May 27, 2021

Henley May News: Planting, Bubbles and Obstacle Courses

Henley Newsletter May

A very warm welcome to our May newsletter!  May has been yet another busy month, but as always it has been another month full of fun and learning. Despite the slightly wetter than usual weather for May, the children have continued to enjoy lots of time outdoors and we have had some intense puddle jumping sessions and showers from the water cascading off the roof. 

As restrictions have eased, it has been great hearing about and seeing pictures of the days out and holidays you have had as a family. Thank you to everyone who has shared these adventures with us on EyLog, it is a fantastic opportunity for the children to share home experiences.  

May news

This month, the children in the caterpillar’s room have enjoyed exploring and developing their physical capabilities through different activities. The younger babies have enjoyed tummy and back time which has encouraged them to move their arms and legs, getting their muscles working hard. For the more mobile children, we set up an obstacle course in the garden with small balance beams, tunnels and hoops which they all loved exploring in different ways. The children especially enjoyed throwing bean bags into the big baskets at the end. Such activities are great for developing the children’s hand to eye coordination. 

The children have also been working very hard in their tyre garden by planting flowers, various scented plants and also edible plants. We would like to say thank you to one of our lovely families for donating some raspberry plants, we are really looking forward to our first crop for the children to taste.  All of the children have loved filling the watering cans up and giving the plants a drink everyday. This helps the children to develop a sense of care and to understand how things grow. 

The children in Butterflies have been busy preparing the vegetable patch for planting. They used their spades to dig over the mud and found so many worms! The children loved handling the worms and watched as they slithered across their hands. We then extended this interest and mixed cooked spaghetti with mud, this looked just like wiggly worms! The children very carefully collected the ‘worms’ and placed them in a pot. Some were longer, others were shorter, whilst some were described as ‘massive’! This activity enabled the use of a lots of mathematical language. The children also excitedly counted the number of worms they collected to see who had the most. 

The children then had a hard decision to makewhat to plant in their vegetable patch! To help with this process, we provided the children with the fully grown versions of a variety of fruits and vegetables. The children had tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers and potatoes to choose from.  After much deliberation, they decided on tomatoes, carrots and strawberries. The children are now looking forward to planting these and watching them grow bigger and bigger.  

Earlier this month in Pre-school, we discovered a new and exciting interest that many of the children shared; the seeds and stones in fruits and vegetables. This led to lots of engaging discussions about how and why things grow. The children discussed what they have previously grown at home with lots of the children also sharing what they are currently growing. After lots of fruit and vegetable talk, the topic of conversation later moved onto flowers with the suggestion that we should grow sunflowers at nursery. This suggestion is now a reality as the children have planted their own sunflowers which we will watch (and help) grow over the coming weeks and months. This fun activity has turned very competitive though as everyone is adamant that theirs will be the tallest (only time will tell). To support the understanding of lifecycles and the growth process, we will be reading a new story throughout June called Little Acorn.  

Bubbles have been another favourite activity during May! The children have danced amongst bubbles, sung about bubbles and, of course, popped plenty of bubbles. The children have helped to create bubble mixture on a large scale in a tuff tray and they then sought out objects that may create bubbles. You would be surprised at the amount of objects capable of making bubbles: tennis rackets, colanders, spatulas and hula hoops, to name just a few things the children found! Providing children with opportunities to problem solve and find things out through trial and error are fundamental skills for learning and ones in which they will build upon for years to come. By encouraging these skills from a young age, children are likely to develop positive attitudes towards learning. 

What’s coming up next month

June is set to be another busy and exciting month across the nursery. The children will be creating some surprises and treats for their daddies as we celebrate Father’s Day in mid June.

The caterpillar’s children will also be focusing on ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ book.  Billie has been working very hard to make a story sack to go with this book. Using a story sack helps to develop every child’s curiosity and encourages engagement, communication, language, sharing and an understanding between words and numbers. 

Meanwhile, the children in Butterflies will be celebrating the summer solstice through exploring the shadows that the sun creates outside, if it decides to make an appearance! 

The Pre-school children, amongst caring for their sunflowers, will be celebrating and extending upon an ongoing interest; dinosaurs. Dinosaur Day falls on the 1st June and so, throughout the first week of June, we will be making various dinosaur eggs to try and crack open; this will include some science experiments and using a variety of tools.  

Other important information

A reminder for our term time only families that our late spring half term holiday is the week commencing 31st May. We look forward to welcoming our term time only children back on Monday 7th June and can’t wait to hear all about the fun you have had.  

It is also bank holiday Monday on the 31st May where the nursery will be closed for all.

Lastly, a quick note about clothing, could we please ask that all items of clothing are clearly named. This will help the team to keep track of which items belong to who. Hopefully, the sun will come out soon and so, could we also please ask you to provide a named sunhat for your child. 

Mollie Pritchard, Deputy Nursery Manager

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