Mar 24, 2021

Henley March News: Problem Solving, Learning Welsh and Smoothie Making

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together

March news

Thank you to everyone who supported us on Friday 19th March by dressing in red and making a donation for Comic Relief. We raised an incredible £128.48 which will be going towards such a fantastic cause so thank you all for your support with this. 

In the Caterpillars room this month, the children have been extra creative! The children thoroughly enjoyed exploring yellow paint and different textured paper to create a beautiful ‘sunshine’ for Mother’s Day. 

Following the children’s fascinations with spiders, we created spider webs out of wool so that the children had to retrieve the spiders by moving the wool out of the way, in different directions. This was great for helping to develop their problem solving and fine motor skills, as well as being lots of fun! 

For St Patrick’s Day, we encouraged the children to use their pincer grip to collect and transfer green rice from a tray into different containers. 

The children have also enjoyed investigating the mud pit; doing lots of digging, making mud castles and filling pots. The children have also been planting some sunflower seeds which we hope will grow into beautiful flowers to brighten up our garden. 

During March, we have been focusing on the book ‘The Boy on the Bus’. This is one of the children’s absolute favourites and they love guessing which animal is at the bus stop and shouting out their ideas to finish the sentence. 

The children have been equally busy in Butterflies throughout March. The children celebrated St David’s Day at the very beginning of the month by learning to say some Welsh words. They were able to say “Bore da, croeso i Butterflies” which is “Good morning, welcome to Butterflies”. They also attempted some counting and used their artistic skills to paint some beautiful daffodil pictures. The children have also been exploring daffodils; smelling them and feeling the different textures. 

We also celebrated St Patrick’s Day. The children loved exploring the Bodhran, a traditional Irish drum. It made such a great noise and the children marched around the garden to the beat of the drum. The children also used peppers to print some lovely pictures of shamrocks. 

Also this month, the children had such fun watching a cheeky squirrel hanging from the tree and helping himself to some seed from the bird feeder. He was doing the smaller birds a favour as they had a lovely feast from the seed which he knocked to the ground!

It has been another busy month for our Pre-schoolers and of course, another month bursting with fun! We hope that you all enjoyed your special Mother’s Day treats.

Last month, we extended the children’s interest in the dolls house by providing them with resources to make their own characters. This month, the children have continued to show great fascination in creating their own stories and so, alongside making even more characters, we made a puppet show theatre. The children have thoroughly enjoyed taking it in turns to put on some fantastic shows for us! Story telling in the early years ignites curiosity as children seek to find out what may happen next. It also supports vital communication skills as the children listen to one another’s thoughts. In addition, it provides opportunities for the children to act out experiences.  

Whilst on the story theme, in March we celebrated World Book Day and chose to focus on one of the room’s favourite books, Handa’s Surprise. The children used the fruits from the story to make their own smoothies. They each had the opportunity to explore the various fruits and select their favourites to cut up and add to the blender. Whilst doing this, many of the children placed the animal puppets from the story sack next to the fruit that they ate, recalling key events from the story. Unfortunately, this did also mean that the children had spotted that we were unable to get our hands on a guava! The smoothies were definitely a hit and went down a treat! 

What’s coming up in April

Next month in the Caterpillar’s room, we will be making some bird feeders with the children to hang on the trees in the hope that we will have lots more visitors. We will also continue to offer the children lots of sensory activities, such as gloop and water play. With Easter on the horizon, we plan to decorate some eggs and will experiment with rolling eggs, using planks, drainpipes etc. And, of course, we will also have an Easter egg hunt in the garden. 

In Butterflies, the children will also be participating in an Easter egg hunt, counting how many they find along the way. They will also be doing lots of Easter crafts. The children have particularly enjoyed sensory messy play recently so we are planning on extending these experiences by offering more opportunities to explore different media throughout April. 

In order to support early writing skills, children need to develop and strengthen their fine motor muscles. One of the ways we have been supporting this during March with our Pre-school children has been by making playdough. Although, the children have loved using a variety of tools to make cakes, ice-creams and pizzas, we have also noticed that they have been intrigued by the initial process of making it. During April, we plan to provide the children with a variety of materials to combine and make their own malleable products. Through what will be a trial and error process, the children will begin to understand cause and effect and make links between what happens.  

April will also see the Pre-school celebrate Easter with a variety of fun activities, including an egg hunt. We plan to have a go at making our own hot cross buns to extend the children’s interest of cooking in the home corner.

Other important information

I am afraid that two of our staff team will be leaving us in April.  Molly has taken up a position in a nursery closer to her home, and Rachel has decided to return to nannying. We will be sorry to see them go, but wish them both well in their new positions. This does mean that we are looking to recruit new members of our team, and so if you know of anyone who is passionate about working with children who might be interested in a position with us, do let me know! 

As previously mentioned, we have been re-thinking the age ranges of the rooms as we have so many new, younger babies joining us. I will be contacting everyone individually when we propose to move a child up to the next room. If you have any queries at all about this, do let me know. 

A small reminder that, in line with the current Covid guidelines we are following, only one person should come to the gate. Also please do stand back at the 2 metre point after ringing the bell. 

For those children who attend on a term time only basis, the last day of this term is Wednesday 31st March. The term starts back again on Monday 19th April. 

Thank you all for your continued support.

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager

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