpillars have loved the story ‘Dear Zoo’ this month and so we will be focusing on this book during February. We are also planning some activities based around turn taking for the older children in the group, such as rolling balls back and forth to each other. 

The children in Butterflies are looking forward to celebrating Chinese New Year in February. The children will be trying some different foods from China and taking part in some Chinese inspired craft activities. They are also looking forward to having pancake races for Pancake Day, of course! 

Other important information

Henrietta Mackenzie, whose daughter Penny attends our pre-school, has written her first picture book in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), in gratitude for Penny’s diagnosis and treatment for a condition called ‘Segmental Haemangioma’. Henrietta’s book ‘The Secret Lives of Two Googly-Eyed Cats’ is about Penny and her two toy cats who creep out at night in search of fun and adventure, ransacking bins, scrapping with other cats and generally causing mischief. The book is targeted at 3 – 5 year olds and aims to empower children to be more courageous and creative. It also helps teach them kindness. Henrietta has very kindly offered to let us have a copy of her book so that we can share it with the children.  Read more about the book and how to order it here.

We know that our fantastic families are always recommending us to their friends, so we want to say a big thank you for your referrals! As of Saturday 23rd January 2021, when you refer a friend and they join the nursery, we would like to thank you with a £100 credit off your next invoice. We know you have lots of friends so there is no limit! We are always very grateful for your support and look forward to welcoming more of your friends into our nursery family! Terms and conditions apply so please speak with me to check these.

I have been asked by our finance team to pass on the details they would like you to quote when making a payment to us. This will make it easier for payments to be posted promptly to the correct account:  

  • Name of the child and Child URN number eg-  Maisie Smith TOSN181CH 
  • If you are making the payment for more than one child, you could either make two payments listing the details for each child individually (Name and URN) or adding the two names and the two URN numbers for example–  John & Maisie Smith TOSN287CH/TOSN181CH 

Thank you all again for your continued support throughout January. Here’s to a fantastic February!

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager


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