Preschool Diary 2018 – 19

 

29th March

We had the Living Eggs hatching programme at Playgroup during the last fortnight. This year all ten of our eggs hatched and the children saw several actually hatch during our sessions. They really enjoyed giving names to each chick as they hatched and watching them in their brooder.

The children also had plenty of opportunities to handle the chicks and as they got older to see them out of the brooder too. They learned how to hold the chicks carefully so they didn’t hurt them and to wash their hands afterwards. They also learned how to tell the boys from the girls (girls have browner feathers), what chicks eat and how to keep them clean and healthy. We also looked at pictures of grown up hens and cockerals to see how they would change as they grow up and looked at other animals, like frogs, butterflies and ladybirds that change as they grow. Story time took on a chicken and egg theme too with old favourites like Henny Penny and a twist on another favourite tale “We’re Going on an Egg Hunt”

15th March

Spring is well uderway and although it is still a bit chilly first thing, we have been having a lot of fun in the garden. We recently bought a couple of  tool kits comprising real, child-sized screw drivers, hammers, pliars, spirit-levels and safety equipment. The children set about hammering and screwing nails and screws into logs then trying to pull them out with the hammer claw or pliars. 

 

The children absolutely loved using real tools. They had to listen carefully to Sarah who explained how to use the tools safely and they had to think about how they used the tools to make sure that everyone else stayed safe too. Manipulating screws and nails is a fantastic way to develop fine-motor skills and supports perseverence and problem solving. Using a spirit-level to see if surfaces are straight is a great way to explore and experiment, gaining early numeracy and science skills.

13th November

The mild late Autumn weather has meant that we have had some fantastic Forest School Sessions so far this term. A couple of weeks ago we joined forces with the Waterbeach Toddler Playgroup and held a joint Forest School session which was great fun, then everyone came back to the Playhouse for a warm up and a snack before WTP headed back to Burgess Road. It was a great opportunity for our staff to work with Wayne’s team and the children enjoyed meeting some more of the children they will be going to school with next year.

For the last couple of weeks we have been exploring colour and shapes with the children in the woods. Last week, we took full advantage of the beautiful autumn leaves to do some colour matching. We were amazed at how precise the children were in grouping leaves on each of the coloured sheets and how much discussion and cooperation took place during the activity

This week, we looked at shape. The children found small sticks, laying them down carefully along the outlines of large paper cutouts of a square, circle and triangle.

Later on the children used sticks to draw the same shapes in the mud of the woodland floor.

 

31st October 2018

Autumn fun continued today with some very messy, squelchy pumpkins to scoop out. Scooping out the seeds (as well as being fun) helps to develop arm and hand muscles to support gross motor skills. Sorting the seeds with tweezers is more tricky and helps to develop finger muscles and hand-eye co-ordination needed to support fine motor skills. Both of these skills are essential when children want to use cutlery, draw pictures and start to write.

29th October 2018

The children returned to preschool after their half term break today. The weather has become much colder this week and there was even some frost in the garden first thing this morning. We had prepared an Autumn sensory tray for the children to explore new textures, colours and smells with crunchy autumn leaves, slippery, shiny pulses, fragrant cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves, nobbly pumpkins, pomegranates, pine cones and a few little spiders.

As well as their eyes, hands and noses, the children used magnifying glasses to explore and spent time sorting, collecting and counting their finds in baskets, pots and trays.

This spider got his own warm hat…

…a fantastic collection of beans, lentils and spiders….

…a playdough pumpkin with a stalk, just like the ones in the tray…

 

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