Nov 25, 2020

Henley November News: Nursery Rhymes, Creativity and Story Telling

Henley-photo-scaled

November news

This November, the children in Caterpillars have been up to all sorts of creative, fun activities. The children celebrated Diwali by creating their own tea light paintings, using paper plates and stencils. For Remembrance Day, the children cut out poppy shapes and painted them red using sponges. 

The children made their own playdough, which was was extremely fun! Following the current guidelines, each child had their own piece and so were able to decorate it with sunflower seeds etc. 

During World Nursery Rhyme Week, the children made sheep, decorating them with coloured pom poms, for ‘Baa, Baa Black Sheep’. The children played with their wooden farm set as they sang ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’.  The children also had the water tray out and had a great time making the ‘Five Little Speckled Frogs’ jump in and out of the water. 

The children in Butterflies thoroughly enjoyed dressing up for Halloween at the end of October. We had a lot of witches and other scary visitors! The children also enjoyed using their senses to explore the slimy spaghetti and the jelly, which was very wobbly. The children finished the spooky afternoon off with a game of ‘pin the eyes and mouth on the pumpkin’. This resulted in some very odd looking pumpkins! 

November saw the children celebrate Diwali. They made Rangoli patterns using coloured rice and we had some beautiful, colourful creations. 

To celebrate World Nursery Rhyme Week, the children enjoyed using finger puppets while singing the different rhymes. They really loved re-enacting the rhyme of ‘Humpty Dumpty’ using hard boiled eggs, which they decorated themselves, and bricks to make a wall. Poor Humpty was a little worse for wear after they had all finished! 

Story telling seems to have been a favourite activity for our pre-schoolers throughout November. The children have had lots of fun re-enacting their favourite stories using various props. The children used some of our farm animals as the pigs from ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and a goat as the main character from ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’. However, for some roles, a toy just wasn’t suitable and so one of the children took on the role of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’; blowing so hard, they even managed to blow down the house made of bricks! Other roles were filled with creative artwork; the troll from ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ was designed onto a paper plate. 

We have celebrated a variety of festivals and charity events too this month, including Children In Need where we all wore our pyjamas and created our own Pudsey masks. Diwali is another festival we celebrated as we explored different Rangoli patterns. Pre-school looked carefully at the shapes and then used the mark making resources and foam shapes to create their own Rangoli pattern.  

The adults have also noticed that the children love to pretend to cook in the home corner and often create picnics for one another. To extend this interest, the children have been provided with a variety of fruit and vegetables to cut up. Not only did this allow the children the opportunity to explore the different scents and textures, but also provided them with the opportunity to practise their knife and fork skills too.  

What’s coming up in December

We are all looking forward to Christmas and getting fully into the festive spirit with our fun Christmas inspired activities from cooking and singing to arts and crafts and more! The team in Caterpillars would also like to make some bird feeders with the children so that they can hang them in the trees in the garden and hopefully attract some birds for us all to watch. 

We will be taking part in Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 11th December to raise money for Save the Children. Everyone is invited to come to nursery wearing their festive jumpers and we ask that a donation is made to this great charity. 

We will be having a small Christmas party for the children in the afternoon of Thursday 17th December. Unfortunately, we will not be able to invite parents this year and Father Christmas will not be able to visit; but I hear that he will still be able to drop some presents off for the children before the party! If your child would not normally be with us on a Thursday afternoon or they would normally be collected at 4pm, and you would like them to stay, do let me know as soon as possible, so that I can check our availability. Due to the current guidelines, we will be restricted on the numbers of children who can attend and so bookings will be on a first come, first served basis. 

We also plan to have a Christmas lunch for the children during the last week before Christmas.  

We will also be taking part in The Old Station Nursery Group Christmas Advent Challenge. Each day in the lead up to Christmas, one nursery within the group will take part in a Christmas challenge and post a photo or video to our social media channels. We welcome parents to join in; tag us and use the hashtag #OSNAdventChallenge. For more information, take a look at our social media channels!

Other important information

Please could you discourage your children from bringing in toys from home, unless this is a comforter that they will need during their day at nursery. We seem to be finding more and more items coming in and this is something that we really need to avoid at the current time, in line with our guidelines. 

As the weather is getting much colder and wetter now, could you make sure that your child comes to nursery with a warm coat, hat and gloves, together with waterproofs and wellies please. Do please make sure that all items of clothing are named. We do try to keep on top of which items belong to each child, but as children have a tendency to like to take things off themselves and not necessarily put them back on their peg or in their drawer, this can be tricky at times!   

Could I ask that, unless the car park is full and so there is no alternative, please do not park on the grass outside the nursery as we do receive complaints about this. 

For those children who attend on a term time only basis, the term ends on Friday 18th December and starts back on Monday 4th January 2021. If you would like your child to attend any additional sessions during the week commencing 21st December, do let me know so that I can check our availability. 

We will be closing at 1pm on Christmas Eve. If your child will not be attending on Christmas Eve or towards the end of the month, do please let us know so that we can plan our catering accordingly. 

I am pleased to be able to confirm that Sharon has returned as our temporary Nursery Cook, covering until Sabrina returns from Maternity leave. We are sad to say farewell to Tasha, who will be leaving us on 18th December as she has decided to take up a position closer to her home to fit in with her family situation. 

I am pleased to confirm that Ben Crake was nominated to be our ‘Employee of the Month’ (by Alison, not me!) for October.  Alison wrote: I wanted to recognise the fact that Ben has been thrown in at the deep end and has done an amazing job of preparing and cooking delicious food for all the children in the nursery. Ben started out as a temporary kitchen assistant but when our cook went on maternity leave, he stepped up to the role of Nursery Cook. Our lunch is always on time, cooked to a high standard and the kitchen is always clean and tidy when he finishes. We will miss him as he leaves us to take up a new role in his chosen field and wish him well. 

I have chosen Rachel Hawkings as our ‘Employee of the Month’ for November. Rachel joined us in September and quickly settled in, proving herself to be a strong team member. She took on the role of key carer to the new babies joining us and took the responsibility of settling these new children in very seriously; so much so that she re-arranged an appointment to make sure that she was available during a settling in visit. We have received very positive feedback from our parents who found Rachel to be very warm and welcoming, making them feel reassured when leaving their precious bundles of joy with us. 

In addition, when we thought we were going to be without a cook, Rachel immediately offered to complete a Food Hygiene qualification so that she could help us out when needed!I feel that Rachel is very deserving of this award. 

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager


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