Jul 27, 2020

Henley July News: Outdoor learning, caterpillars and baking bananas

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July news

At the beginning of July, we were delighted to welcome three new members of staff to our team. Kaylie Alderdice joined us as Room Leader in the Caterpillars Room, Emma Lunnon, a Level 3 practitioner is also in Caterpillars and Azar Mousavi Ghalasi, a Level 2 practitioner, joined the team in pre-school.

In Caterpillars, July has seen the children spending lots of time outside in the garden, thanks to the warm weather. Whilst outdoors, the children have had fun exploring how different toys roll. They have used the guttering pipes and crates to create ramps and chutes, and the children have enjoyed rolling different sized balls and cars down.

The slightly older children have found rolling the hula hoops across the garden (with a little help from the grown-ups) and chasing after them to be very entertaining. The children have been singing their “Roly Poly” nursery rhyme which a few of the children are beginning to learn the actions to.

Other activities the children have enjoyed are watching and popping the bubbles both inside and outside as well as the “Boy on the Bus” song book; where many of the children show their excitement for the book by dancing to the tune and excitedly shouting “Me!!” when asked “Who wants to ride on the bus?”.

Over the next few weeks, we will be supporting the children with their physical development. Many of the children in Caterpillars love to climb, so we will be visiting the different gardens when possible to have fun on the climbing frames and slide which are a little more challenging. For the children that are not yet walking, we will be encouraging them to stand, cruise and take steps independently using the water trays, tabletop activities, baby walkers, block trolleys and pushchairs. We will also introduce the children to a new song/story which we will repeat each day using our song/story bags to help engage the children and familiarise them with environmental sounds and new words.

The children in Butterflies have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the main Butterflies room. It has been great welcoming returning children, those moving up from caterpillars and new children starting. The children have had lots of fun in the different gardens where they have been developing their gross motor movements by climbing the ramp to go down the big slide. The children have also been creating their own extravagant adventures whilst aboard the pirate ship and the stories have had us all in fits of laughter.

We have also introduced many of the children to scissors this month. This has been lots of fun and they have been getting to grips with using them by cutting up a variety of different materials including paper, grass and flowers. We plan to continue providing the children with different and exciting opportunities to practise these newly acquired skills. Furthermore, we have also been building on the children’s fine motor movements by using pegs to pick up different objects including pom poms and leaves.

Along with the older children in Caterpillars and pre-school, we have begun practising for our upcoming Sports Day next month. The children have been practising running really fast, jumping and balancing eggs on a spoon.

As always, the fun continues in pre-school. We welcomed our caterpillar friends at the beginning of the month and they have recently turned into cocoons. The children are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the butterflies! It has been an exciting process to watch and the children (and grown ups!!) have loved seeing all of the changes first hand. Throughout the journey, we have been reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to help us understand what is still to come. Sadly, our caterpillars didn’t fancy a slice of chocolate cake, cheese or a lollipop though!

Some of our lovely families have given us some tomato plants and sunflowers which the children have thoroughly enjoyed looking after. The children have taken great care of them and have enjoyed the responsibility of watering them every day. The children can’t wait to watch them grow and change too!

At Forest School, the children have been practising their problem solving and teamwork skills by making huge dens and finding ways to climb onto the swings. They have also recently had their first fire since returning and made a delicious chocolate banana snack. One of our children was very excited to tell us about the barbecues they had at home and this was a highlight. They explained how to make it and suggested we make them ourselves at Forest School – it was a definite hit for everyone! The fire activity was enjoyed by all and so we hope to do cooking at Forest School more often.

What’s coming up in August

Going into August, we hope the warm weather continues so that the sprinkler can make even more appearances and we can have fun exploring ice and all things cool.

We also have our Sports Day planned for the morning of Tuesday 11th August. Although we won’t be able to have spectators, we will take lots of photos and videos to share with you.

Other important information

Just a reminder to please make sure that your child comes to nursery with a named sunhat. We do provide sun cream of at least factor 30, which we will apply during the day. However, as we are currently starting our days in the outside area, please ensure that your child has already had sun cream applied before they arrive with us.

Please also ensure that your child has plenty of spare clothes with them, particularly if they are toilet training, as we only have limited supplies of spare items to use.

As you many be aware, we are listed on a nursery review site called Daynurseries. We would be very grateful if you would spare a few minutes to leave us a review. You can do this online, by clicking here. Thank you very much for your continued support.

Mollie Pritchard, Deputy Nursery Manager


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