Over the Christmas period the children and parents were invited together to create a chatterbox. At nursery the children were encouraged to talk about their experiences over Christmas and therefore develop their speech, language and communication skills. Through using the chatterbox in nursery the children used language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences over Christmas to their peer group and friends.
The nursery has been inspired by the ‘Stick Man’ story; this was a popular Christmas gift discussed in our chatterboxes, and a very popular book at home. Some children were able to recite sections of the story from memory. We created a small world and introduced a story sack. The children created stick men with sticks and clay. We also measured sticks and used language of size, comparing and contrasting similarities and differences.
We enjoyed exploring the school grounds on a stick hunt. On our nature walk we came across a bird house, three different types of birds including the school chickens, mud, grass and wood chip. The children enjoyed using their clip board to tick off pictures and words as they found them. We enjoyed looking at and sitting on a large tree that had been cut down with recent bad weather, this smelt very fresh.
This term we have made brand new friendships. We have welcomed new families and children to the nursery environment. During this transition we have enjoyed participating in various activities to build up on our knowledge of each other; exploring what it means to be a good friend through multi-sensory activities and games. Colour mixing friendship bracelet’s, discussion and ring games are some examples.
At Peter Rabbits nursery we support children’s interests over time, reminding them of previous approaches and encouraging them to make connections between their experiences. The children were engaged in making observations of their immediate environment. When reading ‘Jack Frost’ the children were encouraged to share their experience of walking through the frost and ice on their way into nursery. We created frosty pictures and images with salt crystals. Outside the children explored ice art naturally frozen in the cold weather; and alternatively created in the freezer.
After discovering ice in the outdoor area, we continued exploring ice through expressive arts and design. The children enjoyed exploring media and materials with colour, design and texture, by painting on ice and painting with frozen paint. Outdoors the children have been involved in role play at the climbing frame, selling ice creams and cakes. Through following the children’s interests in the continuous provision we planned an “Ice cream Playdough activity”. The children enjoyed following the instructions to create their own individual mixtures. They then selected colours and essences to add to the mixture with pipettes. They stirred the mixture with large spoons and in between their fingers. After creating the recipe, the nursery class read "Should I share my Ice cream?" We were then able to discuss sharing ice creams and working with our new friends in the nursery setting.
The children engaged in play dough disco on the carpet . They passed it between their hands, poking it with their fingers and patting it flat with their palms, they concentrated hard to follow the rolling, squishing and finger diving in time with the music. The technique aims to strengthen muscles in their hands which are the last to develop and therefore support the children on the road to writing. Before we can write, children need to develop muscle strength and finger dexterity required to hold a pencil correctly. Each stage of holding a pencil or crayon is dependent on how “steady” the shoulder and arm muscles are. As your child develops physically, and takes part in lots of fun gross motor activities such as crawling, climbing and pushing/pulling objects, the shoulder and arm muscles will get stronger and steadier, and this should help your child's pencil grasp to mature as well.
The children listened to a story about Chinese New Year, they found out about various customs Chinese families follow at this time, this included creating lanterns, setting off firecrackers and spring cleaning. They enjoyed watching a video of dancing dragons on the interactive whiteboard then creating their own lanterns. To create the lantern the children: followed instructions, folding, cutting, decorating and assembling the final piece of art. We enjoyed following the recipe to create a special Chinese spice playdough. During this activity we explored measures and added different ingredients into the mixture, this included: salt, flour, oil, food colouring, glitter and ground cloves. The children were able to describe and discuss the textures of ingredients when mixed; they also enjoyed using their sense of smell. Finally we took part in 'Chinese Dragon Dancing' a custom Chinese people participate in to celebrate New Year. The children took on various roles in the school hall drumming tapping and dancing as the Dragon!