Oct 26, 2021

Henley October News: Pumpkins, Cooking and Conkers

Henley October

Welcome to our October Newsletter! Halloween is always a favourite holiday and the children across the nursery have been engaged in endless activities.

October news

The children in Caterpillars thoroughly enjoyed our Whatever Next! themed provocations shelf this month. We had cardboard boxes to explore, a beautiful teddy bear and yellow wellies, just like in the book. We enjoyed putting the wellies on the bear, developing our independence skills and of course climbing in and out of the boxes!

We have been enjoying taking part in weekly cooking activities, making cheesy garlic bread, pitta pizzas, cupcakes and scones so far! We have enjoyed expanding both motor skills and understanding new processes through this and have enjoyed eating our creations at snack time even more!

We have expanded our sensory tray materials this term to include smaller items such as tapioca. Picking this up and transferring it is developing crucial skills, such as our pincer grip. We have also learnt how to use other resources to develop our fine motor skills and visual tracking, such as funnels and ladles.

The children in Butterflies have recently enjoyed spending time in the forest school garden. They have made the most of the changing of the seasons and noticed the different colours of the fallen leaves. Their favourite pastime is searching for conkers amongst the leaves – and we have so many! Some of the children were fascinated to find them still in their spiky shells and compared them to hedgehogs. We then carefully open them up to reveal the conker inside.

The conkers were then used in a variety of activities. We dipped the conkers in paint and rolled them around in a large tray. The children showed great team work as they worked together to manoeuvre the tray, making the conkers roll across the paper, creating some amazing patterns. We were also able to explore the colour change as the paints mixed and blended.

The autumnal interest in pre-school has continued throughout October and we have continued to explore these seasonal changes. At Forest School the children collected baskets of fallen leaves which we have enjoyed using to create pictures. The children also used some identification charts to decide which trees the leaves had fallen from. To do this they had to carefully examine the leaves, looking at the patterns and compare them against the chart.

We have also been making our own ‘forest playdough’, a combination of mud and water which we stuck to the trees. After collecting a variety of fallen and natural materials the children used them to create faces and forest creatures. It was then great fun going on a hunt to find everyone’s creations. However, the most fascinating thing autumn has brought us has got to be the conkers! We have had endless fun collecting, hiding and painting with these. After placing a piece of paper in a large bowl we dipped the conkers in paint before putting them onto the paper. The children then tipped, turned and shook the bowl, carefully examining the various marks and patterns created. To extend this activity, we then used a larger tray which required multiple children to tip and turn it. This required the children to communicate with one another and work as part of a team.

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, during October we have been seeing who completed the most steps and the winning child did an impressive 7981 steps. This was a fantastic opportunity to promote an active lifestyle along with number recognition. It also brought out some competitive sides!

At the end of October we will be celebrating Halloween with lots of messy, gooey and spooky activities. The older children will be carving pumpkins and using them to explore using tools; looking at safety precautions and managing risks. Providing children with opportunities to participate in risk taking activities helps children to understand their own boundaries, push their limits and develop self-awareness.

What’s coming up next month

We will be exploring a different nursery rhyme each day during Nursery Rhyme Week. In Caterpillars we will be doing this through play trays designed to spark exploration and vocabulary around the rhyme, for example frogs in our water tray for Five Speckled Frogs.

During National Tree Week we will be exploring our gardens to find different leaves before using these to do leaf printing. This allows us to begin noticing detailed features of our environment in a tactile, exciting way.

During early November we will be exploring colour, colour change and mark making as we discuss fireworks and bonfire night.

In November we will also be celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. We will make colourful Rangoli patterns and share a Peppa Pig story about Diwali with the children.

We will be having a photographer from Concept Photography come to the nursery to take photos of the children in the morning of Wednesday, 10th November. They will take photos of all of the children who are in on that day, but there is no obligation to buy anything. If for any reason you do not want your child to have their photo taken, do let me know. If your child is not booked in on this day but you would like them to have their photo taken, or you would like to bring in a sibling for the photos, do let me know so that we can arrange a time.  Arranging the appointments will be a little trickier this year as we will do still have restrictions in place in terms of having visitors on the premises.

All parents are invited to join Read for Good’s Caroline Sence on 16th November at 7.30pm as she shares tips about how to support young children become lifelong readers. This will be via Zoom – details of this to follow. Please see the poster outside of nursery.

On Friday, 19th November we will be raising money to support Children in Need and so everyone is invited to come to nursery on this day, wearing pyjamas. We will be asking for donations to this very worthwhile charity.

Other important information

You will have recently received an email confirming that we are now introducing two new session times, 0800-1700 and 0900-1700 from 1st November. We are able to make changes to one of these new sessions during November without the usual notice period, however any requests to change at a later date will require a month’s notice. If you would like to change your child’s session times and haven’t already done so, do let me know as soon as possible.

For those parents of children in Caterpillars, if you haven’t yet returned the ‘information update’ form sent out on 12thOctober, could you let us have this as soon as possible please so that we can ensure our records are up to date?

As the weather turns colder, please could all children bring a coat and suitable footwear as we like to get outdoors as much as possible? Could we also please ask that all clothing is named as this helps us to ensure that all the correct items are returned home at the end of each day?

I am sorry to have to let you know that Grace has decided to have a career change and so will be leaving us during November.  She will be greatly missed, but we wish her well.

We hope that everyone has settled into the new term well. It is a delight to see so many happy faces around nursery! We would be thrilled if you could leave us a review on Daynurseries, Google or Facebook. To leave a review on Daynurseries click here.

Did you know that we have a refer a friend scheme? When you refer a friend to join the nursery, we will thank you with a £100 credit on your next invoice. Ask your Nursery Manager for more details.

Thank you as always for your continued support.

Home activity

If you are looking for something to do at home this weekend or over the coming months, why not give our activity at home a go! Be aware that some activities or ideas may need to be adapted to suit your child’s age and development.

Paint with your hands and feet


  • Get a long roll of lining paper, old wall paper or material.
  • Choose what colours to use to decorate with.
  • Then use your hands and feet to decorate the paper.
  • Display the artwork in your windows for people to see.

What will your child be learning?

  • Independence, creativity and choice.
  • Mark making using their body.
  • Sensory experience of paint on their body.
  • Colours.
  • Shapes and size.
  • Developing gross motor skills.
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, red, blue, green, feet, hand, etc.
  • Give meaning to marks they make.

Julie Crake, Nursery Manager

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