Autumn 2021

Autumn term

Welcome back, boys and girls.

We will post new photos each week so that you can see what your children have been getting up to. Please do come and check in regularly.

We hope that this will give a flavor of what we get up to at the preschool for prospective parents too, who very sadly are not able to come round and visit at the moment because of the restrictions we have in place due to COVID-19.

6th December 2021 – 17th December 2021

We had so much fun in the last two weeks of term, the children fully immersed themselves in all things Christmas, the playhouse was buzzing with the sound of excited children and lots of festive songs they had learnt combined with a liberal sprinkle of glitter thrown in……after all it can’t be Christmas without copious amount of glitter
Here are just some of the things we spent time doing:
🎄🎅Christmas Threading🎅🎄
We used our super fine motor skills to thread Christmas coloured beads onto  pipe cleaners to make lovely candy cane tree decorations, it took lots of concentration and patience to thread the small beads onto the pipe cleaner and really gave our fingers a good workout! These activities are great to help strengthen the muscles in our hands
🎅🎄Stamping fun🎄🎅
We made so many lovely Christmas crafts like cards, tree decorations and  biodegradable reindeer food (to name a few) that we needed to make some special folders to take our wonderful creations home in, we had great fun stamping Christmas characters onto the envelopes, we loved the sound the stamp made and then revealing the picture left behind.
Here we are making some of our Christmas cards, we used our finger prints to make some festive wreaths and for those of us who preferred to keep our hands clean we used some Christmas themed stencils.

🎄🎅🎄🎅🎄Decorating the Christmas trees🎄🎅🎄🎅🎄
We loved decorating the different Christmas trees with lots of different decorations, baubles and shiny tinsel….. we worked together to create some fabulously decorated trees!
🐒🐢🦁“It’s Christmas everywhere at the playhouse”🐒🦁🐢
Even the Playgroup animals joined in with the Christmas fun! the lion pretended to be a reindeer, the monkey was an Christmas elf, the Giraffe wore Father Christmas’ hat and the turtle camouflaged himself as a Christmas tree!!!
🎄🎄🎄🎄Our Christmas Tree advent🎄🎄🎄🎄
The children loved our special advent calendar, the children took turns to open the doors on the calendar and reveal children and staff hiding behind dressed in different Christmas hats and costumes, the children were so excited to reveal who was behind each door.
🐑🐮🌟The Nativity story🌟🐑🐮
We had lots of fun learning the Nativity story and dressing up as the characters from  the story…. and of course as some other Christmas characters! We learnt lots of Christmas songs too. Unfortunately because of Covid restrictions we were not able to invite our parents and families into the playhouse for a Christmas performance, but the staff and committee worked hard to produce a lovely Nativity Video
🎅🎄🎉 It’s Party time!!!!🎉🎄🎅
We finished the Autumn term and Christmas celebrations with a traditional Christmas party, there was dancing and singing, pass the parcel, pin the nose on the snowman and even a visit from the big man himself!! We had so much fun together and it was a fabulous way to end our term together!
Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!!!
Don’t forget to come back in January to see what adventures we get up to in the spring term!!

Week beginning 29th November 2021

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas🎄🎅

This week we began exploring the nativity story and learning lots of fun Christmas songs……. The children especially enjoyed singing “christmas pudding” and “when Santa got stuck up the chimney!”
We also practiced our counting skills, number recognition and fine motor skills with some christmas tree activities, we had to find the correct number peg to match the number of baubles on the trees and also decorated some milk bottle trees with colourful pom poms using tweezers
We also began making our special Christmas snowman baubles, each year the staff makes some Christmas themed crafts with the children for parents to buy to raise funds for the playgroup, this year we  are making these lovely baubles.
On Messy wednesday we explored a polar tray with lots of ice, water and foam. It was great fun and the animals all ended up having a good bubbly wash! We tried to make igloos with the cubes of ice and also explored how to make the ice melt!
At forest school this week we made some fantastic leaf chains, carefully threading leaves we found onto string. The children found lots of different sized and coloured leaves and added them to their chains.
We also had a winter Christmas tree themed Stem activity this week, decorating tiny trees made from stems of rosemary. We used pipe cleaners, sequins and glitter to decorate the mini trees and then added pretend snow using a mixture of corn flour and water, it was lots of messy fun!
We were all really excited to be able to start opening our tree advent calendar that we made together. Each day a different child gets a chance to open a door and  hiding behind each door are photos of the staff and children wearing christmas themed hats, we have lots of fun trying to guess who’s going to be behind the door.

 🍁🌿🍀🍂Week beginning 22/11/21🍂🍀🌿🍁

We have had lots of fun exploring the sights and sounds of Autumn and this continued this week with lots of leaf fun!!
 When we arrived at playgroup we saw that the wind had blown lots of the leaves from the big oak trees into our garden, we had great fun playing in the leaves and then set about sweeping, scooping and gathering the leaves in our wheelbarrows

We have had lots of fun exploring the sights and sounds of Autumn and this continued this week with lots of leaf fun!!
 When we arrived at playgroup we saw that the wind had blown lots of the leaves from the big oak trees into our garden, we had great fun playing in the leaves and then set about sweeping, scooping and gathering the leaves in our wheelbarrows
We finished forest school pretending to be speckled frogs on the log, practicing our counting and jumping skills
On Friday our stem activity was magic milk. We carefully poured some milk onto our plates and then added some food colouring, next we used a cotton swab to dab washing up liquid into the milk and food colouring. The washing up liquid alters the chemical bonds that hold the protein in the milk causing them to twist and bend which makes beautiful patterns as the food colouring disperses through the milk. The children were amazed by the reaction and enjoyed making colourful swirls
Once again another busy week of fun and exploration…….. Watch out as next week we will be starting to think about Christmas and all things sparkly!!!!🎄🎅

Week beginning 15th November 2021

🍁🍂🍀🌿This week we had great fun exploring the wonderful autumnal colours in our forest school session.The children all spent time finding beautiful leaves of red, orange, yellow, brown and green, we then sorted them into colour groups and worked out which colour leaves we had most of and which we had least. We were amazed by how many different colours some leaves had, but the most common leaf colour was brown and the least was yellow.🍁🍂🍀🌿
We had collected so many lovely leaves that we thought that it would be great to be able to preserve some of those beautiful vibrant autumn colours so we spent time making some different shaped leaf sun catchers to brighten up the playhouse. The children carefully selected which leaves they wanted to use and placed them onto the different shapes.
We have been introducing  STEM activities into our sessions which gives our children the chance to explore and experiment.
This week we had fizzy ice using vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and also some magic paper worms.
The children loved both activities, but I think I’m safe in saying they were all mesmerised by the paper worms. When you drop water onto the worms using a pipette the worms grow and their colour shows through. This is a great activity to help children develop fine motor skills and also learn about cause and effect
We also made some wonderful secret messages and pictures using white paper and crayons, once we had drawn the pictures we used a watery paint wash to reveal our pictures, the children all loved guessing what each others  pictures were and then watching it being revealed when the colour wash was brushed on
Our final activity we wanted to share with you was this week’s wonderful green  playdough, this is a firm favourite with all of the children and they love to make it using different colours and fragrances. This activity is a staple at preschools and the children can learn so much from it whilst having a great time, we always encourage the children to weigh, pour, mix as well as  choose the colour and fragrance of the dough, we have had some great combinations recently and lots of fabulous creations .
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what we’ve been doing this week, why not check back next week to see what activities and adventures we have next 😊

Week beginning 8th November 2021

This week we began doing some STEM activities, we will doing weekly sessions to provide our children with some hands on experiences introducing fun maths and science based activities

Our first activity was exploring magnets and different objects including little objects frozen in ice, could we make the frozen objects move, did they move easily when frozen, did it become easier when the ice melted, was everything frozen magnetic.
The children also realised that you could use the magnets underneath the tray and make the items move so spent time spinning the metallic objects around
We also enjoyed playing with some Magic Blooming Paper Flowers, the children were amazed to watch the folded flowers open up and bloom as the paper absorbed the water, this is because when the paper gets wet it swells which causes the folded paper to open

Waterbeach Community Playgroup Remembers 

We spent time this week thinking about remembrance day and honoring those who have fought for our freedom throughout the years,
The children produced some beautiful poppies and we made a display at the playhouse  – We will remember them

Week beginning 1st November 2021

This week we were really excited to be able to resume our library visits thanks to our wonderful library volunteers, the children really enjoyed visiting the library and selecting their own books.

At playgroup we feel it’s so important to foster a love for books and reading at an early age and are so happy to have access to a fantastic selection of different stories and information books for the children to explore. We were also treated to a lovely story read by Maggie. Thank you once again to the library 📖📚
Diwali fun.
Some of our children are celebrating Diwali with their families this week so we spent time exploring Rangoli patterns and also made some paper diva lamps. We love to incorporate all of the celebrations that our children enjoy into our sessions, learning about and understanding all of the wonderful celebrations, traditions and ceremonies that are important to all of our families.
Here are some of the diva lamps the children made
During Diwali people light lots of small oil lamps called diyas all around their homes and gardens, this is to remember welcoming Rama and Sita back home following exile. Hindus believe that by lighting these lamps the goddess Lakshmi will visit them and bring wealth.
Beautiful Rangoli patterns using sequins
The children spent time carefully placing  sparkly sequins onto the Rangoli pattern, this is a fabulous activity for fine motor skills and perfecting hand eye coordination, we think the end result was absolutely beautiful and the sequins reflected the sunlight making it sparkle.
The children enjoyed colouring in some Rangoli patterns of their own, carefully choosing what colours to use and creating some beautiful patterns
We finished the week making some beautiful firework pictures and designs, not only was it was lots of paint and glittery fun, but also  a good opportunity for us to remind our children how to keep safe around bonfires, fireworks and sparklers. Lots of our children were really excited to be going to see fireworks this year, for some it was the first time, we cant wait to hear all about their experiences

Week beginning 18th October 2021

🎃 Pumpkin and Halloween fun! 🎃
Lots of our children are eagerly awaiting Halloween, they have been talking about going pumpkin picking, spooky parties and dressing up as their favourite characters with their families, so we decided to join in with their excitement and enthusiasm and  dedicate our week to all things Halloween.
We began by exploring pumpkins, they are so versatile and you can do so many great things with them. We decorated them, painted them, carved them and also used them to make some witch and wizard potions.
Decorating pumpkins using tacks, hammers, buttons and sequins
Painting pumpkins
Scooping out  and carving pumpkins, the children thought of lots of amazing descriptive words like, slimy, gloopy and compared the colour to oranges and lollipops 😊
Some of our children didn’t like the texture of the pumpkin so we made some pumpkin exploration bags so they could join in the squidgy slimy mess without getting their hands messy, they enjoyed squelching and squeezing the bags and separating the seeds from the pulp.

Our final pumpkin activity was using pumpkins as cauldrons to concoct some spooky potions, the children loved mixing, pouring and stirring their gruesome potions……. luckily for Sarah none of the potions turned anyone into a frog or toad 🐸

After all of that pumpkin fun we were so surprised to come to playgroup and find that the spiders had trapped all of the minibeasts in a giant web…. maybe one of the children’s spells had something to do with it! We had to use our amazing fine motor skills to rescue all of  the mini beasts without disturbing the spiders. 🕷🕸
Our final Halloween themed activity was making some delicious chocolate apples, what a lovely treat, we coated some very juicy sweet apples with  melted chocolate and added some special sprinkles on top….. what wonderful chocolate fun!!🍎


Week beginning 11th October 2021

This week we have been enjoying looking at lots of different occupations and jobs, favorite ones at the moment seem to be doctors and builders, the children have had great fun using the role play equipment to make their own games. It’s great because you can add so many different things to the environment to facilitate the play going on. Our children have been busy practicing their measuring on the building site and mark making skills writing prescriptions and drawing building plans.
The builders are hard at work!!
The doctors helped all of the playgroup toys to feel better!!

We  also spent time this week thinking about patterns, sequencing and sorting. The children enjoy sorting a variety of toys and natural resources, it’s really interesting to watch the children naturally group things without any adult interaction, you can see in the photos that one child began to sort the shells placing those that looked the same together, she wanted to separate all of the tiny shells into a pot of their own. Sorting helps children not only with fine motor development and hand eye coordination, but also helps with observational skills -noticing similarities and differences,  learning how to categorise and also develops their early numeracy and literacy skills!

Week beginning 27th September 2021

🦔🐿🦔🐿Continuing on our Hedgehog and Squirrel theme🦔🐿🦔🐿
Some  of our children made some lovely spiky hedgehogs, they carefully applied paint using forks…. The forks helped create some prickly spikes.
The children looked at pictures of hedgehogs and selected the colours they needed. We also had a very lively conversation about why we don’t see purple hedgehogs in Waterbeach!
A couple of our children have recently visited Centre Parcs and they were talking about feeding the squirrels and how they can be quite cheeky and try to come in the holiday homes! We decided to look online and in books to see the different types of squirrels there are, and we found that there are black and Grey squirrels around this area, there are also red squirrels but although they are native to the UK they are very rare and we don’t see them in Waterbeach.

We printed some pictures of the squirrels we found and some of the children had a go at trying to draw their very own pictures.

One of our children brought us some lovely conkers and asked if we could make something with them….so we put our thinking caps on a came up with the idea of making a number sorter to help with number recognition and also subitising
(Subitising is when you are able to look at a small group of objects and realise how many there are without counting)

Of course just posting the conkers is also lots of fun too!! 😊

Maybe you might like to go on an Autumn scavenger hunt and see what you can find…… I wonder what Autumnal treasure there is lurking around Waterbeach


Week beginning 4th October 2021

We all had a great time celebrating World animal day this week.

From collage turtles to animal masks we had so much fun….
We became polar explorers and had a mini blizzard at the playhouse….. And who can see a grumpy giraffe amongst the photos🤣
While we were having fun inside, a cheeky monkey took all of our animal pictures and hid them around the garden, so we had to go on an animal hunt too. It was so much fun and the children were so good at finding all of the pictures.

I hope you enjoy looking at some of the photos we took 😊🦒🦏🐘🐅🐑🐄

The children used old milk bottle tops and tissue paper to decorate our very own Playgroup turtle, the children dipped in and out of this activity throughout the sessions until they had created a wonderful  turtle

We all made animal hats to wear, colouring in our favourite animals. the children chose what resources and colours they wanted to use so we had some multicoloured rainbow new species who enjoyed our monkey puzzle story

The children took part in the animal card hunt….. they all carefully listened to the story about a cheeky monkey who had visited the playhouse and hidden our animal cards all over the garden….. We were absolutely amazed at what excellent animal detectives we had at the playgroup.
And after all of that detective work we all enjoyed cooling off with our arctic animal tray which was deconstructed over the course of the morning to leave us with a wonderful snow flurry which covered the whole of the playhouse…… we all had so much fun, and after we had finished having fun we all worked together to collect all of the snowballs for another day!!
We rounded off the week back at the Autumnal theme by making some lovely light catching leaves for the playhouse windows, it’s lovely to see the vibrant colours when the sun shines through…… maybe you might like to make some sun catchers for your windows

Our First week together 

7th September 2021

We have had a great time welcoming back our existing children and also our new families joining us for the very first time following the summer holiday.
We really enjoyed our weekly get together sessions over the summer holidays and keeping in touch with the children, but it was still amazing to see how they have grown and changed over the summer and hear all about their adventures during the holidays from park visits to special family times.
We spent our first week playing, learning and exploring together and settling back into the swing of things.
Next week we will be looking at the “All about me” topic, why not pop back and see what we get up to
A few photos of some of the things we enjoyed together

Week beginning 13thSeptember 2021

Our week together began in a very exciting way for the children as we got to wave to all of the children who used to come to playgroup as they went past to their new classes in the school. Everyone at playgroup sends their best wishes to all of the children and their families as they set out on the next steps of their educational journey.

During our sessions at playgroup we have been looking at the “All about me” topic, we’ve been thinking about what we can do, what we like and what makes us unique.

We started making Time capsules so that we can look back at what we were like when we started at playgroup there was lots of measuring and comparing, drawing,and thinking about what we like to read, sing, eat and what colour we like best


We also drew around ourselves so that we could see how tall we are. We are going to paint and draw clothes and faces onto our pictures . Why not check back in next week to see what they look like?

Some of the children drew pictures of themselves and their families carefully looking at themselves in mirrors and then drawing what they saw.

We had our first Start Sporty session of the school year with Michael, from Premier sports, where we did lots of fun games and activities and of course had a great time.

What a busy week of fun, exploring, learning and laughter!
Come back again next week to see what we get up to next 😊



20th September 2021

 This week we’ve been having lots of autumnal fun, looking at the changing season and all of the lovely things you can see, hear and smell.

We began the week looking at sunflowers, many of the children planted sunflower seeds with us at the beginning of the summer and have successfully grown them on in their gardens….. some were absolutely massive!
The children used scented play dough, petals, seeds and beans to create some fantastic sunflowers


We also used lots of nature’s wonderful bounty to make some fabulous pictures and collages. The children enjoyed using the seasonal treasures and it was lovely to watch them create and place the individual items so purposefully to create their masterpieces.


We have lots of children that are enjoying exploring numbers at the moment so we incorporated this into the Autumn theme by providing some number hedgehogs and also some lovely natural resources to explore and count….. Some of the children spent time adding the natural resources onto the hedgehog spots and counting them, others liked the hedgehogs and built imaginary play around them and some just used their senses to explore the textures of the natural resources. We also used our new number stones which have lovely indented numbers that the children can trace the shape of the numbers with their fingers.
It was lovely to sit back and watch each child’s individual approach to this activity and how they chose to explore.


We have lots of squirrels who regularly visit our garden and the children love to watch them scurrying around, at this time of year they are busily burying the acorns they find that fall from the large oak trees in the school grounds. We thought it would be a lovely idea to bring some squirrel fun indoors and so we made some squirrels of our own and asked the children if they could help feed them, this activity was great for helping the children develop their finger muscles and fine motor skills and additionally we once again added our number stones so the children could choose how many acorns each squirrel ate.
This was a very popular activity during the day and I think our pretend squirrels were very well fed by the end of the day!


Our last activity of the week was an all time favourite….. Time for tea, the children had a variety of teabags, fragrant herbs, citrus fruits and water and set about making a fabulous tea party, carefully snipping the herbs and squeezing and grinding things together to make tea for everyone!
This is a great way to hone scissor skills and develop both gross and fine motor skills whilst having a tremendous amount of fun, you also see children working together to snip, scrunch and squeeze and fill you the little cups


What a busy week of fun, learning and exploring! Hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been up to this week, come back next week to see what we get up to next.


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